The Complete Maus

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...

DownloadRead Online
Title:The Complete Maus
Author:Art Spiegelman
Rating:
ISBN:0141014083
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:296 pages

The Complete Maus Reviews

  • Kat Kennedy
    Dec 09, 2010

    Reading this book was like having an echo of a conversation with my husband's grandfather. Dziadek could be Vladek's twin brother if any of Vladek's poor family had survived the war.

    This book's most horrifying moment came, for me, at the loss of their two year old son, Richeu. I tried to imagine a world where my decision to keep my son with me and hope for a better future, cost him his life and considered how I would live with that for the rest of my life.

    I don't have the answer to that. All I k

    Reading this book was like having an echo of a conversation with my husband's grandfather. Dziadek could be Vladek's twin brother if any of Vladek's poor family had survived the war.

    This book's most horrifying moment came, for me, at the loss of their two year old son, Richeu. I tried to imagine a world where my decision to keep my son with me and hope for a better future, cost him his life and considered how I would live with that for the rest of my life.

    I don't have the answer to that. All I know is that my son got away with a helluva lot more bad behaviour that day then he normally would.

    I have no commentary to make on the war, the holocaust, the devestation or destruction because I have nothing intelligent or worthwhile to add other than the recognition that the crimes committed there were truly horrifying and disgusting.

    Though I hardly want to consider the type of human being I would be if I didn't feel that way.

  • Lisa
    Nov 05, 2011

    oh my god.

    This burrowed it's way deep into my heart. This made me feel so much. This was an

    , not just a "read". This was real and I can't even explain how this affected me because it was the most emotional thing I've ever read. Not made-up emotion. This was REAL and it affected me.

    Vladek. He reminded me of my Grandfather, a little. I loved my Grandfather and I loved Vladek. His story, as told to his son Art Spiegelman, was one of the most powerful stories I've ever experienced.

    This w

    oh my god.

    This burrowed it's way deep into my heart. This made me feel so much. This was an

    , not just a "read". This was real and I can't even explain how this affected me because it was the most emotional thing I've ever read. Not made-up emotion. This was REAL and it affected me.

    Vladek. He reminded me of my Grandfather, a little. I loved my Grandfather and I loved Vladek. His story, as told to his son Art Spiegelman, was one of the most powerful stories I've ever experienced.

    This was a story about survival and deep love. The love shown between Vladek and Anja mesmerized me and broke my heart seeing them go through so much cruelty and suffering.

    The Complete Maus are two graphic novels combined to form the story of Vladek Spiegelman's life during World War 2. It is drawn masterfully in beautiful black and white. Jewish people are drawn as mice, German people are drawn as cats, Polish people are drawn as pigs and people from the U.S are drawn as dogs.

    From Wikipedia:

    One of my favourite parts of Maus was the relationship between Art and Vladek. Art has a lot of guilt over having such an easy life when his parents went through a hell he couldn't even imagine. Even so, Art and Vladek have a pretty normal father/son relationship. I felt so bad for Vladek at times with the way Art would treat him but it was a normal father/son relationship in the way that sons don't always treat their fathers the best.

    Despite this, you could feel the love radiating from the pages. The love Art and Vladek had for each other. I loved the little funny moments in the novel, like when Vladek throws out Art's coat and gives him a "warm" coat, which Art hates because it isn't fashionable. Or when Vladek goes to the supermarket to return an open box of cereal, along with other used/opened groceries.

    Just the way Art draws his disapproving father made me smile. It was done with such warmth and love. Art's father was definitely a very funny man, even if he didn't mean to be. I loved Vladek so much and in the last few pages, you are shown a picture of Vladek during World War 2. At that moment, I had to stop myself from crying because after reading his incredible story, I saw a picture of the actual Vladek. And it instantly broke my heart. I felt so much love for him, it was unreal.

    This story is not a pleasant one but it is incredible. It's not easy to read at times but it's essential. It's about so many things. If you read this and it doesn't affect you, you are heartless.

    I recommend it to everyone. Seriously. Even if graphic novels aren't usually your thing. This is my favourite graphic novel now. There is no way that can change now. This was unforgettable and deeply moving. I LOVED it with all my heart and can't even properly express the love.

    Read it. Don't miss out on something so emotional and powerful. I hope you love it like I do.

  • Steve
    Mar 09, 2012

    It didn’t dawn on me until later that this brilliant piece of graphic artistry and fiction is actually a very clever allegory. On the face of it, we’re led to believe that it’s a story of the terrible suffering perpetrated by the Nazis against the Jews in Poland and throughout Europe. But if you scratch beneath the surface, I think you’ll find that this particular holocaust story was made to symbolize something more pervasive and endemic. I speak of the horrific violence that persists to this da

    It didn’t dawn on me until later that this brilliant piece of graphic artistry and fiction is actually a very clever allegory. On the face of it, we’re led to believe that it’s a story of the terrible suffering perpetrated by the Nazis against the Jews in Poland and throughout Europe. But if you scratch beneath the surface, I think you’ll find that this particular holocaust story was made to symbolize something more pervasive and endemic. I speak of the horrific violence that persists to this day; that inflicted by cats on defenseless mice. Perhaps the most obvious clue that this is, in truth, the intended theme lies in the title itself:

    . For those of you unfamiliar with German, this is their word for mouse. Beyond that, when you look carefully at the drawings, you see that the goose-steppers have distinctly feline features, while the persecuted Jews in the ghettos and camps have rodent-like proboscides and disproportionately small eyes.

    Cat on mouse violence is so old and pervasive that, in a way, we’ve become desensitized to it. Countless depictions of it in the arts have made it a stale, clichéd topic; almost cartoonish at times. That’s why I thought it was particularly effective to tell the story allegorically. When seen through the lens of the Jewish experience, and with Spiegelman’s masterstroke of personalizing the story by laying bare the difficult relationship he had with his father (the survivor), the residuum of cat brutality that can literally tear mice families apart is brought home to us in a very different way.

    Original: Mar 9, 2012

    ------------------------

    Addendum: Aug 23, 2013

    This still ranks as my top graphic novel of all time, but I just finished Chris Ware's

    which gives it a pretty good run for the money. The suffering in that one may not be as extreme, but it's every bit as real.

  • Nina Rapsodia
    Feb 10, 2013

    Pues verán, desde hace muchos años siempre he sentido profunda fascinación por los temas históricos y sobre todo en torno a la segunda guerra mundial. Es un tema recurrente en mis lecturas y siempre me gusta aprender cosas nuevas sobre esta época terrible de la humanidad.

    Pues verán, desde hace muchos años siempre he sentido profunda fascinación por los temas históricos y sobre todo en torno a la segunda guerra mundial. Es un tema recurrente en mis lecturas y siempre me gusta aprender cosas nuevas sobre esta época terrible de la humanidad.

    Cuando una experiencia como esta es trasladada al papel es cuando a quien le pertenece deja de hacerlo. En 1992 Art Spiegelman ganó el primero y hasta ahora

    Y es precisamente la historia de su padre Wladek Spiegelman, un judío polaco sobreviviente del holocausto.

    En el cómic Wladek le cuenta a su hijo como después de que le liberaran de Bergen-Belsen pasó por un estudio fotográfico y se hizo este retrato usando un uniforme que representaba al usado en los campos de concentración.

    Wladek vivió en Auschwitz, trabajó en muchos oficios, vio de lejos los hornos crematorios, lo vio casi todo.

    Art Spiegelman era un artista joven, casado con una francesa y residía en Nueva York.

    Por muchos meses Art habló y grabó las charlas con su padre, ese hombre enfermo, sumamente tacaño y por su puesto, solitario.

    Porque tanto Art como Wladek son protagonistas en la historia. La novela gráfica se divide en dos tomos: I Mi padre sangra historia y II Aquí comenzaron mis problemas. Art acude a la casa de Wladek y éste le va contando los recuerdos de a pocos mientras también se cuenta el momento actual de la familia Spiegelman. Es una narración a dos tiempos y a dos voces. Esta historia es distinta cuando te das cuenta que Art nunca tuvo una buena relación con Wladek. Los remordimientos también están presentes por ser un mal hijo para su madre Anja y eso le pesa.

    Maus abarca una gran cantidad de tiempo desde antes de la guerra e incluso después. Wladek Spiegelman y Anja Zybelberg son los padres de Art,

    Desde ahí el sufrimiento no hacia sino empezar. En la historia los judíos son representados como ratones, los polacos no judíos como cerdos, los alemanes como gatos y los estadounidenses como perros. Simbología que considero representativa porque a pesar de todos ser humanos en esta época eso ya no importaba,

    Poco a poco vamos presenciando como Wladek evoca la progresión de la vida polaca desde la invasión hasta lo más cruel, lo más terrible. Primero perder la casa, el trabajo, luego la familia y posteriormente la libertad. En medio de la desesperanza,

    El talento para muchas cosas y una gran dosis de buena suerte salvaron al padre de Art de desgracias peores.

    Arbeit Macht Frei "El trabajo libera" a la entrada de Auschwitz I

    Es una de las lecciones que nos deja leer esta novela gráfica.

    Art no soportaba que su padre fuera tan tacaño y mezquino, pero es como si Wladek

    Pero Maus no es sólo la conflictiva relación de un hijo y su padre,

    Los recuerdos de Wladek nos trasladan a la Polonia oprimida y donde los judíos lo perdieron todo para luego ser llevados a trabajar hasta la muerte.

    también contra disidentes del gobierno, prisioneros de guerra entre otros.

    El azar, el talento y algo de colaboración de muchas personas hicieron que Wladek y Anja sobrevivieran a años de terror. Pero sobrevivir también tiene un peso terrible y es la carga de los que se fueron, los que no volvieron a ver. Familias enteras perecieron en los campos y la compasión era una palabra desconocida por el régimen nazi.

    Leer Maus me dejó esa sensación, de dolor, de horror y de impotencia. Art hizo un inmenso trabajo al honrar a su padre a pesar de su mala relación.

  • LeeAnne
    Feb 02, 2014

    Probably the most informative and intimate journal of the holocaust I have ever read.

    Maus is really

    It jumps back and forth between the two stories, one set in the past (Poland), the other set in the present (NYC).

    Vladek Spiegelman tells how he survived the holocaust as a Polish-Jew. From the invasion, to the spread of Naziam, to his time in Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp as a tin worker at the gas cha

    Probably the most informative and intimate journal of the holocaust I have ever read.

    Maus is really

    It jumps back and forth between the two stories, one set in the past (Poland), the other set in the present (NYC).

    Vladek Spiegelman tells how he survived the holocaust as a Polish-Jew. From the invasion, to the spread of Naziam, to his time in Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp as a tin worker at the gas chambers. Vladek is one of the only surviving camp survivors who had intimate knowledge of how the gas chambers facilities worked, because he worked there and lived to tell the tale. He saw how pesticide (Zyklon B) was dropped into the hollow columns to gas screaming victims and how they were burned in crematoriums afterwards. Most Jewish inmates who worked near the gas chambers and crematoriums were executed so they could not give testimony to the horrors they witnessed.

    Art details his creative process of composing his book about his dad's holocaust experiences. Art has a very antagonistic relationship with his father, Vledeck. We see Art trying to interview his reluctant father, pushing his father to recount his experiences. The holocaust permeates the Spiegelman's daily life, even though it took place many years ago.

    There is this need in our society to push the Holocaust into the past and keep it there, but we see throughout this novel that this is impossible. Survivors and their children don't have the luxury of just forgetting about it and moving on. You can stop talking about it, you can try to pretend it never happened, but the recollections of those horrible experiences never go away. You can't erase them. They haunt their victims.

    A predominant theme in the book is how traumatic events like the Holocaust continue to distort and shape people generations later, long after they are over. Children of Holocaust survivors are also affected by holocaust, secondhand, through their parents. They often feel guilty about leading such pampered lives, compared to their parents horrific experiences. So, survivor’s guilt stems from first hand experience (holocaust survivors who feel guilty for surviving when so many loved ones did not) and it reverberates down through generations (children of holocaust survivors). Vledeck's parenting style is warped by the long-term psychological effects the holocaust has on his behavior. In turn, Art's childhood is warped by Vledeck’s post-holocaust world view, a secondary repercussion of the Holocaust.

    The graphics add power, context and tone to the text, providing deeper insight into the mixed feelings and thoughts of the characters. You can hear (read) a character say one thing in the text, but you might also see them thinking/doing something very different, which is expressed in graphics.

    Most of the text in the book are direct quotes from Art Spiegelman's father, Vladik. Sometimes the graphics will reflect the same mood and message expressed in the text. Other times the graphics might reflect Art's interpretation of what his dad is saying. This way the reader sees two very different interpretations of the same exact incident or story simultaneously. How brilliant is that?

    Art Spiegelman also uses animals to represent different races and nationalities. It's a very effective metaphor. Jews are drawn as mice, which reflects back to the anti-Semitic stereotype of Jews being subhuman rats. Germans are cats; they prey on Jewish mice. Americans are dogs, they fight the German cats. The French are frogs. The Polish are pigs; Nazis considered the Polish people to be pigs. Jewish Mice sometimes pretend to be Polish pigs to hide from the German Cats. They do this by wearing pigs masks.

    While creating the book, Art struggles with how he should draw his French wife who converted to Judaism to please his father. It encourages the reader think about the roles of race, ethnicity, nationality and religion. Is Art's wife a frog that transforms into a mouse? But she's still French. So is she half frog, half mouse? Is she a frog in a mouse mask?

    I understand that the holocaust can sometimes seem like a ghastly but impersonal genocide of countless, faceless victims. The magnitude and horror of it all can be so hard to stomach. But each of those six million people was an individual with their own personal story. Individual stories may not seem as important when compared to famous, historical figures like Hitler, Stalin, Churchill, Roosevelt, but learning about each individual story is critical to understanding the magnitude of the Holocaust. Recorded memories are the only way Holocaust survivors can maintain a connection to the stolen lives of those who were erased from the face of the earth by the Holocaust.

  • Alejandro
    Aug 05, 2014

    While it took long time of finally reading

    , I knew that it was a graphic novel referring about the Jew Holocaust, but using mice (Jews) and cats (Nazis) as the characters, and even while I was sure that it will be a crude telling, I didn’t e

    While it took long time of finally reading

    , I knew that it was a graphic novel referring about the Jew Holocaust, but using mice (Jews) and cats (Nazis) as the characters, and even while I was sure that it will be a crude telling, I didn’t expect that the only difference between “reality” and this graphic novel would be the choice of using “animals” as the characters in the story. I mean, while I agree that Jew Holocaust isn’t a humorous matter, I supposed that it would be some “imaginative” use of places, tools, terms, etc… taking in account that the story was full of mice, cats and even pigs (with some frog or dog, here and there).

    Actually, I don’t know why using “animals” as characters if everything else in the story will be keep as it happened. Even there are some odd moments of a “female mouse person” scared due the presence of regular rats.

    Again, the Jew Holocaust is not a matter to take in comical way, but then, I think that the graphic novel could plainly use human beings (not necessarily too realistic, some cartoon style could work) and the graphic novel will be the same as good, the same as relevant.

    However, definitely the graphic format of this story makes possible for readers to be witness from the begining until the end (and even further) of the whole tragic and cruel process of what Jews endured (and not many were able to get out alive from it) during the World War II.

    A titanic graphic story constructed during years of artistic effort to show, with detail and authenticity, one of the darkest episodes of human history.

    The success of

    obviously can tied to the reason of being a Jew Holocaust’s story, and almost any suc story receive a wide positive acceptance, but I think that what makes different

    from many of similar stories is its bold honesty.

    Here, you won’t have a partial view of the tragic event or spotless characters.

    Obviously Nazis and Polish collaborators/sympathizers are shown doing their evil stuff,

    also you will watch how Jews behaved with their own, robbing food from their fellow people, not doing any favor unless get paid with something (gold, food, cigarrettes, etc…), true, it was an extreme situation, but usually movies and other books don’t hesitate to show Nazi’s inhuman actions, but you have to realize that those were prisons, and life in prisons is tough and people will lose any humanity from them in the urge to survive.

    Also, Art Spiegelman, the author, was bold showing how hard was to live with his father, Vladek Spielgelman (the main character in the Holocaust parts), Vladek wasn’t a saint (and after all, how many of us really is?) with not only crazy habits but even racist thinking against afro-american people. Art Spiegelman is a character in the story too, and while he is a whole better as person than his father, he doesn’t portrait himself as a saint and you can appreciate how even at some moments, he does some kinda unfair actions, since after all, he is human too. His family is as disfunctional as others, being Holocaust’s survivors didn’t turn it magically into “Norman Rockwell paintings”.

    Anybody can create perfect heroes, only true writers are able to show the dark moments of his/her own family, in the middle of the storytelling of a book.

    In this way, with boldness and courage,

    exposes us with a harsh truth: Survivors from a war aren’t necessarily good people, saved by their faith or spared due the purity of their souls. No. Survivors from a war (in most cases) is just because plain luck. Even some survivors got such bad luck of dying after the war ended and by non-military personnel. War is a crazy thing (any war) and if you try to get some logic out of it, you will end as crazy as it.

  • Bettie☯
    Dec 22, 2014

    This has been on my wishlist forever -looks like this is a good time to read it.

  • Raeleen Lemay
    Jun 22, 2015

    The art style was a bit distracting at times, but I really enjoyed this!

  • Councillor
    Jul 11, 2016

    Until just a few weeks ago, the only reason for why I read graphic novels now and then was because of people's constant recommendations about the beauty and the value of those kinds of books. I will be honest; I am guilty of never believing those words. Most likely did I read graphic novels which didn't suit my personal tastes, but Art Spiegelman was capable of shattering my expectations and completely stunning me with the

    of his writing and his illustrations.

    But let's start at the beginning

    Until just a few weeks ago, the only reason for why I read graphic novels now and then was because of people's constant recommendations about the beauty and the value of those kinds of books. I will be honest; I am guilty of never believing those words. Most likely did I read graphic novels which didn't suit my personal tastes, but Art Spiegelman was capable of shattering my expectations and completely stunning me with the

    of his writing and his illustrations.

    But let's start at the beginning.

    is a collection of two graphic novels with autobiographical background about the author, Art Spiegelman, and his father's recollections about his experiences in the Second World War. Spiegelman constantly switches between present and past, between the time when he writes down what his father tells him and the time when all the horrible events in the concentration camps took place. But he doesn't only include information about his father Vladek Spiegelman's tale of survival; the personal and very conflicted relationship between Art and Vladek also turns out to be a central part of the story, including controversy about Vladek's second wife and Art's personal approach to the success he had as an author when the first installment in his series of graphic novels was published.

    Obviously, memoirs or autobiographies always include potential to let their author shine in a bright light, to let them appear heroic and exemplary. You have to rely on what the author tells you about himself and the people surrounding him, on which layers of his own character he presents. Art Spiegelman did so in a very convincing way, pointing out not only the horrible crimes which were committed during the Nazi period, but also the flaws he and his father had themselves, as human beings with all their faults and mistakes. Art and his father appear in such a realistic way that you can't help but care for them; something which never happened to me before in a book with autobiographical content. Of course, some parts of the novels were shocking, which you need to expect before reading something about such an important subject. Feelings of despair and fear overshadowed Vladek Spiegelman's recollections of his experiences during the Second World War, from his family's decline and his marriage to his transport to Auschwitz.

    Perhaps the most memorable thing about those graphic novels is the way Art Spiegelman used animal heads in the place of recognizable human ones. The completely black-and-white illustrations vividly underline the feelings Spiegelman wanted to express with his books. And still now, almost two months after finishing them, am I stunned.

    Do I need to mention that I'd recommend these graphic novels to everyone?

  • Frankie
    Aug 07, 2016

    I loved this.

    Harsh brutality of WW2.

    Loved the drawings, the black & white and the jumping back and forth between time.