Books I read rarely affect my emotions when I'm not reading it. A book can pull me every which way, make me feel horrified or saddened or joyful, but when I put it down, I'm in the same mood I was before I started reading it. Only occasionally can a book get under my skin, and Maus
is one of them. I was actually happy to finish it, because I didn't like the way it was making me feel: anxious, upset, unhappy. And I've read Holocaust stuff before. It's not new. Something about the way Spiegelman contrasted his day to day life, arguing with his dad, with the horror his dad went through, just got to me. I would feel irritated with Art's dad and then I'd see what he'd gone through and it kind of just tore me apart. When a book does this to me I have to give it five stars.
(As an aside, I wondered throughout the whole book why he chose pigs to represent Polish people. As a person of Polish nationality myself, I was totally mystified about it. In looking at the Wikipedia article
, I see: Spiegelman explained that he chose pigs in good faith because of their resemblance to famous American cartoon characters like Miss Piggy and Porky Pig.
Oookay... still doesn't make much sense to me.)