Skip to main content

Review: The Complete Maus (Art Spiegelman)

The Deets:
Reading Level: YA (for content)
Pages: 296
Publisher: October 1st 2003 by Penguin Books
ISBN: 9780141014081
Type: Graphic Novel
Source: Library book

The Complete Maus

Combined for the first time here are Maus I: A Survivor's Tale and Maus II - the complete story of Vladek Spiegelman and his wife, living and surviving in Hitler's Europe. By addressing the horror of the Holocaust through cartoons, the author captures the everyday reality of fear and is able to explore the guilt, relief and extraordinary sensation of survival - and how the children of survivors are in their own way affected by the trials of their parents. A contemporary classic of immeasurable significance.

This was different from what I expected. I wasn't sure what I would be reading when I started this book. I knew Maus was a Holocaust story, but I didn't know what type of story it would be. Calling it a "contemporary classic of immeasurable significance" is an understatement. I think powerful is a better adjective. Heartbreaking. Captivating..... those would work too.

The people in the book were depicted as various types of animals which I was both disturbed by and thankful for. I found it very interesting that the author chose to depict his "characters" as animals. The dehumanization aspect was not lost on me-- afterall, isn't that what Hitler and the Nazis did to the Jews?

Given the subject matter, I'm not sure how I would have taken to this book if it had the detail that most graphic novels are known for.  The drawings lacked facial expression and some detail, but the point was still made. I still cried when a baby mouse's head was smashed against it because I knew what the mouse represented.

One thing that I did find bothersome was the constant switching between the present and past. I could see it being confusing for some people. However, I thought it was important to show how the past events shaped the father into the person that he became as a survivor. It wasn't choppy per se, but some type of textual feature to indicate that the present was occuring would have been better I think.

Overall, given that this is such hard content to work with, I think the author did a nice job of sharing his father’s horrifying experience in a tasteful way that might make learning about the Holocaust more accessible to future generations. The story was focused on one family's tale, yet it managed to tell about an entire nation. It saddens me to think how little people know about this dark time in history. We are so quick to glance over it or pretend it didn't happen exactly the way history books tell us. But I have met a survivor. I have read her story; and I won't forget.


  1. I read the first Maus graphic novel and loved it Great Review!

  2. I read one of the books for my cartoons and comics class in university. Don't get too excited - it's like the prof went out of his way to make the course boring! lol But, this is probably one of the best required readings I ever had in uni. I enjoyed (seems wrong to use "enjoy" with this storyline) it so much that I found the other book at my local library when I went home for the summer. So so so good.


Post a Comment

Let the world know what you think... leave a message! I read them all!

Popular posts from this blog

My 13 reasons why you should avoid Netflix's 13 Reasons Why

If you subscribe to Netflix, you should know about the book to film adaptation of Jay Asher's novel, Thirteen Reasons Why. I remember reading the book years ago on a recommendation, and fell in love with the story. It took me through so many emotions as I read Hannah's story. You can see my thoughts on the novel here, because this post isn't about the novel per se.

This post is about what bothered me about Netflix's attempt at capturing this story. So here goes, my 13 reasons why I shouldn't have watched "Thirteen Reasons Why" on Netflix.

1. The language. My goodness, the language. I understand that teenagers curse worse than sailors in many situations, but if you aren't bothered by the ridiculous use of the f bomb as both an adjective, verb, and general space filler-- there is a problem. I stopped counting in one episode its use because I reached 20 before the half way point. Twenty! I don't think they even bothered to come up with other words. …

Feature Follow Friday

Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee’s View & Alison Can Read.    

The goal is to increase blog followers and make friends. Basically how it works is you follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. So looking forward to making new blogging friends & following blogs!

This week's question: Do you have any furry friends?

These are my fur babies: 

This is what it often looks like while I'm busy working. As you can tell, productivity is high. 

This is Lilly waiting for her boys to come home. She'll spend the entire day just like this if she's not sleeping next to me in my office. 

This is Roscoe. AKA The Boss. He runs the show around here. And yes, he has a sweater AND a coat for cold weather. 

Review: The Search for Delicious

The Search for Delicious Natalie Babbitt
Product Details

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Square Fish (August 21, 2007)
ISBN-10: 9780312369828
Source: My personal book

Summary from Amazon: Gaylen, the King’s messenger, a skinny boy of twelve, is off to poll the kingdom, traveling from town to farmstead to town on his horse, Marrow. At first it is merely a question of disagreement at the royal castle over which food should stand for Delicious in the new dictionary. But soon it seems that the search for Delicious had better succeed if civil war is to be avoided.

Gaylen’s quest leads him to the woldweller, a wise, 900-year-old creature who lives alone at the precise center of the forest; to Canto, the minstrel who sings him an old song about a mermaid child and who gives him a peculiar good-luck charm; to the underground domain of the dwarfs; and finally to Ardis who might save the kingdom from havoc.

My Review: I love this book! It is such a fun, easy, and enjoyable r…