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Why read it?
4 authors picked Maus I as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
This extraordinary graphic novel was recommended to me by my teacher training tutor years ago and I’ve never quite got over it. It’s a work of genius, that approaches the horrific subject of the Holocaust via the narrator’s father, rendering the Jewish people as mice and the Nazis as cats. It’s incredibly powerful and yet so easy to read, deceptively so. When I came to write my own novel about the Warsaw Ghetto and forest partisans of World War Two Poland the education that Maus gave me was never far from the forefront of my mind. A brilliant lesson in…
Variations of the Holocaust story have been told countless times, but Spiegelman’s tale about how his father survived the Nazi terror is as fresh and important as any. I especially love how he captures his father's Polish-English accent. With the mangling of syntax is born a new kind of poetry. This is widely—and justifiably—regarded as one of the greatest graphic novels ever written.
I don’t usually read graphic novels, but this I highly recommend. It’s a masterpiece of visual storytelling. Set in 1970’s New York, it shows Spiegelman interviewing his Polish-born father about his life and experiences during the rise to power of the Nazis and during the war years. The artist has used animals to represent nations: the Germans as cats, Jews as mice, Poles as pigs, Americans as dogs, etc. It is not an easy read, vividly depicting the cruelty suffered during the Nazi period but also, equally importantly, though very much less explored in literature, how much those who suffered…
Maus is about the Holocaust. It’s also a comic book, in which the various characters are depicted as animals – the Jews as mice, the Nazis as cats, etc... The presentation of the Holocaust in comic form was startling then—and still is, despite the flourishing of the graphic novel form. But on top of the innovative form, Spiegelman breaks another taboo in moving back and forth between the story of his father, who was a Holocaust survivor, and his current relationship with him, which is full of resentment and complaints. The notion that an author writing about a Holocaust survivor…
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