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. Maus took me by surprise with the depth of sickening revulsion I felt at the horrors which beset Spiegelman's family of Polish Jews. I attribute that to the medium, with the graphic portrayal of events leading to a much quicker and more immediate sense of the unimaginably awful conditions.
As with other such memoirs, there is, however, a strain of hope and plenty triumphs for the embattled human spirits encountered between the pages; and the author's depiction of his own Father (heroic in his resistance to the Nazi onslaught but very difficult to live with in later life) could hardly be termed sentimental. These elements combine to emphasise the realism and attractiveness of the account.
I regard this book as equivalent in status and importance to Anne Frank's Diary, hence a must-read.