I grew up reading comic books, and I have even read a few graphic novels. Though unlike Maus by Art Spiegelman, the comics and graphic novels I have read before were pure fiction. This made me a little skeptical of the ability of a graphic novel to convey a story with non-fiction elements about the holocaust. However, once I started reading Maus, this skepticism completely went away.
I quickly found myself enjoying every moment of the story, and the way that Spiegelman wrote the dialogue for his father telling the story was by far my favorite aspect of the novel. While to some it may seem like the parts where Spiegelman’s father are horribly written, I felt like these parts really added a voice to the story. Every time I would read lines like “By October 1937, the factory was going, and it was born my first son,”(p30) I constantly found myself reading it with an accent. Whether that accent is accurate or not I felt didn’t matter, but I imagine that it was intended to give that effect. This made it seem so real even though the characters were drawn as animals. I also felt myself comparing the way the story was told with The Princess Bride(the movie not the book because I never read the book). One of the easiest ways you could see how the two compare is when Art interrupts his father’s story on page 45. like Fred Savage does to his grandfather in The Princess Bride. Obviously there are major differences between the two, but I really enjoyed how this made the story seem like something actually being told.
The only thing that I did not really like were the parts of the novel that seemed a bit esoteric. Usually when reading a comic, I do not want to have to look up things that I do not know other than certain words. However, these parts were few and far between, and they did not take away anything from the novel.