Graphic Novels / Comic Books

The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman

Vladek Spiegelman and his family must survive the horrors of Hitler’s Europe.

The story is told in the form of cartoons, with the Jews being represented by mice and the Nazis being cats. The story is nonetheless very well put across, because it goes to represent the depths of degradation in which the Jews endured.

The book itself is an emotional roller coaster which I was not expecting. Of course, any book which deals with the Jews and Nazis is always going to be a roller-coaster, but in a way this took it to a whole new level.

The story within the book itself is not all that it appears, and the story of the relationship between Art and his father is masterfully told despite the times when they clashed. It also talks about Vladek’s experiences during World War II in concentration camps. Art even includes an image of his father in the concentration camp uniform. Then, he becomes more than the cartoon on the page. He becomes more real.

I have recently been overcoming my aversion to comic books and this was such an engaging read. While I didn’t cry after reading it, I felt as if my heart had been wrung out. The art style is stark at times and this emphasizes the true horror of the Holocaust as represented within the book.

MY RATING: **** / *****

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