Maus: My Father Bleeds History v. 1: A Survivor's Tale Paperback – 1 Jun 1991
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"Maus is a book that cannot be put down, truly, even to sleep. When two of the mice speak of love, you are moved, when they suffer, you weep. Slowly through this little tale comprised of suffering, humor and life's daily trials, you are captivated by the language of an old Eastern European family, and drawn into the gentle and mesmerizing rhythm, and when you finish Maus, you are unhappy to have left that magical world."--Umberto Eco
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A story of a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe and his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father's story and history itself.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Vladek Spiegelman was a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Holocaust and "Maus" is about the attempt of his son, a cartoonist, to come to terms with not only his father in Rego Park, New York, but the terrible things that happened to his father in Poland in this first half of the tale, "My Father Bleeds History." This proves not to be rhetorical hyperbole, because Vladek's past becomes almost omnipresent as he tells his story to his son. Almost as important, the suicide of Artie's mother comes into play as well, for ultimately in this story, as in life, everything is related.
Tragically, as Vladek reveals more of the events that irrevocably altered not only his own life but that of his son, Artie is repelled rather than drawn closer to his father and the gulf between then becomes clearer. Knowledge, which should bring insight and understanding, fails and creates only bitterness. However, you must remember this is but the first half of the story, which concludes in "And Here My Troubles Began."
What makes "Maus" remarkable is not that it is a "comic book," what the "New York Times" called "an epic story told in tiny pictures," but that it is a very intimate story about someone who survived the Holocaust. The body might survive the concentration camp, but "Maus" is about what happens to the mind, the heart and the soul.
I first read this book as a teenager, and would highly recommend it to people of any age. Over the years, I have re-read it frequently and shared it with friends of all ages. All have taken much from Spiegelman's tale.
A few notes must be made in response to the 10/26/97 comment posted below by a reviewer from Ontario, Canada. It is quite clear that this reviewer did not, in fact, read the book. (S)he mistakenly attacks Spiegelman for portraying the Poles as rats, and wonders if he would be offended if a book were written portraying Jews as rats. Anyone who took the time to read Maus (or merely to examine it's cover!) would know that it is, in fact, the Jewish people who are portrayed as mice/rats, whereas the Poles are portrayed not as vermin, but rather as pigs.
In fact, far from a "vicious" attack against Poles, there are many acts of kindness by Polish people portrayed in the book. Certainly there is unkindness as well, but how can the reviewer forget that this is a factual account of Vladek Spiegelman's life, told from his perspective. If unkind acts by Polish people are a part of that life, then they should be in the book.
Finally, the reviewer in question inelegantly raises a point of some merit, though it is one that is only tangentially related to Spiegelman's work. The Polish people did, in fact, suffer horribly at the hands of both Nazis and Soviets alike.Read more ›
This is harrowing and incredible, but very real and present and with very human, flawed characters that hit home beyond what a film or a book can do for a wide range of audience types. The illustrations aid the narrative, placing soft, engaging images and dark atmosphere into a bleak tale....It seems a very 'neat' story in places, but perhaps there is some memory allowance here. It's another important piece of historic interpretation.
Remembering what happened in the past, and how horrific it was, can help us avoid repeating the same mistakes (hopefully). This is a critically important story, told from a personal level that everyone can relate to.
This is one of my favourite books. A must read for everyone.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Used in first year of university, but as history shows very poignant in an analogy of the tyranny of warPublished 4 months ago by silverfox
Definitely recommend the book. Excellent read and in great condition. Speedy delivery too.Published 11 months ago by Hannah89
Clever slick underhand marketing. Not made clear that this was only part of the whole. I got cross so did not buy the rest. Overpriced anywayPublished on 7 Feb. 2014 by David Raw
It may be well drown, it may even read well. but is a racist slur of the lowest possible denomination. Read morePublished on 27 Dec. 2013 by ananage
When I got interested in graphic novels, someone recommended this book to me. I didn't realise how old it was and I'm surprised not to have seen it advertised more in shops. Read morePublished on 22 Jan. 2013 by R. A. Mayers
Great attempt by the author to tell a tale of his family's suffering history,and how inhuman we all can be.
A story that should not be forgotten.
Powerful stuff. Read more
Over the years I have read many books centred or reflecting upon holocaust atrocities and I had thought the power to shock would have dimmed. Read morePublished on 1 April 2008 by Page Turner
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