Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Maus *****

Spiegelman, Art. Maus Vols I and II.

Despite the fact that these books (one book in 2 volumes) won the Pulitzer Prize, I would have never read these books if not forced to do so for the class I am taking. Am I glad I had to read them! These are graphic novels about the Holocaust. The books alternates between the present and the past. In the present, Artie starts visiting his father regularly, to learn about his experiences in the Holocaust. Vladic, his father, is a rigid man, and rather obsessive compulsive about not throwing anything away. He is also cheap. He is married to a woman and they don't get along; he got remarried after his wife, Anja, killer herself a few decades ago.

In the past, we see Vladic as a young man, just as the Holocaust is beginning. He meets Anja and marries her. His business is taken away and then there is a bit of time where he and the family try to escape being sent to the concentration camps. Volume 2 is about his experience in Auschwitz, where he isn't killed, but is used for skilled labor. He and Anja both manage to survive and the books shows them being liberated and, eventually, coming to the US.

I recommend this book to everyone. Anyone that likes graphic novels will like it. Anyone that likes war stories will like it. Anyone interested in history will like it. Anyone with any feelings at all will love it. This is a glimpse into the lives of one Holocaust survivor that is very interesting and informative.

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