A Survivor's Tale

Hardcover, 296 pages

English language

Published Dec. 15, 1996 by Pantheon.

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5 stars (12 reviews)

In a world where Jews are mice, Germans are Cats and the Polish are pigs, a son documents his parents' experience during the Holocaust and his relationship with his father.

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 ageing father. Against the backdrop of guilt brought by survival, they stage a normal life of small arguments and unhappy visits.

“This astonishing …

11 editions

Review of 'The Complete Maus' on 'LibraryThing'

4 stars

Significantly better than I expected. Like many I first came to know of this book a number of years ago when it was "banned" for having nudity. Like so many "banned" books I feel its often a ploy by the publishing company to sell more books, particularly when they are books like this that have been in publicization for a long time. returnreturnI expected it to need the help because it wasn't that great. However I found it a pleasant read, granted you probably aren't supposed to get a pleasant read out of a holocaust book but I digress. I really appreciated the Vladek character when is so much a character of a miserly Jewish American that even the author notes he isn't sure he should include it because of how stereotypical it is. returnreturnA good look at the insight of a particularly family and there making, and no so …

Great for examining complex issues and critical reflection in visual forms

5 stars

Spiegelman is on record saying he doesn’t like Maus being used to teach about Holocaust, but honestly I can’t think of many better texts for it. He prefers Maus being used to discuss relationships, and I’m just thinking “por que no los dos?”

In this novel the author shows his father’s story of survival through the holocaust, and the long term impact on his physical and mental health. He delves into the intergenerational trauma associated with survivor’s families.

Spiegelman said in an interview with Australian Radio National that he wanted to challenge the myth that everyone who goes through such a crucible inherently becomes a better person His depiction of his father, Vladek, is loving but unyielding. When Vladek, who suffered so much during the Holocaust, sees his son wanting to pick up an African-American hitchhiker, he responds with the exact kind of racist stereotypes he himself faced as a …

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  • Graphic novels
  • Personal Memoirs
  • Holocaust survivors
  • Fine Arts
  • Poland
  • United States
  • Graphic Satire And Humor
  • Jewish Holocaust
  • Comics & Graphic Novels
  • Biography / Autobiography
  • Holocaust
  • Biography/Autobiography
  • Literature: Classics
  • Spiegelman, Vladek
  • Historical - Holocaust
  • Graphic Novels - General
  • Fiction / Graphic Novels
  • Spiegelman, Art
  • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
  • Literary
  • Biography
  • Children of Holocaust survivors
  • Comic books, strips, etc