Combined for the first time here are Maus I: A Survivor's Tale and Maus II - the complete story of Vladek Spiegelman and his wife, living and surviving in Hitler's Europe. By addressing the horror of the Holocaust through cartoons, the author captures the everyday reality of fear and is able to explore the guilt, relief and extraordinary sensation of survival - and how the children of survivors are in their own way affected by the trials of their parents. A contemporary classic of immeasurable significance.
It could be really easy to write a review for this. Only a few words would be needed. Namely :- BUY NOW. BEST.BOOK.EVER. Job done.
But you know me and my wafflesome ways. So here is why the above statement is true.
I have not read many, in fact scrap that, any graphic novels before. It is not that I am not a fan - I have just never really thought about it. Until a good friend of mine thrust this book into my hands and comanded me to read.
I adore the way this book is brought to life by the illustrations. In a world where Jews are Mice and Nazi's are Cat's I do not think it would translate without the drawings. Each page in all it's minute detail absorbed me. It was like watching a movie and pausing it after every line to examine the background. From the expressions on the characters faces, to a piece of bread, to the stars - each have their place in making the narrative speak.
Telling the survial story of the author's father, the book focuses not only on Vladek Spiegelman and his wife, but also Art Spiegelman's upbringing and the way his fathers experiences affected their relationship long after the war was over. It flicks between present day (1960's onwards) and the 30's and 40's as Vladek shares his memories.
It is engaging. It is enraging. It is heartfelt. It is not to be missed.
A 10/10. Go. Buy. Read.
(if you do.. and I hope you do.. be sure to get the "complete" book)