Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman

Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History

A story of a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe and his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father's story and history itself....

Title:Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0394541553
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:159 pages

Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History Reviews

  • Alicia Beale
    May 20, 2007

    When I switched my major to English in my senior year, I had a lot of back classes to take, especially intro classes with freshmen and sophmores, though my last intro class was a night class with primarily older women, who worked full time jobs in Edison or the Amboys and a bushel of kids waiting at home. Basically, they were there to learn more about literature, sort of as a self-improvement class for the non-literary. The class was taught by a flame hair TA, who had the personality to match. Y

    When I switched my major to English in my senior year, I had a lot of back classes to take, especially intro classes with freshmen and sophmores, though my last intro class was a night class with primarily older women, who worked full time jobs in Edison or the Amboys and a bushel of kids waiting at home. Basically, they were there to learn more about literature, sort of as a self-improvement class for the non-literary. The class was taught by a flame hair TA, who had the personality to match. Yet as time went by, those last descriptive sentences I wrote became complete crap. We became a class of studious literary scholars on par with any graduate program. Our TA took on a Robin Williams in Dead Poet's Society aura. Why, when did this happen? Well, we read Maus. It rocked all our socks. Besides our TA was a serious woman, not to mention awesome and intelligent. She used to write music reviews for the Village Voice when it was credible, and now she's working with Art Speigelman and has a sexy fellowship at Harvard. And me what do I have? Well, I have this book. I thank her for the introduction.

  • Arnie
    Oct 12, 2012

    When I was a kid I read comic books (mostly Superman). The Maus books are the only graphic novels I've read and I consider them masterpieces (Mausterpieces?). Like Spiegelman's alter ego, I was a middle class child growing up in Queens (NYC), the son of Holocaust survivors and couldn't communicate with my father when I was growing up. He got it down perfectly. It was spot on and ranks among the best of Holocaust related literature.

  • Diane
    Apr 11, 2013

    The Maus books were just as incredible as promised. I was deeply moved by Spiegelman's story about his father's experiences in Poland and Auschwitz during World War II.

    My ancestors are from Germany and my mother was a WWII buff -- our bookshelves at home were filled with hundreds of books about that war. When I asked her why she was so fascinated by that period, she said she was trying to understand how something like the Holocaust could have happened. Now I'm an adult and I often read books ab

    The Maus books were just as incredible as promised. I was deeply moved by Spiegelman's story about his father's experiences in Poland and Auschwitz during World War II.

    My ancestors are from Germany and my mother was a WWII buff -- our bookshelves at home were filled with hundreds of books about that war. When I asked her why she was so fascinated by that period, she said she was trying to understand how something like the Holocaust could have happened. Now I'm an adult and I often read books about atrocities around the world. Even though they are depressing and soul-crushing, I guess I'm also just trying to understand how people can do such horrible things.

    But I digress. Despite having already read a great deal about WWII, one of the things I especially liked about the Maus books was hearing how Spiegelman's father managed to survive. His father was gifted at quickly mastering skills and being able to talk his way out of tough situations. Those abilities helped him and his wife to survive the concentration camp.

    Most reviews of Maus comment on Spiegelman's choice to draw the races differently: Jews are mice, the Germans are cats and other Poles are pigs. I liked the minimalist drawings because it kept the story moving and the focus was more on the words and the meanings.

    I think this is a significant memoir of the Holocaust and would highly recommend it.

  • Maxwell
    Jan 03, 2014

    : I think I absorbed a lot more of the story and its power the second time around. It's really wonderfully crafted, and I can't wait to finally read the second volume because this one ends sort of abruptly.

  • Regan
    Jul 10, 2014

    4.5

    Very very very powerful and I like that you see the relationship between Spiegelman and his father throughout.

  • Elyse
    Oct 28, 2014

    Extraordinary.....

    If there was a Pulitzer Prize for the BEST ALREADY

    winners of the Pulitzer .....Art Spieglman's books would be a very high contender.

    Point is... The creation of Maus exceeds expectations... which you might have heard

    through the grapevine.

    Maus, Vol 1: "My Father Bleeds"....is painful, personal, brilliant ..,and needs to be experienced first hand...( as all his books do)....

    Then we might have a discussion

    still worse to come, is Vol 2. "My Trouble Begins"

  • Nandakishore Varma
    Apr 01, 2015

    I don't read much Holocaust Literature nowadays.

    In my teens and twenties, I read everything I could get my hands on on the Third Reich and the Middle Ages, as I had an abnormal urge to seek out the darkness in human souls. I was repelled and at the same time, fascinated by it - like people drawn irresistibly towards gruesome road accidents.

    As I matured, this urge to torture myself diluted, and I moved on towards more wholesome stuff. However, I decided I would make an exception with

    becaus

    I don't read much Holocaust Literature nowadays.

    In my teens and twenties, I read everything I could get my hands on on the Third Reich and the Middle Ages, as I had an abnormal urge to seek out the darkness in human souls. I was repelled and at the same time, fascinated by it - like people drawn irresistibly towards gruesome road accidents.

    As I matured, this urge to torture myself diluted, and I moved on towards more wholesome stuff. However, I decided I would make an exception with

    because of one important reason - it is a comic, or to use the more accepted terminology nowadays, a graphic novel.

    The comic is a seriously underutilised narrative format. Like the fairy tale and the animated movie, Disney has corrupted it and confined it to a corner where it can only babble and make baby talk. It is heartening to see it breaking out of that straitjacket and maturing - in books like

    and the this one.

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

    Dehumanising the enemy is the first step towards eliminating them: which is what Hitler tried to do with Jews and nearly succeeded. In this book, Art Spiegelman tells us a story from that dark era - a very personal one, that of his father - yet distances us emotionally brilliantly by using Brechtian techniques. The Jews are portrayed as mice, Germans as cats, Poles as pigs and Americans as dogs.

    The story is delivered brutally, pulling no punches. However, changing the characters into animals accomplishes two things - by taking away the individuality, we are forced to look at the big picture: and the race differences are emphasised so as to be insurmountable(a Jew and a Gentile are both human beings, but a mouse can never become a cat). So even when we are caught up in the story, the political subtext is never forgotten.

    A brilliant, brilliant work.

    BTW, a bigger review is up on my

    .

  • Will M.
    Jun 01, 2015

    This is one of those graphic novels that everyone is telling the world to read. Acclaimed as one of the best graphic novels out there. My take on it is that it was really enjoyable and informative, but not the best. While it was very enjoyable, I still had a few problems with it. Overhyped in my opinion, but still highly recommended for me.

    I honestly have no problem with the plot. Straightforward and informative. I'm a huge history fan, and the topic of Nazis in general was nothing new for me.

    This is one of those graphic novels that everyone is telling the world to read. Acclaimed as one of the best graphic novels out there. My take on it is that it was really enjoyable and informative, but not the best. While it was very enjoyable, I still had a few problems with it. Overhyped in my opinion, but still highly recommended for me.

    I honestly have no problem with the plot. Straightforward and informative. I'm a huge history fan, and the topic of Nazis in general was nothing new for me. It's been a while since my last read of this certain part of history. This graphic novel was a good way to refresh my memory. It's still very unsettling that the Nazis were this abusive back then. The way they tortured the Jews and such was very inhumane. I know that somewhere in the world today, people are still being abused like this, if not worse. Such a shame, and quite unthinkable how some people could be this cruel.

    The characters were not as amazing as I wanted them to be. Some weren't developed enough. I seem to have this problem with most of the graphic novels that I read. I'm not sure if it's the graphic novels itself, or the way the author describes them. The whole character thing is a huge problem for me to be honest, because i'm a reader who heavily depends on the characters for enjoyment. I like a well written set of characters. The plot thankfully made up for the not so great characters. Artie and Anja were really enjoyable, but the other ones felt a bit dull.

    One more problem that I encountered would be the artwork. I'm very choosy when it comes to the artwork. I know this aimed to provide a historical feeling, but it didn't work that much for me. I didn't like the rough drawing and the way it was presented. It could've been done better. Not a huge problem, but still something that bugged me from time to time.

    4/5 stars. It's a solid 4 for me. Hopefully the next volume would continue to be this good, or be even better. I'm going to rate the compilation of the two volumes separately after reviewing the second one. Great way to introduce history to aficionados and also beginners. Highly recommended.


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