Synopses & Reviews
A boxed edition of the two paperback volumed of this 1992 Pulitzer Prize-winning illustrated narrative of Holocaust survival.
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.
"Spiegelman's work [is] uniquely moving and...delightful....Spiegelman is no sentimentalist. The mouse-Jews betray each other to the cat-Nazis, and his father, a difficult man, is hardly idealized....But it's not just this unblinking realism that makes Maus so disconcerting: it's the choice of so stylized a medium....The very artificiality of its surface makes it possible to imagine the reality beneath." David Gates, Newsweek
"[S]oon one is marveling at the amount of fear, hope, love and pathos that can emerge from a sketch of a mouse's head scarcely a half-inch high....[Spiegelman] promises us a sequel and I, for one, can't wait. I hope he is scurrying. The most affecting and successful narrative ever done about the Holocaust." Robert Grossman, The Nation
"Maus is a book that cannot be put down, truly, even to sleep. When two of the mice speak of love, you are moved, when they suffer, you weep. Slowly through this little tale comprised of suffering, humor and life's daily trials, you are captivated by the language of an old Eastern European family, and drawn into the gentle and mesmerizing rhythm, and when you finish Maus, you are unhappy to have left that magical world." Umberto Eco
"All too infrequently, a book comes along that's as daring as it is acclaimed Art Spiegelman Maus is just such book." Esquire
"The most affecting and successful narrative ever done about the Holocaust." Wall Street Journal
"Making a Holocaust comic book with Jews as mice and Germans as cats would probably strike most people as flippant, if not appalling. [This book] is the opposite of flippant and appalling. To express yourself as an artist, you must find a form that leaves you in control but doesn't leave you by yourself. That's how Maus looks to me a way Mr. Spiegelman found of making art." William Hamilton, Books of the Century, The New York Times Book Review
"Spiegelman is not your usual comic book artist. Anyone who can produce a cartoon on the subject of his own mother's suicide is clearly bent on destroying all notions of what 'comics' should or should not be." The Nation
"This is a complex book. It relates events which young adults, as the future architects of society, must confront, and their interest is sure to be caught by the skillful graphics and suspenseful unfolding of the story." School Library Journal
Volumes I & II in paperback of this 1992 Pulitzer Prize-winning illustrated narrative of Holocaust survival.
About the Author
Art Spiegelman is co-founder/editor of Raw, the acclaimed magazine of avant-garde comics and graphics. His work has been published in the New York Times, Playboy, the Village Voice, and many other periodicals, and his drawings have been exhibited in museums and galleries here and abroad. Honors he has received for Maus include a Guggenheim fellowship, and nomination for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Mr. Spiegelman lives in New York City with his wife, Francoise Mouly, and their daughter, Nadja.