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Search tags: Art-Spiegelman
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review 2017-01-13 14:45
Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman
Maus I : A Survivor's Tale : My Father Bleeds History - Art Spiegelman

Because of the disturbing subject matter I may not have read Maus if it wasn’t for my RL book club. I’d never read a graphic novel before but loved how artwork and narrative were teamed together.

 

The book followed Artie, a man who decided to write and draw a graphic novel based on his father’ experiences in the second world war. 

 

During the book Artie’s interviewing his father who recounts his time before the war. I liked how Artie talking with his dad in the present was interspersed with the past. The subject was heavy and this helped to make it a little easier to bear.

 

I really liked how people were depicted by different animals, for example Jewish people were mice, Germans were cats and Poles were pigs. This helped make the reality a little easier to bear. Some of my friends at the book club found this made it harder to identify with the characters, but it didn’t affect me because I have such an affinity with animals.

 

The character’s weren’t explored in huge depth except for Artie’s father which was the right choice as it was his story. I loved how each of his infuriating idiosyncrasies could be related to the past.

 

As with most graphic novels it was short, but I think the gravity of the issue meant this was a wise choice. It still took me a few days to read anyway due to the subject matter, regardless of how fantastic I thought it was.

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text 2017-01-08 14:05
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Maus, Vol. 2: And Here My Troubles Began - Art Spiegelman

I just finished this for my book club that's meeting tonight. I found the second volume more emotionally demanding than the first. It was a little more real. Can't wait to see what other's thought.

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text 2017-01-06 18:14
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Maus I : A Survivor's Tale : My Father Bleeds History - Art Spiegelman

I just finished my first book of 2017! Maus was picked by my book club otherwise I probably wouldn't have read this graphic novel. The art worked well with such a weighty topic.

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review 2016-08-12 17:27
#CBR8 Book 81: The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
The Complete Maus - Art Spiegelman

The two volumes of Maus are Art Spiegelman's attempts to document the struggles of his parents before and during the Second World War, as well as his not always harmonious relationship with his elderly father. The framing narrative shows Art interviewing his father Vladek about his recollections of the time before and during the war, as well as trying to deal with his temperamental parent, despite their many differences. The illustrations are famous and the subject matter is, of course, very worthy.

 

So why didn't I love it? It's a graphic novel depiction of the persecution of the Polish Jews and their trials during the Holocaust, which also deals with the difficult aftermath and the struggle of the survivors' offspring to understand the trials of their parents. Art wasn't born until after the war, always extremely aware of his elder brother, who died, even as his parents tried to save him by sending him away. His mother Anja seems to have been mentally fragile, even before the war, and committed suicide. His father Vladek remarried, but seems to have made strange demands of both his new wife Mala and his son, and doesn't exactly seem like the easiest of people to live with or relate to.

 

I really liked the historical parts that dealt with Art's parents' lives before and during the war. The framing narrative worked a lot less well for me, mainly because Vladek was such a pain! Moody, crotchety, mean to his second wife (and occasionally his son). At the same time, it seems as if the son could absolutely spend more time with his father NOT constantly badgering him to recall painful memories so said son can turn it into an award winning graphic novel - there's just a lot of people here who I don't particularly like, even though their lives have clearly been tough and full of suffering. 

 

These two graphic novels, collected in the one volume I read, are hugely acclaimed and have won tons of awards (including the Pulitzer), so it doesn't really matter what I think, one way or another. I wanted to love this, but found a lot of it hard going to read, not mainly because of the depiction pre- and during the Holocaust, but because I just couldn't really connect with the main characters. The art is very well done (while some might say that the portrayal of the Jews as mice and the Germans/Nazis as cats is overly simple, the way other humans are depicted, like the non-Jewish Polish being pigs, or the Americans being dogs is clever, I think. I also loved that when the Jews were trying to pass for non-Jewish, they wore little pig-masks over their faces) and I recognise the importance of the work, but it really wasn't entirely my cup of tea. 

 

Judging a book by its cover: The cover of this is as iconic as the book itself, with Spiegelman's parents as the mice and the swastika and stylised Hitler-face (the Nazis all being cats), looming in the background. The red splash of the heading, bringing to mind both spray paint and blood.

Source: kingmagu.blogspot.no/2016/08/cbr8-book-81-complete-maus-by-art.html
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review 2016-07-18 20:00
Maus
The Complete Maus - Art Spiegelman

This work combines the two parts 'My father bleeds history' and 'And here my troubles began'.

 

Even when I was reading Maus I knew it would not be easy to write a review of it. Many things, if not everything has been said about it, so I will just focus on explaining some of my thoughts while I was reading it.

 

I think it is an incredibly strong work, it tells a terrible story and somehow I feel the graphics add an extra layer to the story that made that I couldn't shake loose from it even when I was not reading it. Even more so than other holocaust stories that I read before.

 

To emphasize the ridiculousness of racism, all characters from a same group are drawn the same, with the Jews being the mice and the Nazis cats. The French are frogs, the Polish pigs and the Americans dogs. While this makes it rather difficult to distinguish between the characters, it goes to show how dangerous it is to look at groups instead of individuals. 

 

Very strong graphic novel that I would certainly recommend!

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