Saturday, April 26, 2008

Maus I and II - 3M's Review

maus11.JPGBrilliant. Powerful. Poignant. Intensely personal. In graphic novel format and the winner of a Pulitzer Prize Special Award in 1992, Maus is Vladek Spiegelman's story of his survival of Auschwitz during World War II. It is also a story of the father-son relationship between Vladek and Art. In this first book, Art interviews his father about his intense past. Each nationality is represented as a different animal. The Jews are mice, the Germans are cats, and the Poles are pigs. We not only see the absolute horrors of Auschwitz from a survivor's viewpoint, we also see one survivor's son deal with the guilt of just being the son of a survivor.

I first heard about this book through Dewey for the graphic novel challenge. Thanks so much, Dewey, for introducing me to this astounding work.

Highly recommended to all.

1986, 161 pp.
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maus2.JPGThe continuation of Maus, and subtitled And Here My Troubles Began (From Mauschwitz to the Catskills and Beyond), Maus II is every bit as outstanding as Maus, and the two books really should be read together. In this book we learn more about the end of Vladek's life, and one of the questions that is posed from the book is:
They were survivors, but did they really and truly survive?

Art's struggles with his father's personality -- made so because of the war -- are clearly shown. He is very honest in his portrayal, even to the point of demonstrating his father's own prejudices -- something you would think would be non-existent in someone who had been persecuted himself.

Again, I highly recommend both books to all.

Serialized from 1973 to 1991, 127 pp.
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