The Complete Maus, a graphic novel review

A graphic novel review by: Lee Sonogan

(1991) History fiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography


“To die, it’s easy. But you have to struggle for life.” ― Art Spiegelman, Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History

This old school graphic novel tells one of the most interesting holocaust stories of all time. The Jews are rats the Nazis are cats and pigs are the Polish. The story is split into two timelines with rats old and young. Then the tales of the old rat is told in a historic and brutal way. This is mostly world war two story told in mixed genres of reading.

For its time, I wonder what the response of it would be. Its topics and themes are broad enough to get a lot of attention. I first learnt of this book from a Simpsons episode. The one with a comic book convention and the writer of this, Alan Moore and a writer of a book called Ghost world makes an appearance. Since then I always wanted to check it out. I was not disappointed.

“I’m not talking about YOUR book now, but look at how many books have already been written about the Holocaust. What’s the point? People haven’t changed… Maybe they need a newer, bigger Holocaust.” ― Art Spiegelman

The story starts as Art the son wants to make a book about his father. With age and Jewish stereotype, he tells his world war 2 story. Art wants as much detail as possible. The old rat gives him and the audience a crazy story Each chapter is worth remembering for dialogue and creative art style. The ending gets sad quick and may get you emotional. I recommend the graphic novel to anyone who likes war stories and wants something older to read.


“No matter what I accomplish, it doesn’t seem like much compared to surviving Auschwitz.” ― Art Spiegelman, Maus II: A Survivor’s Tale: And Here My Troubles Began

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