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Review – Maus II: A Survivor’s Tale: And Here My Troubles Began

February 24, 2015

Maus II

Last month, I read and reviewed Maus by Art Spiegelman.  Everyone told me I had to read Maus II for the second part of the story and, boy, am I glad I did.  This graphic biography won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for a good reason.

Art Spiegelman’s grandparents survived the Holocaust and in the first Maus, Spiegelman tells their story up until the time they’re sent to concentration camps.  Maus II picks up where the first book left off, with Spiegelman’s father sharing the things he had to do to survive Auschwitz.  Let me tell you, it’s brutal, even in graphic format.  Even though I’ve read several similar stories in the past, I found this one particularly gut wrenching and cried in parts.

Along with his parents’ past, Spiegelman shares his rocky relationship with his father.  His father could be difficult but there were times when I was aggravated with Spiegelman’s impatience with him even though I know dealing with someone like that is much harder when they’re related to you.

All in all, I think this is the more powerful of the Maus books but feel that they’re both must reads.  The drawings are fantastic and do temper the story somewhat so these books would make a fantastic introduction to the Holocaust for teen readers.

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28 Comments leave one →
  1. Diane (@bookchickdi) permalink
    February 24, 2015 7:38 am

    Wow, I didn’t know this won the Pulitzer Prize.

    • February 24, 2015 8:26 am

      I should have been more clear – Art Spiegelman was awarded a Special Pulitizer Prize for the book in 1992, which was a first for a graphic novel.

  2. February 24, 2015 7:54 am

    I read these so long ago I can’t really remember them, but I do still have them, whenever I feel like revisiting brutal….

  3. February 24, 2015 7:56 am

    What surprised me most about the Maus books was how much more I learned and found out in the second reading. Each panel has so much stuff going on in it that I missed a lot the first time around. You should try reading it a second time if you get a chance.

  4. February 24, 2015 8:45 am

    I say this each time I read a review for the Maus books – I really need to read these!

  5. February 24, 2015 9:11 am

    I’m so glad you read these! I need to reread them myself.

  6. February 24, 2015 10:46 am

    I have not read these but they sound like something I should read.

  7. February 24, 2015 11:17 am

    Kathy, both of the Maus books sound utterly compelling! Thank you for your wonderful review and reminder to find copies of them.

  8. Literary Feline permalink
    February 24, 2015 12:27 pm

    I am glad you liked this one too, Kathy. I read it years ago along with the first one and it was my first introduction to the idea that not all graphic novels are meant for kids.

  9. February 24, 2015 1:24 pm

    You love graphic novels and make me want to read them! I just haven’t — yet.

  10. February 24, 2015 1:36 pm

    I’m so behind the times. I need to pick these up.

  11. February 24, 2015 2:21 pm

    I think these books are fantastic

  12. February 24, 2015 4:15 pm

    I should read Maus

  13. Patty permalink
    February 24, 2015 4:33 pm

    I remember how much you loved the burst book.

    • Patty permalink
      February 24, 2015 4:35 pm

      Lucy bumped me…that’s supposed to say first book…actually…she bumped me plus that’s an auto correct!

  14. February 24, 2015 6:13 pm

    Both sound like must reads to me!

  15. February 24, 2015 11:12 pm

    Oh I enjoyed reading the Maus books. I read them in high school and have been planning to reread them ever since but haven’t got to.

  16. February 25, 2015 1:48 am

    I really want to read Maus. I wonder if they’d be too intense for my eleven year old …?

  17. February 25, 2015 9:05 am

    I just added this to my TBR list. Sounds like an important book that must be read.

  18. February 25, 2015 9:07 am

    When I read these I read them back-to-back and it was just awesome! I was thinking earlier today, actually, I should reread. Glad you liked!

  19. February 25, 2015 10:08 am

    This sounds like an amazing story. If you cried I know I will be bawling throughout most of it. I don’t know that I’ll be able to read it. I am super sensitive to stories about torture and would be thinking about this book for years to come. I still tear up when I think of some of the scenes from Sarah’s Key.

  20. February 25, 2015 10:09 am

    So glad you finally read it. As I mentioned before, this is required reading for Junior Honors English at our high school. I love teaching and discussing it with the students. It usually brings out a great discussion and varied emotions.

  21. February 25, 2015 7:10 pm

    Glad you liked this one just as much as the first. I’ve heard such good things about these books.

  22. February 26, 2015 1:17 pm

    I have chills just reading your post! I vividly remember reading this one in the car (while Scott drove) and just sobbing. I read them both together so have a tough time separating them in my mind, but it is such a powerful book.

  23. March 1, 2015 7:49 pm

    One of the few who haven’t read these yet. Off to my library site, once again.

  24. Alyce (At Home With Books) permalink
    March 2, 2015 10:04 am

    Maus was one of my first introductions to graphic novels, and it is indeed very powerful.

  25. bookingmama permalink
    March 3, 2015 7:01 pm

    I loved both of these books and am so sad I shared them with a friend. I never got them back!

  26. March 8, 2015 3:57 pm

    We read these in grade 7 at a school where I substitute teach. They are so powerful and moving. -beth

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