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Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began (Maus #2)

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Acclaimed as a quiet triumph and a brutally moving work of art, the first volume of Art Spieglman's Maus introduced readers to Vladek Spiegleman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist trying to come to terms with his father, his father's terrifying story, and History itself. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), succeeds perfe Acclaimed as a quiet triumph and a brutally moving work of art, the first volume of Art Spieglman's Maus introduced readers to Vladek Spiegleman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist trying to come to terms with his father, his father's terrifying story, and History itself. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), succeeds perfectly in shocking us out of any lingering sense of familiararity with the events described, approaching, as it does, the unspeakable through the diminutive. This second volume, subtitled And Here My Troubles Began, moves us from the barracks of Auschwitz to the bungalows of the Catskills. Genuinely tragic and comic by turns, it attains a complexity of theme and a precision of thought new to comics and rare in any medium. Maus ties together two powerful stories: Vladek's harrowing tale of survival against all odds, delineating the paradox of daily life in the death camps, and the author's account of his tortured relationship with his aging father. At every level this is the ultimate survivor's tale - and that too of the children who somehow survive even the survivors.


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Acclaimed as a quiet triumph and a brutally moving work of art, the first volume of Art Spieglman's Maus introduced readers to Vladek Spiegleman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist trying to come to terms with his father, his father's terrifying story, and History itself. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), succeeds perfe Acclaimed as a quiet triumph and a brutally moving work of art, the first volume of Art Spieglman's Maus introduced readers to Vladek Spiegleman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist trying to come to terms with his father, his father's terrifying story, and History itself. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), succeeds perfectly in shocking us out of any lingering sense of familiararity with the events described, approaching, as it does, the unspeakable through the diminutive. This second volume, subtitled And Here My Troubles Began, moves us from the barracks of Auschwitz to the bungalows of the Catskills. Genuinely tragic and comic by turns, it attains a complexity of theme and a precision of thought new to comics and rare in any medium. Maus ties together two powerful stories: Vladek's harrowing tale of survival against all odds, delineating the paradox of daily life in the death camps, and the author's account of his tortured relationship with his aging father. At every level this is the ultimate survivor's tale - and that too of the children who somehow survive even the survivors.

30 review for Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began (Maus #2)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carol (Bookaria)

    This second volume continues the powerful story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust. I haven't been able to stop thinking about the author and his dad's story. It is horrific but at the same time it carries a message of hope and survival.  In this volume we find Vladek in Auschwitz and his experiences there are described in detail, however, amidst the atrocities the author is able to interject some humour here and there. The author also explores deeper his relationship with hi This second volume continues the powerful story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust. I haven't been able to stop thinking about the author and his dad's story. It is horrific but at the same time it carries a message of hope and survival.  In this volume we find Vladek in Auschwitz and his experiences there are described in detail, however, amidst the atrocities the author is able to interject some humour here and there. The author also explores deeper his relationship with his aging father. This novel is absolutely extraordinary, insightful and heartbreaking, I will never forget it and highly recommend it to all.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nat

    Since I'd read Maus I about a year ago and Nadja Spiegelman's enticing memoir in the summertime, I was beyond ecstatic to find this second volume on the shelves of my local library. And since it's been quite a while, I was grateful that this volume had a quick recap at the start of what occurred before: Art Spiegelman, a cartoonist born after WW II, is working on a book about what happened to his parents as Jews in wartime Poland. He has made a series of visits to his childhood home in Rego Park, Since I'd read Maus I about a year ago and Nadja Spiegelman's enticing memoir in the summertime, I was beyond ecstatic to find this second volume on the shelves of my local library. And since it's been quite a while, I was grateful that this volume had a quick recap at the start of what occurred before: Art Spiegelman, a cartoonist born after WW II, is working on a book about what happened to his parents as Jews in wartime Poland. He has made a series of visits to his childhood home in Rego Park, N.Y., to record his father's memories. Art's mother, Anja, committed suicide in 1968. Art becomes furious when he learns that his gather, Vladek, has burned Anja's wartime memoirs. Vladek is remarried to Mala, another survivor. She complains often of his stinginess and lack of concern for her. Vladek, a diabetic who has suffered two heart attacks, is in poor health. In Poland, Vladek had been a small-time textile salesman. In 1937 he married Anja Zylberberg, the youngest daughter of a wealthy Sosnowiec hosiery family. They had a son, Richieu, who died during the war. Forced first into ghettos, then into hiding, Vladek and Anja tried to escape to Hungary with their prewar acquaintances, the Mandelbaums, whose nephew, Abraham, had attested in a letter that the escape rout was safe. They were caught and, in March, 1944, they were brought to the gates of Auschwitz. Once again this graphic novel left me at a loss for words, so I think it's for the best if I'll just share those scenes that evoked certain strong emotions in me: It was fascinating getting to see Françoise depicted through the eyes of her husband, instead of her daughter's (as in I’m Supposed to Protect You from All This). But that's also what bothered me in here: I didn't like the way she was portrayed. I kept feeling like Françoise was inserting herself in the wrong conversation. Like, this wasn't a conversation for her to participate in. I mean, that comment didn't sit well with me at all. And this just... really?? So I was more than willing to let the focus shift from the present day. Until I realized just how utterly heart-wrecking Vladek's past is. The scenes at the camp were one of the most hard-hitting. It's sad, but the above three images gave me a glimmer of hope in this world full of cruel and inhuman suffering (that is to say: before I'd read the last panel, but still). This graphic novel also educated me a lot, which I wasn't expecting. I thought I'd heard it all - or at least most - of what there was to know about Auschwitz, but my history lessons weren't even close. The horrors Vladek and Anja and many others had to go through were jarring. The amount of suffering... My heart aches. My mouth is still wide open at that. THREE OR FOUR WEEKS. All in all: I came in unprepared with Maus II. The amount of suffering and anguish and heartbreak left me emotionally spent. (I'll no doubt end up thinking about them for a while to come.) And it goes without saying that this remains one of the most poignant and harrowing graphic novels I've read to date. 4.5/5 stars Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying Maus II, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission! Support creators you love. Buy a Coffee for nat (bookspoils) with Ko-fi.com/bookspoils

  3. 4 out of 5

    Maxwell

    Fantastic conclusion. I think I enjoyed this one even more than the first. The two stories of Vladek in the past and Vladek in the present really explore interesting topics of generational gaps as well as national differences. Art's American sensibility versus his father's stinginess--a result of his wartime survival--is extremely understandable and well explored in this volume. It's a harrowing story but so uniquely told and such a wonderful insight into one man's Holocaust survival, I would hi Fantastic conclusion. I think I enjoyed this one even more than the first. The two stories of Vladek in the past and Vladek in the present really explore interesting topics of generational gaps as well as national differences. Art's American sensibility versus his father's stinginess--a result of his wartime survival--is extremely understandable and well explored in this volume. It's a harrowing story but so uniquely told and such a wonderful insight into one man's Holocaust survival, I would highly recommend it. 4.5 stars

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    This was even more devastating than Maus I. Vladek Spiegelman's story is continued here. In Maus I, we left Vladek and his wife Anja at the gates of Auschwitz. In this volume, we are treated to an insider's view of daily life at a Nazi concentration camp. As with Maus I, the fact that it is written in comic-book format does nothing to soften the impact - if anything, it heightens it. In the camp, the inmates are subjected to a slow, drawn-out death sentence as the guards play with them like... wel This was even more devastating than Maus I. Vladek Spiegelman's story is continued here. In Maus I, we left Vladek and his wife Anja at the gates of Auschwitz. In this volume, we are treated to an insider's view of daily life at a Nazi concentration camp. As with Maus I, the fact that it is written in comic-book format does nothing to soften the impact - if anything, it heightens it. In the camp, the inmates are subjected to a slow, drawn-out death sentence as the guards play with them like... well, cats with mice. There is no humanity here, it's every man for himself, and the toughest shall only survive. And Vladek happens to be one smart, tough mouse. The troubled relationship between Art and Vladek is analysed in detail: and we get a glimpse of how Vladek changed into the self-centred, obsessive-compulsive miser that he has become. Did he survive because these traits were inbuilt, or did the camp life make him what he is? Tantalising question. For me, the most impressive part of the book was the second one, where Art tries to come to terms with his father's death as well as the ethics of making a book out of his life. Here, all the characters are shown as wearing animal masks, rather than as animals themselves - they have become more humanised and homogeneous, but the masks of race and nationality are not fully discarded. As Art is interviewed by journalists from various countries, the panels depict, at the bottom, heaps of dead mice piled one on top of the other, their faces twisted in agony - this is superb use of the medium, not possible in a conventional narrative. Art regresses to a child, crying out for his dead mother, as the paparazzi bully him - a sequence both terrifying and comic. A terrific read. BTW, a bigger review is up on my blog.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Sagan

    Such a powerful book!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    When I was a boy living in Germany, my parents and I visited Dachau concentration camp. It was horrible. We saw the ovens, the gas chambers, the graveyards. The visit drove home to me the magnitude of the horror that had been perpetrated there, and the madness of the people who had orchestrated it. Maus II is mostly concerned with Vladek's time in Auschwitz. It reminded me of all things I had seen when I was a boy, but it also added a new perspective. This graphic novel really drove home to me wha When I was a boy living in Germany, my parents and I visited Dachau concentration camp. It was horrible. We saw the ovens, the gas chambers, the graveyards. The visit drove home to me the magnitude of the horror that had been perpetrated there, and the madness of the people who had orchestrated it. Maus II is mostly concerned with Vladek's time in Auschwitz. It reminded me of all things I had seen when I was a boy, but it also added a new perspective. This graphic novel really drove home to me what the inmates of the camps had to do to survive. I think that one of the biggest crimes committed by the Nazis was the way they caused their prisoners to turn their backs on one another, just to survive. That stripping of humanity gets lost sometimes beside the greater horror of the scale of death and destruction they left in their wake. Maus II also deals more intimately with Art's relationship with his father. We get a greater insight into the causes of the tension between them. We also get to see more of how his father's life and damage affected Art through his adult life, even beyond his father's death.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Arnie

    When I was a kid I read comic books (mostly Superman). The Maus books are the only graphic novels I've read and I consider them masterpieces (Mausterpieces?). Like Spiegelman's alter ego, I was a middle class child growing up in Queens (NYC), the son of Holocaust survivors and couldn't communicate with my father when I was growing up. He got it down perfectly. It was spot on and ranks among the best of Holocaust related literature.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    I flew directly into this book after finishing Maus 1 because how could I not? I needed to know the rest of Vladek's story from the time he and his wife entered Auschwitz. I also needed to hear the rest of the story between him and his son, Art, with whom he had a stormy relationship. And so, as I turned the first page of this book, I braced myself for what was to come, knowing it would be bad, though I was still unprepared for what amounted to diving into an open wound. Reading this book left m I flew directly into this book after finishing Maus 1 because how could I not? I needed to know the rest of Vladek's story from the time he and his wife entered Auschwitz. I also needed to hear the rest of the story between him and his son, Art, with whom he had a stormy relationship. And so, as I turned the first page of this book, I braced myself for what was to come, knowing it would be bad, though I was still unprepared for what amounted to diving into an open wound. Reading this book left me utterly exhausted and completely sad, not only for Vladek Spiegelman, but for millions of others whose stories would never be told. And it left me aching for Art and his father who only seemed to connect on the surface during the time Vladek recited his story at his son's prodding. The telling didn't seem cathartic nor healing where that open wound was concerned, and perhaps might even have made it worse for a while. As with the first book in this two volume series, book two has scenes with Art and Vladek in the present intercut with those in the past during the Holocaust. Book one ended during a highly volatile scene which set the course for this book, beginning with Art reflecting on his ability to write volume two and undecided as to whether or not it should even be written. Thankfully, he did manage to get past his doubts and misgivings, bringing forth the remainder of his father's story and a good portion of his own. Expect to be amazed at the combination of luck, determination, and ingenuity that allowed Vladek and his wife to survive the Holocaust. Though as Art discussed with his therapist in the story at one point, it was no less admirable or no less heroic not to have survived in the case of others who didn't. And in a way, this book is more for them, for those voices ever silenced.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    It’s always nice when you completely understand why something has achieved its status. A book of humor, horror, and above all, complexity. Spiegelman tells his father’s story as faithfully as he can, while remaining aware that he can’t tell that story faithfully at all – it’ll always be clouded by the way he views his father. I’ve read plenty of books about the Holocaust – academic volumes, memoir, fiction – but this is the best at capturing just how random survival was, and how “survivor” both It’s always nice when you completely understand why something has achieved its status. A book of humor, horror, and above all, complexity. Spiegelman tells his father’s story as faithfully as he can, while remaining aware that he can’t tell that story faithfully at all – it’ll always be clouded by the way he views his father. I’ve read plenty of books about the Holocaust – academic volumes, memoir, fiction – but this is the best at capturing just how random survival was, and how “survivor” both is and isn’t the defining trait of the flawed, irritating, endearing humans who survived the Nazi extermination.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    I think the rating I gave this novel was too low. I wish I could give this book as many stars as possible. This book, and the book that came before it are so important. They let us know about the struggles that the author's own father faced during the Holocaust. We even got to how the father acted when Spiegelman asked his father questions to get information. This story is such a different way of compiling the hardships of the author's father that it made it so much more compelling. I would reco I think the rating I gave this novel was too low. I wish I could give this book as many stars as possible. This book, and the book that came before it are so important. They let us know about the struggles that the author's own father faced during the Holocaust. We even got to how the father acted when Spiegelman asked his father questions to get information. This story is such a different way of compiling the hardships of the author's father that it made it so much more compelling. I would recommend this graphic novel to everyone and everyone.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Pramod Nair

    "I can't even make sense out of my relationship with my father--how am I supposed to make sense out of the Holocaust?" - Art Spiegelman ‘Maus, II: And Here My Troubles Began’ continues with the painful story of ‘Vladek Spiegelman’ from where ‘Maus I’ left off but in a more intense manner. ‘Maus, II: And Here My Troubles Began’ is the completion of a masterpiece by Art Spiegelman. The book delves further deep into the everlasting struggle that his family had to go through even after his parents su "I can't even make sense out of my relationship with my father--how am I supposed to make sense out of the Holocaust?" - Art Spiegelman ‘Maus, II: And Here My Troubles Began’ continues with the painful story of ‘Vladek Spiegelman’ from where ‘Maus I’ left off but in a more intense manner. ‘Maus, II: And Here My Troubles Began’ is the completion of a masterpiece by Art Spiegelman. The book delves further deep into the everlasting struggle that his family had to go through even after his parents surviving the Nazi death camps and the lingering effects of the holocaust on his family, which makes the private pains of the author more raw and shocking to the reader. ‘Maus, II’ chronicles the life of ‘Vladek Spiegelman’ and his wife starting from the days of their imprisonment in Auschwitz. The way in which the author is concentrating his narratives on to the sheer tenacity shown by ‘Vladek’ for surviving each horror that he and his wife face inside the walls of Auschwitz is brilliant. Instead of going much into the greater portrayals of the slaughters and atrocities of the death camp this approach of highlighting the individual perseverance of ‘Vladek Spiegelman’ as a survivalist makes ‘Maus II’ a great attempt by the author in his quest for understanding his father and his past. This approach makes it more personal and more enjoyable to the reader. This also shows how the character of ‘Vladek’ was influenced in his life following the ‘survival’ after witnessing so much death of loved ones and experiencing humiliation, physical and mental strain, starvation and trauma. ‘Maus II’ also goes to greater depths in portraying Art’s troubled relationship with his father and his difficulty in understanding what his parents really went through before his birth. Some of the imagery in the cartoon panels – like those where the mice portrayed with open mouths as if they are silently screaming - can literally haunt the reader for days. If this story was told in a conventional narrative format it still would have been painful; but it wouldn’t have conveyed the plain naked monstrosity of what ‘Vladek Spiegelman’ had to go through during the war and for the rest of his life to the reader in the way it does with these powerful cartoon panels. Note: I cannot as a casual reviewer do full justice to what this book will be for a reader just through my words. It is something that is to be experienced by yourself; only one thing is certain, if you get connected to this book as a reader it will take some time to recover from its influence.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    There are so many layers to this story! Is it reality? It it only our perception of Art’s reality? Is it biographical? Autobiographical? Fictional? Historical? Fact? A representation of fact? I don’t know. I don’t care. I love it anyway, no because, of its intangibility and abstract nature. It touches my heart and makes me feel an emotional attachment to the horrifying story and to the factual history behind it, regardless of its classification. There are many subtle clues towards Art’s intentio There are so many layers to this story! Is it reality? It it only our perception of Art’s reality? Is it biographical? Autobiographical? Fictional? Historical? Fact? A representation of fact? I don’t know. I don’t care. I love it anyway, no because, of its intangibility and abstract nature. It touches my heart and makes me feel an emotional attachment to the horrifying story and to the factual history behind it, regardless of its classification. There are many subtle clues towards Art’s intentions with his writing, and his state of mind at certain times. These can be identified in examples such as the change in the ‘masks’ the individuals wore. Discovering these hidden clues and reading between the lines made me feel like I was getting to know and understand Spiegelman more, and feel more of an affinity with his story. His father’s story had already touched my heart but this second volume provided more of an insight into the author and the artist, and a deeper look into how the past has altered and affected the present. Art, in the novel, is not concerned with his father’s present sufferings as they seem small compared to those of his father’s youth - his incarceration in Auschwitz. I think it is for the reader to see how they are connected; how all of life is connected. Art, with his privileged life, could not understand his father as they have none of the same experiences. None from this generation can understand, no matter how many sad stories we read. It is only with stories like this, that link the past and the present, that we see the generational gap in play and can attempt to rectify it. His father’s stinginess and his son’s wastefulness are just one small sign of how their upbringing has effected them. It is one small signifier of their difference. Art, in the novels’ present, cannot see it. It is for us, the readers, to notice it and attempt to make the changes in our life that he could not. This is a story of the horrors of war, but also of the horrors taken from war. It is the story of how grief and loss and mistreatment on such a grand scale can alter a whole person, their personality and their outlook on life. It shows us that although we may read and learn and empathize and believe we understand we can never, thankfully, fully know and relive the horrors of that dark time in human history.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elyse

    Vol 2.... Pulitzer prize winning book. Art Spieglman takes us deep inside in concentration camps....and really shows us how life was day to day. This book is so hard to put down once you begin... It's so frickin sad --- ( we take the in horrors on probably the deepest of deepest levels, from a book about the Holocaust) The graphic depictions are the most brilliant creation of all ... everything about these illustrations works ---( their artistic design and purpose are flawless).

  14. 5 out of 5

    Krista Wright

    I didn't like this quite as much as the first volume, but it is still amazing and sad.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kelli

    I am struggling to write a cohesive review for the second book and final chapter to this saga. The brilliance continues while the story becomes even more difficult to read. It is tough to describe. This heartbreakingly challenging father-son relationship becomes more the focal point of this book and it is masterfully drawn and examined in every frame. Laid out on these pages is the guilt felt by a son who does not understand his father, but who knows his father has endured and survived the unima I am struggling to write a cohesive review for the second book and final chapter to this saga. The brilliance continues while the story becomes even more difficult to read. It is tough to describe. This heartbreakingly challenging father-son relationship becomes more the focal point of this book and it is masterfully drawn and examined in every frame. Laid out on these pages is the guilt felt by a son who does not understand his father, but who knows his father has endured and survived the unimaginable. A continuation of the author's loving tribute to his difficult father, this one killed me on the first (dedication) and last pages. There is a spotlight here on not only the horror of the Holocaust but also the far-reaching (and endless) consequences/effects/struggles/challenges for the survivors and for their families. It must have been tremendously painful and confusing to grow up in the shadow of this atrocity. I applaud Art Spiegelman for using art to explore his life. It was an honor to share in this haunting exploration. I sincerely hope it helped him come to terms with what I assume was a lifetime of sadness and longing. May he find peace and happiness, perhaps through the acceptance of what he cannot change. 5 stars.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Calista

    The conclusion to the powerful story of Maus. A son is collecting his father's horror stories from the Holocaust. Told as mice vs cats. I still can't imagine what these people went through. The art tells the story, it's grim art for a grim story. This also shows how difficult it is to come out of a survival mode mentality. Vladik is still a surviver. I hope the world never sees anything like this again. This is a classic book and yes, it deserves to be on the top of the Best of Graphic Novel lists The conclusion to the powerful story of Maus. A son is collecting his father's horror stories from the Holocaust. Told as mice vs cats. I still can't imagine what these people went through. The art tells the story, it's grim art for a grim story. This also shows how difficult it is to come out of a survival mode mentality. Vladik is still a surviver. I hope the world never sees anything like this again. This is a classic book and yes, it deserves to be on the top of the Best of Graphic Novel lists. Powerful.

  17. 5 out of 5

    booklady

    This second Maus book finishes up the story of Vladek and Anja Spiegelman's experiences in Auschwitz and Birkenau at the end of WWII. 'Maus' is the German word for 'mouse' and Art Spiegelman – the son and author – chose to portray the Jewish people in his cartoon as mice because of a disparaging German newspaper article in the mid-1930s which belittled Mickey Mouse as the most miserable ideal ever revealed and upheld the Swastika Cross as the highest. His Nazis are therefore cats. Interestingly, This second Maus book finishes up the story of Vladek and Anja Spiegelman's experiences in Auschwitz and Birkenau at the end of WWII. 'Maus' is the German word for 'mouse' and Art Spiegelman – the son and author – chose to portray the Jewish people in his cartoon as mice because of a disparaging German newspaper article in the mid-1930s which belittled Mickey Mouse as the most miserable ideal ever revealed and upheld the Swastika Cross as the highest. His Nazis are therefore cats. Interestingly, he will sometimes portray his characters as wearing masks of some sort—most likely to convey they are in reality one identity, but are hiding behind another. It's not an easy book to read, but then it isn't supposed to be. However, I found one scene of particular interest. Vladek recounts a conversation he had with a priest who studied the prisoner number tattooed on his arm, explaining the Jewish meaning of each of the numbers. This brief but meaningful encounter stayed with him not only throughout the remainder of his imprisonment, but for the rest of his life. He remembered how the priest's words gave him hope at one of the darkest moments of his life. The whole story reminded me of the book, Andersonville, an atrocious book in many respects—all about the outrageous conditions of the Southern P.O.W. camp located in GA during our nation's Civil War. And yet also in that hell-hole there were a few priests who voluntarily risked life and health to enter the prison in order to minister Last Rites to dying men. One in particular, Fr. Peter Whelan is mentioned in several subsequent soldier diaries, by Catholics and Protestants alike. In the most seemingly God-forsaken places, He is. When I read stories like that, I know what a difference small (and not-so-small) kindnesses can make. May He give me the courage to do the same if I am ever given the opportunity.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Madeline

    this was interesting to me because it wasn't just the story of a man who survived auschwitz. it was the story of son ("artie") telling the story based on a retelling from his father's memory, which does not always seem to serve correctly. it is subtitled "a survivor's tale" but this brings to mind the problem of who is the survivor? is it that the father is a survivor of auschwitz? or is it that the son is a survivor of his father? in the end the subtitle seems purely ironic because no one seems this was interesting to me because it wasn't just the story of a man who survived auschwitz. it was the story of son ("artie") telling the story based on a retelling from his father's memory, which does not always seem to serve correctly. it is subtitled "a survivor's tale" but this brings to mind the problem of who is the survivor? is it that the father is a survivor of auschwitz? or is it that the son is a survivor of his father? in the end the subtitle seems purely ironic because no one seems to have completely survived. the father is hopelessly scarred with sadness and mistrust, while the son is scarred with the guilt of not having been in auschwitz. the guilt of having too easy of a life. artie's mother, also an auchwitz survivor, has killed herself at this point from either guilt or sadness, or both. the pictures use the nazis' own metaphor, turning the jews into mice (and the nazis into cats). but it is a forced metaphor because the mice drive human cars, live in human houses and have human bodies. at certain points their mice faces are revealed to be masks, tied around their heads. the back cover of the book is very telling to the overall themes. it features a map of auschwitz, with jagged black smoke coming out of the crematorium, angled to remind one of a swastika as well as artie's own cigarette smoke. overlapping this map is a map of the state of new york, where artie and his father live (or rather lived in the more recent past. his father has actually died after the 13 years it took art to complete the maus series). intersecting both maps is the image of a mouse in an auschwitz prisoner's uniform, which, together with the ominously bold label of the "catskills mountains" on the map of new york, suggests that both locations represent an inescapable prison. the stripes on the mouse's uniform also run, almost without interruption, into the bar code of the book suggesting spiegelman's concerns about selling out by the publication of the book. there is this level of meta fiction, of self-doubt, of questioning who has the right to tell this story and what story should be told, throughout the whole book, making it more complex than most holocaust stories.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hailey (HaileyinBookland)

    *Reread March 2015 for school I cannot get over how powerful these book are. I'll be doing a video review soon so stay tuned for that.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Yep. There's a reason this won a Pulitzer Prize.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tori (InToriLex)

    Find this and other Reviews at In Tori Lex In this volume the author balances detailing the relationship that he has with his father, with describing the atrocities that his father lived through. He notes that he's not sure Vladek did survive Auschwitz, not in a way that's important. The fourth wall is also broken, and we learn how much the author struggled to tell this story, and how uncertain he was that he would be able to do it justice. It's clear from the notoriety that this volume gained, Find this and other Reviews at In Tori Lex In this volume the author balances detailing the relationship that he has with his father, with describing the atrocities that his father lived through. He notes that he's not sure Vladek did survive Auschwitz, not in a way that's important. The fourth wall is also broken, and we learn how much the author struggled to tell this story, and how uncertain he was that he would be able to do it justice. It's clear from the notoriety that this volume gained, he told this story in a way that people could relate to and welcome it. It's hard to deal with an aging parent who is set in their own ways of doing things, but love carried him through it. The atrocities of the Holocaust were presented without flowery prose, but with brutal honesty. The result was a unforgettable account of Vladek's  determination to survive, and help others at all costs. The memories that he carried, were so unbearable, at times he tried to forget them all. But it's important to remember, to honor those who were lost to unimaginable hate. This volume included the stories of people who were not as lucky as Vladek.  People who faced impossible choices, between surviving to die later, or making a mistake and dying now. I would recommend this comic to everyone, because it conveys an honest account of the holocaust in a different medium.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Well once you start this book you cannot stop or at least those are my sentiments. The book really carries on where the first left off -at the gates of Auschwitz - (no wonder now they are collected in a single volume) and as harrowing as the first volume was this is even more so - really the two books should be reviewed together to preserve the passion and horror of the story. This is not a book to be taken lightly which considering it is really little more than a comic speaks greatly of the pow Well once you start this book you cannot stop or at least those are my sentiments. The book really carries on where the first left off -at the gates of Auschwitz - (no wonder now they are collected in a single volume) and as harrowing as the first volume was this is even more so - really the two books should be reviewed together to preserve the passion and horror of the story. This is not a book to be taken lightly which considering it is really little more than a comic speaks greatly of the power the story and the story teller. For me the book really sheds light on what actually camp life was like - I know what the history books told me but more often than not they leave out personal details, I guess in an attempt to keep things factual and unbiased they leave out the human elements which this book really concentrate on entirely - I wonder if the use of animals as characters actually help with this. By making the protagonists slightly fantastical you are made to concentrate more on the story than on bonding with the storytellers for example. Either way the book truly does deserve the praise and recognition it has and where possible new readers should be encouraged to travel in the footsteps of Art Spiegelman and his father.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Felisberto

    Indiferente ninguém pode ficar! Conforme aconteceu com o 1º volume, depois de lido este 2º, fico com a sensação de que a História vivida e a criatividade jogam um com o outro de forma magistral na elaboração deste livro. Neste 2º volume, sempre lido de dentro para fora, com uma intimidade absorvente, é continuado o relato trágico da perseguição Nazi aos judeus, indo, agora, mais além na sua barbárie e complexidade literária. Tal como no volume I, os detalhes históricos e autobiográficos continuam Indiferente ninguém pode ficar! Conforme aconteceu com o 1º volume, depois de lido este 2º, fico com a sensação de que a História vivida e a criatividade jogam um com o outro de forma magistral na elaboração deste livro. Neste 2º volume, sempre lido de dentro para fora, com uma intimidade absorvente, é continuado o relato trágico da perseguição Nazi aos judeus, indo, agora, mais além na sua barbárie e complexidade literária. Tal como no volume I, os detalhes históricos e autobiográficos continuam muito presentes ao longo das páginas do livro, sendo possível sentir-se durante a leitura uma panóplia alargada de sensações. Neste livro considero que existe mais intensidade na narrativa, com momentos ainda mais sufocantes que o 1º volume, pois, aqui, é que se conhece o terror Hitleriano como por exemplo o “inferno” Auschwitz. Agora o terror não passa somente por perseguição de judeus, mas mesmo por exploração, aniquilação e degradação da sua humanidade. Ficam presentes as cicatrizes de quem (sobre)viveu a Auschwitz, como se vê no pai Spiegelman, como esta forma de terrorismo entranhou-se nas vidas das pessoas e nunca mais as libertou. Nada mais há a dizer de livros assim: têm que ser recomendados e lidos.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anya

    I don't even know what to say. I just hope nothing like Holocaust ever happens again.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shadowdenizen

    Not sure how I missed shelving this one before. *FacePalm.*

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nemanja

    Kako oceniti velicani Maus Arta Spigelmana, prvog stripa dobitnika Pulicerove nagrade, konstantno hvaljenog kao jednog od najboljih i najvaznijih grafickih novela? Ulazeci s takvim preporukama u citanje stripa uvek je prevrtljiva stvar i, barem u mom slucaju, rezultat je blago razocaravajuci. Prvo, Maus nije los strip; daleko od toga, ima naravno svojih dobrih strana. Prica je poprilicno jednostavna, otac prica sinu o svojim dogadjajima za vreme holokausta, ali ona je toliko puta vec ispricana u Kako oceniti velicani Maus Arta Spigelmana, prvog stripa dobitnika Pulicerove nagrade, konstantno hvaljenog kao jednog od najboljih i najvaznijih grafickih novela? Ulazeci s takvim preporukama u citanje stripa uvek je prevrtljiva stvar i, barem u mom slucaju, rezultat je blago razocaravajuci. Prvo, Maus nije los strip; daleko od toga, ima naravno svojih dobrih strana. Prica je poprilicno jednostavna, otac prica sinu o svojim dogadjajima za vreme holokausta, ali ona je toliko puta vec ispricana u raznim medijima, koji ipak bolje to prenose. U tom prenosu svakako da odmaze Spigelmanov svesno amaterski crtez, koji ne ostavlja prostora izrazima lica preko kojih bi mnogo licnije i jace doziveli previranja u likovima i njihove reakcije na vidjene uzase rata, sta vise, crtez je nekad toliko "zamuljan" da je tesko razaznati sta se dogadja na slici. Lep ukras je nehronolosko i retrospektivno pripovedanje, gde Vladek prica svoju pricu o ratu ali i u njoj skace na prosle dogadjaje, kao i dvostruka prica, ona o ratu i hororu prozivljenog i druga o odnosu oca i sina, Vladeka i Artija, njihove ocigledne razlike i nemogucnost istinskog razumevanja izmedju njih. Jedan od problema kod mene je bio nedostatak saosecajnosti prema likovima jer, za jednu pricu o Drugom svetskom ratu, bilo je premalo osecajnosti, empatije, "krvi i mesa". Pisanje je jasno, kratko, sazeto i vise se oslanja na fakte, a manje na neko dozivljavanje katarze, sto smatram da je vazno za ovakvu pricu; cinjenice o ovom dogadjaju svi toliko dobro znamo. Kako bi se zacinio poprilicno realisticki i "suvi" narativni tok, Spigelman je pribegao jasnoj i lako shvatljivoj metafori o zivotinjama- svaka rasa je odredjena zivotinjska vrsta, onako kako su nacisti dozivljavali to. Fin postupak ali nedovoljan kako bi se ceo dozivljaj izdigao od prosecnog i ravnodusnog shvatanja. Sve u svemu, Maus nije los strip, ima dovoljno u svojoj prici da barem nakratko zaintirigira citaoca, ali gledajuci ocigledne primere dela koja su se bavila ovom tematikom i vec ispricali i izneli ovaj teskobni period u ljudskoj istoriji, sa mnogo vise srca i osecaja, uvek pod ogromnim pritiskom nagrada i priznanja koja je dobio, smatram da strip ne donosi nista toliko revolucionarno i novo u svet devete umetnosti, niti prozivodi katarzicni efekat kod nas da bi bio na tom mestu gde je danas a to je, neshvatljivo, sam vrh stripske umetnosti.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    This is so brilliant. The Jews are mice, the Germans are cats, the French are frogs, the Poles are pigs and the Americans are dogs. The drawings are black and white which evokes the bleak and stark Holocaust experience. Smartly conceived and wonderful in it's ( I hesitate to use the word) execution. Art Spiegelman recounts the story of his father and mother's imprisonment and near death experiences in 1940's Poland and Germany. Vladek (father) is frugal in the extreme and as we move through his c This is so brilliant. The Jews are mice, the Germans are cats, the French are frogs, the Poles are pigs and the Americans are dogs. The drawings are black and white which evokes the bleak and stark Holocaust experience. Smartly conceived and wonderful in it's ( I hesitate to use the word) execution. Art Spiegelman recounts the story of his father and mother's imprisonment and near death experiences in 1940's Poland and Germany. Vladek (father) is frugal in the extreme and as we move through his concentration camp stories, we begin to understand why. I know people who lived through the Great Depression and their behaviors are very similar. Mother Anja committed suicide (survivor's guilt?) and Vladek has remarried Mala. Their relationship is a rocky one due to Vladek's idiosyncrasies but Vladek's desire to live with his son would be a clearly unworkable solution. Art Spiegelman won a Pulitzer for Maus in 1992, an award richly deserved.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sagar Vibhute

    If this novel was only narrating the experience of a concentration camp survivor it would have been a different sort of a read. Art Spiegelman drew Part I of his father's story as one that is interspersed between everyday conversation and squabbles, and a relationship between father and son that is most definitely strained. Part II takes the same template further, but digs much deeper into their personal relationship. For one, I never thought that a survivor might feel guilty of having lived thro If this novel was only narrating the experience of a concentration camp survivor it would have been a different sort of a read. Art Spiegelman drew Part I of his father's story as one that is interspersed between everyday conversation and squabbles, and a relationship between father and son that is most definitely strained. Part II takes the same template further, but digs much deeper into their personal relationship. For one, I never thought that a survivor might feel guilty of having lived through such a harrowing experience, but that seems to be something that Spiegelman wonders about his father Vladek, and is definitely one that characterizes their relationship and their lives. More than a story about the holocaust this to me is the story of one man who was determined to live through it, no matter what. I also liked that the author has told the story with honesty, hasn't greased any part of the narrative or even tried to judge/justify the actions of one man VS another.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Aldana

    No se me ocurre nada para decir, me dejó sin palabras este segundo tomo. Me conmovió tanto esta historia. En momentos dejaba de leer y me quedaba mirando la foto de Richieu... Nada, lo adoré. Book #1

  30. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    A hard one to give to much of a review beyond my thoughts on part 1. A little bit more reflective on the creation process and a bit more meta but still a hard hitting book.

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