Oct 1, 2011

Day 06 – A book that makes you sad

Art Spiegelman's Maus was my first encounter with a graphic novel.  I had to read it for a Narrative Interpretation class and I remember thinking it would be a breeze to get through because c'mon, it was just a bunch of pictures.  It ended up taking me hours just to read the first half, and made me bawl like a baby.  I'm pretty sure Deathly Hallows is the only book I've read that made me cry more.  (That one was fun - my parents sent my brother and sister in to check on me to make sure I wasn't suicidal over the end of the Harry Potter books). 

Maus is Spiegelman's father's account of the Holocaust.  I probably don't need to go into detail as to why this book is so sad, unless you're one of those people who believe that the Holocaust never happened and if that's the case then please just go away.  You shouldn't be reading this anyway, my love for Harry Potter and banned books and gay rights could burn your eyes right out.  But anyway, there are instances where it really hits the reader how real and horrible these events were.  The characters in the novel are depicted as animals throughout, but there are two moments where Spiegelman inserts actual pictures of his father into the story.  The photos take you completely by surprise, jolting you out of the story and into the realization that this is the real person who experienced what you're reading.  It's crazy powerful.  I've read Maus twice so far for various classes and once on my own and each time I was shocked by these pictures, even when I knew they were coming. 

Read this book if you don't mind being sad, enjoy symbolism (graphic novels are a symbolism goldmine), love Yiddish phrases, liked The Book Thief, like graphic novels, want to get into graphic novels, have nothing to do on a rainy Saturday such as this one, want to be cultured, or because I say it's an amazing novel.   

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