Monday, June 23, 2008

The Complete Maus...random thoughts


The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman.

I finished this book a couple days ago, and to be perfectly honest, I just don't know what to say. There is no way I can do this book justice.

While still fairly new to me, I've now read a handful of graphic novels. But I've never read any like this. This book is powerful, heartbreaking, tragic. It is really book with layers of stories. And frankly, I can't imagine this book being written in any other possible medium than graphic novel form.

As for the layers, most obviously powerful, we have Vladek Spiegelman's life story of his years in Poland before and during World War II. The entirety of the Holocaust is so mind-boggling. It tears one up inside to hear about the camps and the millions who died so horribly. Yet somehow, reading one man's story is somehow even more overwhelming than reading about the Holocaust as a whole. How Vladek and his wife Anja survived through years of fear is hard to comprehend. In fact, at one point, Anja just wants to die and be done with it all. I can so easily see myself feeling the same way. But her husband gives her reason to live and keep fighting. But they do eventually get caught and are taken to Auschwitz, and of course the horror of their lives only increases.

But there is also the story of Art Spiegelman, the author who was born after the war, and his relationship with his father. It's not an easy relationship. Vladek is not an easy man to have a relationship with. In fact, in many ways, he's not an easy man to like. And we are left to question, as his son does, how much of Vladek's personality is shaped by his experiences during the war and the camps, and how much is simply who he would be no matter what. It's a truly moving story in itself, and it makes one think about how incredibly far-reaching the consequences of genocide, of human cruelty are.

*****

If you have also reviewed this book, feel free to leave a link in the comments and I will include it here. Thanks.

Nymeth at Things Mean A Lot
Joy at Thoughts of Joy
Kim at Bold Blue Adventure

*****

Read for:


Graphic Novels Challenge.

17 comments:

Jean said...

This is one I keep thinking about getting and reading, having read so many other books--fiction and nonfiction--about or set during World War II. It's too bad we can't have book queues as on Netflix, where we can list books in priority order, and they just appear when we finish something.

jpderosnay said...

i still haven't read this yet - thanks for reminding me about it. its good to know that new readers are still finding it good...!

Carl V. said...

Wonderful review, Debi. This set of graphic novels is one that has unfortunately sat on my shelf for far too long without being read. I have heard nothing but good things and am sorry I haven't yet read these. I am glad to know that when I do that they will be as rewarding as everyone has said.

Nymeth said...

What a beautiful review, Debi! I suspected you'd feel strongly about this one. Well, to be honest I think it's one of those books that will have quite an impact on most readers. It's just so well done, and yes, I can't imagine in any other medium either. It just wouldn't be the same.

The far-reaching consequences of cruelty...so true, and so well said.

Rebecca said...

Must.Read. Thanks for cluing me in.

Debi said...

Jean,
Oh, but that is one fabulous idea...book queues, wouldn't that just be the coolest?!!

Carl,
You know, you chose the perfect word with "rewarding" there. "Enjoy" just isn't quite appropriate to use with this book, but you definitely won't be sorry you read it.

Nymeth,
Thank you. And thank you for your review...if not for your powerful review, I'm not sure when I'd have gotten around to picking this one up. I think I would have eventually, but I feel grateful that this is now part of my experience, if you know what I mean.

Rebecca,
Yes, you must. Seriously, if I could pick just one person who hasn't read it already, that I knew would "appreciate" it, it would be you.

J. Kaye Oldner said...

Your review of the book has really moved me. I saw this first on Joy's blog and wasn't really interested. You have me thinking I need to go get a copy.

Wow...

Debi said...

Thanks, J.Kaye. I really do think you would find it a worthwhile read. And I'll bet there's a good chance your library has it. That's where I got it, though frankly, I now kind of wish I'd just bought it!

Melody said...

Thanks for the review, Debi! I have not get this book yet, but I will after reading your and Nymeth's wonderful reviews. :)

Debi said...

Melody,
You won't be disappointed!

Rhinoa said...

I have read some great reviews of this recently and do intend to get a copy. It sounds and looks amazing and I am really looking forward to getting around to it.

Trish said...

Beautiful review! This sounds like an amazing story. I have been incredibly resistant to graphic novels (not sure why), but this one definitely goes on my list for when I stop being so darn stubborn.

thekea said...

Maus II is probably one of the best books I have ever read. Art Spiegelman is a freaking GENIUS.
His artwork is fantastic and just the way he created such a fantastic work which has SO many layers is unbelievable to me.
I have yet to read Maus I (though I've read a tiny bit here and there before I read Maus II) but it is on my bookshelf ready to be devoured. I just think the book is so much more than just what it seems at the surface. I could go on and on. It's just fantastic.

Anonymous said...

[u][b]Xrumer[/b][/u]

[b]Xrumer SEO Professionals

As Xrumer experts, we possess been using [url=http://www.xrumer-seo.com]Xrumer[/url] quest of a sustained time now and remember how to harness the massive power of Xrumer and turn it into a Bills machine.

We also purvey the cheapest prices on the market. Assorted competitors desire expect 2x or temperate 3x and a lot of the opportunity 5x what we debt you. But we believe in providing gigantic mending at a debilitated affordable rate. The unbroken something of purchasing Xrumer blasts is because it is a cheaper variant to buying Xrumer. So we focusing to abide by that bit in recollection and yield you with the cheapest standing possible.

Not only do we cause the best prices but our turnaround heyday payment your Xrumer posting is wonderful fast. We intention have your posting done ahead of you certain it.

We also cater you with a full log of well-heeled posts on contrasting forums. So that you can see also in behalf of yourself the power of Xrumer and how we be struck by harnessed it to emoluments your site.[/b]


[b]Search Engine Optimization

Using Xrumer you can wish to realize thousands upon thousands of backlinks exchange for your site. Myriad of the forums that your Site you settle upon be posted on have great PageRank. Having your association on these sites can deep down help establish up some cover quality endorse links and really as well your Alexa Rating and Google PageRank rating through the roof.

This is making your instal more and more popular. And with this inflate in regard as grammatically as PageRank you can keep in view to lead your site absolutely filthy expensive in those Search Locomotive Results.
Conveyance

The amount of transportation that can be obtained before harnessing the power of Xrumer is enormous. You are publishing your site to tens of thousands of forums. With our higher packages you may regular be publishing your position to HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of forums. Imagine 1 mail on a in demand forum last will and testament by rig out 1000 or so views, with announce ' 100 of those people visiting your site. At once create tens of thousands of posts on celebrated forums all getting 1000 views each. Your freight will go because of the roof.

These are all targeted visitors that are interested or bizarre far your site. Imagine how many sales or leads you can succeed in with this titanic number of targeted visitors. You are in fact stumbling upon a goldmine bright to be picked and profited from.

Keep in mind, Traffic is Money.
[/b]

BECOME ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT YOUR CHEAP BLAST TODAY:


http://www.xrumer-seo.com

Anonymous said...

Return Our Dismal Prices at www.Pharmashack.com, The Leading [b][url=http://www.pharmashack.com]Online Dispensary [/url][/b] To [url=http://www.pharmashack.com]Buy Viagra[/url] Online ! You Can also Sucker The best Deals When You [url=http://www.pharmashack.com/en/item/cialis.html]Buy Cialis[/url] and When You You [url=http://www.pharmashack.com/en/item/levitra.html]Buy Levitra[/url] Online. We Also Carry off in a Consequential Generic [url=http://www.pharmashack.com/en/item/phentermine.html]Phentermine[/url] As a help to Your Victuals ! We Trade away Name label [url=http://www.pharmashack.com/en/item/viagra.html]Viagra[/url] and Also [url=http://www.pharmashack.com/en/item/generic_viagra.html]Generic Viagra[/url] !

Anonymous said...

Someone deleted a variety of links from upnito and vip-file servers.

From now, we will use www.tinyurlalternative.com as our main [url=http://www.tinyurlalternative.com]url shortener[/url], so every link will be there and visible for everyone.

You can choose from many great [url=http://kfc.ms]short url[/url] address like:

kfc.ms easysharelink.info jumpme.info megauploadlink.info megavideolink.info mygamelink.info myrapidsharelink.info mytorrentlink.info myurlshortener.com mywarezlink.info urlredirect.info urlshrinker.info weblinkshortener.com youtubelink.info and many others.

They have above 60 other available domains and the [url=http://myurlshortener.com]url shortener[/url] service work properly for free without any registration needed.

So we think it is good idea and suggest you to use [url=http://urlredirect.info]url redirect[/url] service too!

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I'm new around here, seems like a cool place though. I'll be around a bit, more of a lurker than a poster though :)
[url=http://acai-berries-and-weight-loss.wetpaint.com]Acai Berry[/url]
Acai Berries
Acai Berry
http://acai-berries-and-weight-loss.wetpaint.com
Acai Berry