The Complete Maus - book cover
  • Publisher : Pantheon
  • Published : 19 Nov 1996
  • Pages : 295
  • ISBN-10 : 0679406417
  • ISBN-13 : 9780679406419
  • Language : English

The Complete Maus

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus tells the story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist coming to terms with his father's story. Maus approaches the unspeakable through the diminutive. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), shocks us out of any lingering sense of familiarity and succeeds in "drawing us closer to the bleak heart of the Holocaust" (The New York Times).

Maus is a haunting tale within a tale. Vladek's harrowing story of survival is woven into the author's account of his tortured relationship with his aging father. Against the backdrop of guilt brought by survival, they stage a normal life of small arguments and unhappy visits. This astonishing retelling of our century's grisliest news is a story of survival, not only of Vladek but of the children who survive even the survivors. Maus studies the bloody pawprints of history and tracks its meaning for all of us.

Editorial Reviews

"A loving documentary and brutal fable, a mix of compassion and stoicism [that] sums up the experience of the Holocaust with as much power and as little pretension as any other work I can think of."
The New Republic

"A quiet triumph, moving and simple– impossible to describe accurately, and impossible to achieve in any medium but comics."
–The Washington Post

"Spiegelman has turned the exuberant fantasy of comics inside out by giving us the most incredible fantasy in comics' history: something that actually occurred…. The central relationship is not that of cat and mouse, but that of Art and Vladek. Maus is terrifying not for its brutality, but for its tenderness and guilt."
The New Yorker

"All too infrequently, a book comes along that's as daring as it is acclaimed. Art Spiegelman's Maus is just such a book."

"An epic story told in tiny pictures."
The New York Times

"A remarkable work, awesome in its conception and execution… at one and the same time a novel, a documentary, a memoir, and a comic book. Brilliant, just brilliant."
–Jules Feffer

Readers Top Reviews

MarianElla @ The Sto
Very clever way to present the tragedy not only of Auschwitz but the impact on survivors and the author, a son of survivors. Especially poignant is the section in Volume 1 called, "Prisoner on the Hell Planet." As I understand it, this product was the genesis for the later books. I found some new details that I haven't read before in other Holocaust literature. Troubling, always, the depravity of man and the insensibility of the Holocaust. We may never understand the psychologies of hate and destruction and the forces that led to Germans (and Poles) of that time in history to act out with such disregard for others. I hope we never can "understand" this incomprehensibility but successfully evolve away from cultural, political, religious, economic hegemonic leadership and ideologies.
Charles Aloha
Awesome book. My 3rd time ordering this to give to friends. However, the book was shipped in the box with zero packing material. Plenty of room for book to shift and move around and it resulted in a rip to the jacket. Amazon's packing process has gotten worse over time.
Kaili KobylkaCharles
I am going to preface this review by saying that I have a general disdain for graphic novels. There was a time that I would never elect to read one of my own volition. That all changed when I was assigned Maus for an English class. Upon hearing that our syllabus included a graphic novel, I groaned in tacit protest. I read both volumes of Maus cover to cover before the assigned completion date, and was very moved by the story, which is about a son trying to understand his Holocaust-survivor father. There are no images of humans in this book--the Jews are portrayed as mice, the Nazis as cats, and the Poles as pigs. The protagonist has always felt a void between he and his father, but develops some understanding and compassion as he begins interviewing him about his experiences in the Holocaust. In terms of Holocaust literature, I would deem this a "must-read".
RuthKaili KobylkaCha
(the book was delivered perfectly). After finding it out that the McMinn County school board in Tenn. (an American state) banned this book 10-0 and after going online to research this book's author, I just had to order it. It came the very next day (today) and I've read the first 6 chapters. Wow. I am a WWII era history buff of many years and I am embarrassed that I never heard of this graphic book. Thank you McMinn County SB for being the impetus to discover this masterpiece. It will be a treasured addition to my WWII library. UPDATE: I purchased this book for $22 two days ago (1-26) and delivered the next day. I checked today and it costs around $9 more with delivery in 1 to 2 weeks. The book now is ranked #1 in 3 categories.
JudyRuthKaili Kobylk
An amazing graphic novel. So powerful and an important teaching tool for children so they can learn history. The fact that school boards have banned this book in backwards states is horrifying.

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