Friday, May 16, 2008

MAUS I: A SURVIVOR'S TALE - My Father Bleeds History

Author: Art Spiegelman
Genre: YA NF Graphic Novel
Published: 1986
Personal Rating: 4.25/5
Yearly Count: 67

Vladek Spiegelman's tale of surviving the Holocaust was written by his son, Art, through unique comic graphics depicting the Jews as mice, the Germans cats, the Poles pigs, the French frogs, and the Americans dogs. The book is told in the form of Art interviewing his father, Vladek.

A Holocaust story is heartbreaking no matter how it is told and comic form does not change that fact. Vladek's story is very familiar, yet it still has its own nuances. Understandably so, the aftermath of such terror is ingrained in his being, thus affecting his relationships.

This was another positive experience in graphic novels for me, however, I was distracted by the characters. I understand the use of such characters and they may have added an aspect to the story that wouldn't be achieved by using something else, but I still would have preferred people. Vladek's relationships are edgy and somewhat awkward to watch. That certainly attests to Art's ability to convey his thoughts through comics and a few words.


  1. When I went to our library website to see if they had The Borden Tragedy (which they do...yeah!), I put a hold on this one, too. You're going to think I'm a big ol' copycat, aren't you? :)

  2. I loved both Maus and Maus II. I thought his portrayal of people as animals was a deliberate defense mechanism he used so he could tell the painful, personal family story. Telling it "realistically" in prose or in more representational art, would have been too close to the stunning awfulness of it. I think it was an artistic coping mechanism.

  3. Debi ~ Oh for goodness sakes . . . NO! :) I find suggestions all over the place. You are welcome to read whatever you choose. I'm glad to be of some assistance in that. :) There is a Maus II, which you may want to read right after Maus I. I had to return my copy because of a hold on it. I will get back to it soon though.

    Girl ~ I agree with you and you said that well. My dislike is personification in general, not Spiegelman's purpose or choice for the animals. I have never liked personification . . . it's just a pet peeve.

    Tee Hee, that was an unintentional pun, but I think it's funny. :)

  4. You've just reminded me that I wanted to "read" the Maus books.

  5. Terri ~ Oh good! I hope you enjoy them.

  6. I'm glad you enjoyed these! I'm hoping to read these, but I'm falling dismally behind on the My Year of Reading Dangerously challenge. Is that what you read them for?

  7. Nyssaneala ~ I originally read this first one for the Graphic Novel Challenge. I now have the second in my possession and will be reading it 'just because' due to my completion of the challenge. :)


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