Because of the disturbing subject matter I may not have read Maus if it wasn’t for my RL book club. I’d never read a graphic novel before but loved how artwork and narrative were teamed together.
The book followed Artie, a man who decided to write and draw a graphic novel based on his father’ experiences in the second world war.
During the book Artie’s interviewing his father who recounts his time before the war. I liked how Artie talking with his dad in the present was interspersed with the past. The subject was heavy and this helped to make it a little easier to bear.
I really liked how people were depicted by different animals, for example Jewish people were mice, Germans were cats and Poles were pigs. This helped make the reality a little easier to bear. Some of my friends at the book club found this made it harder to identify with the characters, but it didn’t affect me because I have such an affinity with animals.
The character’s weren’t explored in huge depth except for Artie’s father which was the right choice as it was his story. I loved how each of his infuriating idiosyncrasies could be related to the past.
As with most graphic novels it was short, but I think the gravity of the issue meant this was a wise choice. It still took me a few days to read anyway due to the subject matter, regardless of how fantastic I thought it was.