Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Book Review Discussion: Maus: A Survivor's Tale Volume 1: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman

Book: Maus: A Survivor's Tale Part 1 by Art Spiegelman
Genre: Graphic NF Memoir
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
For: Book club
From: Book club library set

Short Synopsis: The author sits down and interviews his dad about their experiences during WWII. This is the stuff leading up to their imprisonment in a concentration camp. The rest of the story is in Part 2. It's all harrowing and terrible and gut wrenching.

My Response: I wasn't overly fond of the drawings themselves. I mean, I could take them or leave them. But the story was powerful and sad and crazy. My favorite parts, however, were back in the "present" (the story was written in the 70s I think) and seeing the interactions between the son and the dad. I loved the dad's cute accent. And loved that the author decided to leave that in and let us enjoy it. Some parts of the story were very hard to read. And the dad told it so matter of factly. I wonder if that's how he really told it, and if he had to distance himself from things that way just in order to get through the telling. And also, I'm with the author and feel pretty furious about the throwing away of the mom's diary. Say what????

Bottom Line: I can see why this one gets so much attention. It's yet another wonderful, terrible Holocaust tale. And yes, I'll for sure be reading the rest of the story. I think it's in my house somewhere.

Let's Talk About: What do you think about a story such as this being told in graphic (comic) form? Strange I think. Very strange. But still, I guess it can make it even more a powerful story to actually SEE it as the author would like us to see it. The animal thing I just think is weird. I don't get why he decided to do that. Just... weird.

Other Reviews:

While I read this, I found moments to laugh, but there are also many moments to cry. From Historical Tapestry

There’s a good reason Maus has won nearly every award that can be bestowed on graphic novels. From Little Read Reviewer

I cannot possibly recommend Maus I and II enough. If you are new to graphic books, this would be a perfect place to start, and if you are an old pro with the genre – why haven’t you read these yet?? From Book Addiction

To say much more would come across as trite but suffice to say that Spiegelman never trivialises Vladek’s experiences but articulates them with brutal honesty and creativity that emphasises rather than detracts from the horror whilst also presenting it through an accessible medium. From Paperback Reader


  1. I loved Maus. It was what opened the door to historical graphic novels for me. Some of it is definitely tough reading!

  2. I'm still not sure what I think. It wasn't detailed enough for me because of it being a graphic novel. I needed more depth.

  3. I've been trying and trying to get my book club to read this one!



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