Maus by Art Spiegelman
A Survivor's Tale

83%

11 Critic Reviews

...Maus is a masterpiece, and it's in the nature of such things to generate mysteries, and pose more questions than they answer. But if the notion of a canon means anything, Maus is there at the heart of it. Like all great stories, it tells us more about ourselves than we could ever suspect.
-Guardian

Synopsis

On the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of its first publication, here is the definitive edition of the book acclaimed as “the most affecting and successful narrative ever done about the Holocaust” (Wall Street Journal) and “the first masterpiece in comic book history” (The New Yorker).

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.

 

About Art Spiegelman

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Artist and writer Art Spiegelman is a teacher at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is the creator of Maus, a graphic novel that depicts his father's struggles in Hitler's Europe, and which earned Spiegelman a Pulitzer Prize.
 
Published October 19, 1993 by Pantheon. 300 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Comics & Graphic Novels, Arts & Photography, War, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Travel. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Maus
All: 11 | Positive: 11 | Negative: 0

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Philip Pullman on Oct 18 2003

...Maus is a masterpiece, and it's in the nature of such things to generate mysteries, and pose more questions than they answer. But if the notion of a canon means anything, Maus is there at the heart of it. Like all great stories, it tells us more about ourselves than we could ever suspect.

Read Full Review of Maus: A Survivor's Tale | See more reviews from Guardian

Cape Ann Beacon

Good
Reviewed by Milo Todd on Dec 15 2013

While there is little-to-no language, gore, or sex, the subject matter alone is too intense for anybody younger than a high-schooler. Spiegelman knew that there was no need for him to be graphic with the cartooning. The story is graphic enough...So if you’re up for a staggering piece on a staggering time in history, pick up both volumes...

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by elenajustine on Aug 29 2015

Maus is an unforgettable memoir that is perfectly paired with a cup of coffee and a free afternoon. Who knows if Spiegelman wrote it to reconnect with his father, learn his story, or understand the mild antagonism between them, but the result is a sentimental and captivating tale.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Confused_scheherazade on Aug 29 2015

Several themes are explored, including memory, family, racism, limitations of language, and the guilt that inflicts the ­descendants of Jewish survivors, who are unable to comprehend the horrors of war, and feel remorse for their comparatively easy lives.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Audrey S on Aug 29 2015

These incredible books are enjoyable in the sense that they are fun to read and easy to adapt to; the scare factor, however, is enormous. Man's inhumanity to man is so blatantly frightening that one is obviously upset upon understanding the deeper points. Well-paced and intriguing, this series educates, informs and enlightens the reader.

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Fyrefly's Book Blog

Good
Reviewed by fyrefly on Jun 14 2010

There are two things that, in my mind, elevate Maus from being just another Holocaust story to really being something unique...First, the decision to present the story in comic form, and second, the inclusion of the framing story of Art and his father...Overall, it’s an amazing book, if not a particularly comfortable one to read...

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Reading on a Rainy Day

Good
Reviewed by Athira on Jan 14 2014

I reread Maus and rediscovered how amazing this book is...This isn't a complicated graphic book. But it is a very well-made one with only the important stuff jumping at you at first read and then more elements of the situation becoming obvious on rereads...If you haven't read Maus yet, you absolutely have to.

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Pretty Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Stacey on Oct 29 2013

Maus‘ graphic novel-style approach means that you’re not only reading, but almost watching, the Holocaust...If you’ve not yet read a book about WWII or the Holocaust, then please do pick up Maus. What always strikes me, and what I find most terrifying, is that these events are seen as history, but they did not occur that long ago...

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Medieval Bookworm

Good
Reviewed by Meghan on Oct 22 2009

Overall, this graphic novel is carefully crafted and deeply moving. I don’t want to say something so horrifying is “good”, because that is impossible. Rather, its power and stunning capacity to portray humanity and inhumanity through selected text and drawings makes it worth noting, remembering, and reading.

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Miss Print

Above average
Reviewed by Emma Carbone on Jan 19 2009

Maus isn’t the type of book I usually read, largely because its necessarily depressing. I noticed my mood dipping as I worked through the book as I became invested with the characters...To call Maus an ambitious piece of work is an understatement. Spiegelman takes on a lot in this relatively slim volume and , for the most part, delivers.

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http://www.grovel.org.uk

Excellent
Reviewed by ANDY SHAW on Apr 23 2008

This book, originally a two volume work is now available in an excellent complete edition...and is an excellent way for new readers to get hold of this classic work of literature. Maus is a truly unique experience, unrepeatable in any other medium, and certain to go down in history as an extraordinary piece of work.

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Reader Rating for Maus
90%

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