The Complete Maus

My friend recommended this to me after we discussed The Tattooist of Auschwitz. She said the story was very similar but so much better. Now that I’ve read it I can only agree wholeheartedly. Both are true stories but everything wrong with The Tattooist of Auschwitz is right in Maus.

Of course one is a graphic novel and one is a glorified screenplay not. If you haven’t had much experience with graphic novels then you might assume that having fewer words might set it at a disadvantage as far as storytelling. You’ll be pleasantly surprised if so. I read Maus in two sittings over two consecutive days. The other took me over a month to truck through and that isn’t because I had more words to read.

Maus is the story of a son (the artist) interviewing his father about his time in Auschwitz in order to draw and write the very novel you’re reading. In fewer words and possibly fewer (albeit larger) pages you’re taken through from Vladek meeting his wife well before the war began to the chaos just after the Nazi surrender, with the present interspersed throughout. It just works so well. You connect so much more with the characters and it feels all the more authentic and real when you know it’s coming from the son and not a stranger looking for a good story to disguise her sub par novel writing abilities.

I refuse to end on that snarky note and I also refuse to take it out. Even if graphic novels aren’t your thing (it was my first) don’t let that stop you. If you’ve read The Tattooist of Auschwitz and enjoyed it, skip the sequel and pick this up instead.

Author: Olive

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