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review 2018-04-14 01:29
The Complete Maus (25th Anniversary Ed.) by Art Spiegelman | Holocaust Remembrance Week
The Complete Maus - Art Spiegelman

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus tells the story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler’s Europe, and his son, a cartoonist coming to terms with his father’s story. Maus approaches the unspeakable through the diminutive. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), shocks us out of any lingering sense of familiarity and succeeds in “drawing us closer to the bleak heart of the Holocaust” (The New York Times).
Maus is a haunting tale within a tale. Vladek’s harrowing story of survival is woven into the author’s account of his tortured relationship with his aging father. Against the backdrop of guilt brought by survival, they stage a normal life of small arguments and unhappy visits. This astonishing retelling of our century’s grisliest news is a story of survival, not only of Vladek but of the children who survive even the survivors. Maus studies the bloody pawprints of history and tracks its meaning for all of us.

Amazon.com

 

 

 

Inspired by the Holocaust experience of his own parents, cartoonist Art Spiegelman writes and illustrates this Pulitzer Prize wining story of a grown son, also a cartoonist (yes, this one is in the meta / semi-autobio style) who sits down with his father, Vladek  Spiegelman, to record Vladek's story with the intent to publish it. Perhaps to soften some of the more violent aspects of Vladek's story, the tale is told anthropomorphically-- Nazi soldiers are portrayed as big, burly cats, Jewish prisoners are mice, and one African-American man is illustrated as a black dog. 

 

 

Vladek starts with the story of meeting his wife, Anja, and their years together as newlyweds prior to the war. In 1938, Anja develops post-partum depression and is taken to a sanitarium in Czechoslovakia where she experiences, for the first time, full-force anti-Semitism. From there, the war story of Anja and Vladek only gets more painful. Even Anja's millionaire parents couldn't buy her safety. Once captured, Vladek explains that he was able to get some leniency with the Germans because even though his family was Polish, he could speak and write in German, so the Nazis found him useful. 

 

This special anniversary edition features the entire story, Vols 1 & 2, together in one book. As I mentioned before, the story does dip in and out of meta style storytelling. Towards the middle of the book, there is a kind of mini-comic insert where author Art Spiegelman tells the real life tragic story of his own mother's suicide. This book as a whole is not for the faint of heart. There are illustrations of mice with nooses around their necks, descriptions of children being picked up by their legs and swung into brick walls to stop them from crying / screaming (the noise giving away the location of those in hiding). Near the end of Vol. 2 there is also pretty detailed description of the interiors of the gas chambers. This edition also features one color map (the rest of the book is done in black and white) that shows the full layout of the Auschwitz camp. 

 

 

 

Blended with the Holocaust theme, Spiegelman also brings in a modern day father-son relationship story of a grown man honestly trying to make the effort to finally, hopefully, understand the father who has always slightly confounded him. There are some tense life truths brought to the table during these scenes but it provided a relatable, poignant layer to the whole experience that I came to really appreciate. 

 

If you're now reading this thinking, "Man, there is no way I could get through anything that dark," Spiegelman might have had such readers in mind because he does offer moments of levity as well. There's the somewhat scary but also creepy-humorous story of Lucia, the woman who went Stage 5 Clinger on Vladek when he became interested in someone else.

 

 

 

 

Old man Vladek is also dad-funny during his conversations with his son, saying things like "famous like that one guy".... I don't know though, there were a few moments there where old Vladek was coming off as pretty strongly racist himself... so it left me with mixed feelings about him. 

 

I'm glad I finally took the opportunity to experience this epic graphic novel I've heard so much about over the years. The story is a tough one to take, but important to hear. Truthfully though, I'm not sure it's one I see myself revisiting, at least not any time soon. 

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text 2018-01-31 18:45
January 2018-That's a Wrap!
The Warblers - Amber Fallon
You: A Novel - Caroline Kepnes
Hidden Bodies - Caroline Kepnes
City of the Dead - Brian Keene,Joe Hempel
The Complete Maus - Art Spiegelman
My Best Friend's Exorcism - Grady Hendrix
Splatterpunk Fighting Back - Jack Bantry,Tim Curran,Glenn Rolfe,Bracken MacLeod,Kristopher Rufty,Adam Millard,John Boden,Matt Shaw,W.D. Gagliani,Elizabeth Power
The Conversationalist: Horrorstruck Novella One - Justin Richards
If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating (Random House Large Print) - Alan Alda
Wylding Hall - Elizabeth Hand

I've started the year off by reading 18 books in January.

 

Graphic Novels

The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman 5*

Bitch Planet Volume One: Extraordinary Machine by Kellie Sue DeConnick 4*

The Walking Dead: Book 14 by Robert Kirkman 4*

Total: 3

 

Novellas

The Warblers by Amber Fallon 4*

Infestation by William Meikle 3.5*

The Conversationalist by Justin Bog 4*

Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand 4*

Total: 4

 

Audiobooks

You and Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes, narrated by Santino Fontana BOTH-5*

City of the Dead by Brian Keene, narrated by Joe Hempel 3.5*

Seriously...I'm Kidding written and narrated by Ellen DeGeneres 3*

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, narrated by Rob McQuay 3*

If I Understood You...written and narrated by Alan Alda 4*

Total: 6

 

ARCS

After the End of the World by Jonathan L. Howard 3*

Dark Screams Volume Nine (Anthology) 4*

Hardened Hearts (Anthology) 4.5*

Total: 3

 

Random Reads

My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix 4*

Splatterpunk Fighting Back (An anthology benefiting the fight against cancer) 4.5*

Total: 2

 

 

Horror Aficionados Mount TBR Challenge:

Challenge: Read 40 Books Already on my TBR

1. City of the Dead by Brian Keene

2. The Warblers by Amber Fallon

Status: 2/40

 

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review 2018-01-22 22:00
Monday Mini – The Gift by Tegon Maus @TegonMaus
The Gift - The Chronicles of Tucker Littlefield - Tegon Maus

 

The Gift - The Chronicles of Tucker Littlefield

Goodreads  /  Amazon

 

MY REVIEW

 

I have seen Tegon Maus’ books around and heard such good things that I had to find out for myself. I was not disappointed.

 

The story is about Enon, a Jonda and mind reader, and Elisabeth, kidnapped royalty.

 

Enon would either be a hero or a dead man. The fighting is fierce, but he makes a good showing, even managing to hook up with a woman who has his number. Their verbal banter is more often funny than hurtful.

 

Would betrayal take the king’s life? Isn’t there always someone hiding in the shadows wanting the kingdom?

 

The world created is fraught with danger and enemies at every turn. Will  the frightened little man become an unwilling hero? Well, all I can say is the journey is long and arduous, and not all will return.

 

Tegon Maus can sure spin a tale, drawing me in, making me crave more.

 

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of The Gift by Tegon Maus.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

 

GOODREADS BLURB

 

Transformed by a primitive magic beyond a civilized man’s understanding, I was given a horrible gift that no man should possess… It held me, twisted me, turning me at its bidding. I was enslaved by its power, compelled to devour the souls of the dead until I became the monster of my fears. I have seen things I wish never to see again. I have done things of which I wish never to speak. Yet I must if I am to find the answers to fulfill my hope. I have walked upon blue ribbons of molten stone to peer into the depth of a man’s soul. I watched as a promise made at birth brought my friend Enon to sacrifice everything to become whole again – all in an effort to save the life of his child. I have cried without shame for the loss of all I hold dear and for fear that the future will hold more than I can bear. I am Tucker Littlefield. Know all that I say now is true-spoken.

 

Read more here.

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/monday-mini-gift-tegon-maus-tegonmaus
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review 2018-01-04 04:38
Maus 1: My Father Bleeds History
Maus I : A Survivor's Tale : My Father Bleeds History - Art Spiegelman

 

So, I started reading this book in June, ended up getting caught up in other things, including other readings, and I finally just finished it. I actually had to start again from the beginning, but it was worth it.

 

This graphic novel is written by Art Spiegelman and based on his father's experiences before and during World War II. The book skips back and forth in time between the adult author speaking to his father and the years around World War II. In the illustrations, the Jewish people are represented by mice, the Germans cats, and the Polish people by pigs. This graphic novel is at times touching, at times horrifying, and at times just sad. A definite must-read for anyone interested in this time period.

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text 2017-11-30 21:09
November 2017 Reading Wrap Up
Fall of Poppies: Stories of Love and the Great War - Lauren Willig,Joshilyn Jackson;Hazel Gaynor;Mary McNear;Nadia Hashimi;Emmi Itäranta;CJ Hauser;Katherine Harbour;Rebecca Rotert;Holly Brown;M. P. Cooley;Carrie La Seur;Sarah Creech,Jennifer Robson,Marci Jefferson,Jessica Brockmole,Beatriz Williams,Evangeli
March: Book Three - Andrew Aydin,Nate Powell,John Lewis Gaddis
The Unyielding - Shelly Laurenston
Through Waters Deep - Sarah Sundin
The Complete Maus - Art Spiegelman

Here's the good, the bad, and the ugly for November. This whole household has been sick since Thanksgiving and we are slowly recovering. Planning on setting up holiday decorations this weekend. Today we got snow showers, and tonight we even got some snow to stick to the ground; my son said that seeing the snow is makes him feel the holiday spirit.

 

I finished two series, March and Call of Crows. Turns out this month was not good for mysteries, as I DNF'd 3 cozy mysteries, mostly due to characters I could not get into or like enough to stay in their head for novel length of time.

 

Challenges:

BL/GR: 159/150

Pop Sugar: 4; 49/52 for the year

16 Festive Tasks: 16 points

Library Love: 4; 52/36 for the year (I definitely should have gone with the higher goal level)

 

1. Fall of Poppies: Stories of Love from the Great War by Various Authors (one story used for Pop Sugar prompt Set in 2 different time periods) - 4 stars

2. March Volume 3 by Rep John Lewis et al - 5 stars

3. A Taste of Chardonnay (Napa Wine Heiresses #1) by Heather Heyford (Library Love) - 3.5 stars

4. Check These Out by Gina Sheridan (Library Love) (Pop Sugar prompt Career Advice) - 3 stars

5. Love's First Flames (Banished Saga #0.5) by Ramona Flightner - 2 stars

6. A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs - 2.5 stars

7. The Unyielding (Call of Crows #3) by Shelley Laurenston - 5 stars

8. Through Waters Deep (Waves of Freedom #1) by Sarah Sundin - 5 stars

9. The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman (Library Love) (Pop Sugar prompts Recommended by a Librarian and Story within a Story) - 4 stars

10. Reasons Mommy Drinks by Lyranda Martin-Evans and Fiona Stevenson (Library Love) - 3 stars

11. The Toymaker by Kay Springsteen - 1 star

 

DNFs:

12. It Had to Be You by Delynn Royer

13. Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke

14. Death of a Christmas Caterer by Lee Hollis

 

Currently Reading

1. Unleashed (Love to the Rescue #1) by Rachel Lacey

2. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

3. Saga Volumes 2-4 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples

4. Burning Bright: Four Chanukah Stories by Various Authors

 

 

 

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