Told with chilling realism in an unusual comic-book format, this is more than a tale of surviving the Holocaust. Spiegelman relates the effect of those events on the survivors' later years and upon the lives of the following generation. Each scene opens at the elder Spiegelman's home in Rego Park, N.Y. Art, who was born after the war, is visiting his father, Vladek, to record his experiences in Nazi-occupied Poland. The Nazis, portrayed as cats, gradually introduce increasingly repressive measures, until the Jews, drawn as mice, are systematically hunted and herded toward the Final Solution. Vladek saves himself and his wife by a combination of luck and wits, all the time enduring the torment of hunted outcast. The other theme of this book is Art's troubled adjustment to life as he, too, bears the burden of his parents' experiences. This is a complex book. It relates events which young adults, as the future architects of society, must confront, and their interest is sure to be caught by the skillful graphics and suspenseful unfolding of the story. -- Rita G. Keeler, St. John's School , Houston
I had to read Maus II for school this summer, and at first I was pretty reluctant about the whole thing. I'm not a huge fan of graphic novels, I tend to enjoy "regular" novels more. However, I saw it was about the holocaust, a topic of which I read a lot about, and decided to give it an honest try. And I'm so glad I did. The book was fantastic.
The drawings really helped back up the descriptions, the detail was great. I love all the symbolism in this book, how it had more than one layer to it. Some people might page through it and just assume it's a child novel because it's drawn and such, but that's not true. It's a mature, well written book. I just wish it was a bit longer.
If you're someone who enjoys war memoirs and books about the holocaust, you'll love this. It's a different take on the past, shown in a different way. It's something I think everyone should read once in their lives.
My rating: 8/10