This is my first graphic novel (asides from Tin Tin that I read when I was 11 and the Beano when I was 9!) and I loved it. I don't think it matters whether you like graphic novels or not for this book - so if you're like me and thought you wouldn't get along with it, give it a try.
This is an incredibly human account of an individual's experience of being a Polish Jew. Despite the fact the 'characters' are portrayed as animals - it is one of the most human and most real-feeling accounts I've seen or read.
This is more then a graphic representation of some random story - it's a personal story between a father and his son as well as the father's journey and experience during this time - running away, living in hiding, in the ghetto and finally in Auschwitz.
Art Spiegelman also draws himself in - and the process of writing this graphic novel.
I think nowadays it is easy to become desensitised to images of the war - bombs, broken bits of body etc from movies and the such like. Somehow, the cartoon portrayal of these real-people's lives seems to make it more real then ever.
Parts made me laugh, parts made me cry particularly in Maus II. By the end I felt a real closeness towards both father and son. I think back over the story and remind myself it is real, that what I read on the pages happened to THIS person not just a fictional representation that happened to a fictional person.
It is no 'big hero' blockbuster, but a moving story of a very strong minded man who fought to survive.