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June 30, 2014

Graphic Novel Review: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
Published June 8th 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company
A fresh and brilliantly told memoir from a cult favorite comic artist, marked by gothic twists, a family funeral home, sexual angst, and great books.
This breakout book by Alison Bechdel is a darkly funny family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Bechdel's sweetly gothic drawings. Like Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, it's a story exhilaratingly suited to graphic memoir form.
Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian home, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with his male students and a family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter's complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned "fun home," as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books.
When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescense, the denouement is swift, graphic — and redemptive.
Lately I've been reading a few graphic novels and comics, very simple and light. But Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic is another level. Family drama. Death. Suicide. Homosexuality. This graphic novel tells the story about what is was to the author, Alison Bechdel, growing up in these circumstances.

It wasn't what I was expecting, I read the spanish edition and the cover is very bright. Maybe that's why I expected something light. But I get why it's considered a great graphic novel! It's very realistic...it must have been hard to write about her life. I read the first chapter and didn't really get me at first, but a few days later I started reading it again because I was curious and finish it in only a couple of hours. 

Totally recommended to anyone who wants to read a realistic and deep graphic novel. I'd like to read more from this author.


More about this book at Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository.

3 comments:

  1. I do really want to read this! I'm curious about her other graphic novel too, Are You My Mother?

    -Lauren

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    Replies
    1. me too! Thanks for your comment :)

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  2. Thanks for sharing! I read a lot of comics and graphic novels, but don't recall ever reading a memoir or autobiography in this format. It must feel strange to see your life in graphic form. Definitely intrigued. Thanks for sharing. :)
    ~Jess

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