Title: Maus (The Complete, Vol 1 & 2)
Author: Art Spiegelman
On the Shelves: Graphic Novels
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.(Goodreads 2015)
I first heard of Maus a around this time last year, as it sprung into the spotlight on the popular booktubers. Myself being a lover of historical fiction, particularly Second World War era, I knew that I would at some point, end up reading it- sooner or later. I finally picked it up and I read it over the course of about two maybe three days. I made myself take my time through reading, to make sure I truly appreciated the messages it was giving. I’m not going to patronise people and say “this is an important book” just because of the subject matter, of course it is important. We all know (or should know, hopefully) that it is important. Art Spiegelman is a very gifted author and artist. The way he portrays conversations between himself and his father as he gathers his father’s story is emotional but somehow humorous at the same time. Maus is a very personal work, which doesn’t hold back on the graphic nature of what went on the camps. I don’t think I can somehow write any sort of coherent review other than: This book is effective. This book is powerful. This book matters. Read it.