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Book Review #65: The Complete Maus, Graphic Novel #1



Publisher: Penguin UK

Pages: 296

Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History.

Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began.

One word review: Residual!

Goodreads: 4.57 [Subjected to change]

Did you know?

Art Spiegelman is a contributing editor and artist for the New Yorker, and co-founder/editor of Raw, the acclaimed magazine of avant-grade comics and graphics.

The first ever graphic novel book that I picked to read in my whole life blissfully turns out to be The Complete Maus. Graphic novels are amazing to read with the sketches providing take off line for your flight of imagination unlike print novels where you have to construct every inch of your imagination. Coming back to my view on this graphic novel.

Poignant Lines From Book

So, finish at least what's on your plate.

We truly are living in better times. The Maus must definitely be one of the most emotional stories of all times. And the most poignant graphic novels ever, claiming this having read only The Maus. I can’t imagine how I could have imbibed this story with a print novel. The decision to narrate a true inspiring story in a world of black and white sketches turns out to be the masterstroke from the author. The last page of the novel brought me to tears and left me sobbing for a while.

The Maus is a war-time story, told in two parts, about a traumatized father, a polish jew and a survivor of World War Two, to his loving son, an American comic artist. But the method of narration is what keeps you enchanted right till the very end. From making us read a comic story within a graphic novel, a story within a story, to evident symbolism of rats and cats denoting the horrifying epoch of Adolf Hitler's Germany dominating Europe in World War Two, this novel stands eminent and a realistic portrayal among all war-time stories.

They took us our papers, our clothes and our hair. We were cold, and we were afraid

When I was reading this novel, it was simply breathtaking. I felt like I transfused my soul and body into the book, the despairing world and sat along with characters and vanished amidst them. It was so difficult to put the book down and time box my reading habits. Mind you, this is a story of great suffering and depression, the worst possible ordeal one can go through being a human and the sketches may not even convey one-percent of the actuality of circumstances in those times. So, it's not an entertaining story.

Furthermore, along with the narrative of the father's suffering, we also watch the confounding endeavor of his son. The son desires to publish the story of his father's agonizing hardship in a comic book but he is unable to truly perceive his father's suffering. The excruciations from the concentration camps has shook the father to such an extent that he hasn't lived up to be a loving dad for his son. The feelings toward father are mixed; love, respect, and hatred. But he persists in getting the story out of his father and achieving his dream.

How amazing it is that a human being reacts the same like this neighbors dog.

The second part of the story reveals more about the waning relationship between the son and father but at the same time continuing to recollect the horrible memories of the father outliving the concentration camp. All we could see is an aging father craving for his son's love while the son is obligated to put up with his father's fastidiousness, thanks to the horrible war. In the end, the father's story is indeed told magnificently and we are reading that story in this graphic novel form.

And we came here to the concentration camp Auschwitz. And we know that from here we will not come out anymore.

Well, if you are able to breathe even a tinge of freedom air, then be glad that you could. A must read book for all.

Verdict: You do not want to miss out on one of the greatest stories ever told, in pictures!

Stay Tuned for the Video Review of this Book in MWM YouTube TV.


Checkout my The Complete Maus Paperback in this YouTube Shorts

MaddiE's Note:

  • If you find any mistakes or need for improvements please comment or reach out to me.


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