Genre: Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction
Published: November 1, 1991 by: Pantheon Books
Rating: 5/5 stars
In an attempt to reconnect with his cantankerous and ailing father, Art Spiegelman begins writing and illustrating a story about his father's experiences as a prisoner in Auschwitz. As his father recounts the blurry details of a horrific past, Art splits between writing about the war, and about how he wishes his father was less stubborn and a bit more compassionate to his patient wife. This graphic novel is a story about the gruesome details of the Holocaust, but it is also about the long-term affects that the war had on the elderly, and the relationships severed because of it.
This book was flawless. The illustrations were poignant, heartbreaking, and so incredibly real, and the story of Art's father was heartbreaking. What's unique about this book is that Art uses the metaphor of the cat and mouse in his illustrations. All Jews in the book are drawn as mice, and all Nazi's are drawn as cats. These details really show the harsh authority that took over the war, and the innocence of the victims.
I loved how this graphic novel didn't really read like one. I do not like graphic novels that have too many pictures and not enough text, but this one was overflowing with rich dialogue that felt like I was reading just a regular book. You can tell that Art is as talented a writer as he is an illustrator.
This book is special because it flips between Art's father in the 1940's, and how he is now. You can really see the affect that the Holocaust had on his mental health, and that has made the relationship with his son difficult. This is a brilliant novel that explores much more than you ever thought you knew about the Holocaust.
Have you read Maus? What did you think?
Emily @ Paperback Princess