Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Complete Maus

More than once while I was reading this graphic novel, I stopped and thought "wow." Maus is the story of Art Spiegelman's father, Vladek's experiences as a Jew during World War II. It follows him as a wealthy businessman at the beginning of the war, the loss of his property, hiding out, becoming a prisoner in Auschwitz and other concentration camps. As the younger Spiegelman tells the story of his father's experiences, he also weaves in the tale of his and his father's relationship and how the war affected them. It shows little nuances his father developed as a result of his time as a prisoner and how the son became a survivor of the war through his father's experiences. To some point, it also asks whether the survivors of the concentration camps were the winners and the victims losers or was it the other way around?

Art Spiegelman's book should be required reading in school. I felt more emotion in this graphic novel than I ever felt while reading Anne Frank. And in the end, the only word I could come up to describe this book was "wow." 


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