Monday, December 6, 2010

Maus by Art Spiegelman

This book is a graphic novel about the Holocaust, and I gave it a rating of five out of five. I don't typically like graphic novels, but this one was very interesting. The plot centers on the author's retelling of his father's experiences during World War II. The father is a crotchety old Jewish man with vivid memories of his struggles to stay free of the Nazis. He is enlisted into the army and ends up being captured by the Germans. Much of his personal conflict is created by others trying to survive the Holocaust themselves. "Friends" become informants and safe havens become death traps as other Jews make deals with the enemy in order to stay alive. I never knew if the father's family was actually safe or if the Nazis were waiting outside to arrest them. They were captured several times and narrowly missed being sent to Auschwitz, the prison where millions of Jews were slaughtered.

The novel is very graphic, and not just due to the pictures. The subject of the Holocaust is treated head-on, and the actions of the Germans are described without trying to decrease the horror of the killings and violence. There is some mild profanity. The pictures are interesting partners to the plot, as the Jews are depicted as mice and the Germans are cats. The mice wear masks to reflect when they are secretly walking the streets, afraid to be recognized as Jews. I learned some new things about the Holocaust, and this book reinforced the tragedy of this event in our world's history.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Mark,
    I just came across your blog thanks to Ms. Yingling. I enjoyed looking through your reviews. This one about MAUS is fascinating. I'm going to have to pick up a copy.



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