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Book DetailsISBN: 9780141014081
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Book Review: Complete MAUS by Art Spiegelman - Reviewed by CloggieA (27 Feb 2018)
4 stars The Complete Maus is a Pulitzer Prize winning graphic novel by American editor and comics artist, Art Spiegelman. It is a memoir in comic form that documents recollections of the holocaust, as told by Spiegelman’s father, Polish Jew W?adys?aw (Zeev/Wladek/Vladek) Spiegelman. The story itself is one that has been told countless times, but Spiegelman’s treatment of it makes it unique. As well as his father’s recollections, he illustrates the passing of the story between father and son, thus inserting himself (including his impatience and ingratitude) into the story.
Maus I (My Father Bleeds History) runs from mid-1930s to winter 1944 and details his parents’ courtship and their experience of the war, through the German occupation and being rounded up to live in the ghetto, up until they were taken to Auschwitz.
Maus II (And here my troubles began) is divided into five chapters and runs from winter 1944 until the immediate post-war period, with Artie’s history taking finishing with his father’s death. It covers his parents’ time in Auschwitz, displacement camps and their eventual reunion.
As with all graphic novels, it can be difficult to distinguish between characters, especially when most of them have the head of a mouse, and sometimes the speech balloons are so small that they make reading the dialogue a challenge, particularly for readers of a certain vintage. But it is immediately clear that a great deal of work has gone into this work, and Spiegelman is obviously a very talented graphic artist, telling an important story.
Art Spiegelman is a contributing editor and artist for the New Yorker. His drawings and prints have been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Maus, and a Guggenheim fellowship. It was also nominated for the National Book Critics Award. He lives in New York.
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