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Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison…

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2006)

by Alison Bechdel

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Origionally posted on https://readaholiczone.blogspot.com
What I was expecting this book to be and what I got out of it were telescopic. I gave this book two stars due to the great illustrations. How thrilling this book is going to be I thought due to the fact that it is a graphic memoir about a lesbian and her relationship with her father well, I was duped. The book is predominantly told in a way that meshed other books and their characters, for instance, The Odyssey, Homer, Proust, Wilde, etc. into the ongoing plot. Making this read intolerable for readers who loath Greek mythology or a lot of the time making the story confusing. Furthermore, the profuseness of the grammar is too excessive for a graphic novel. For a memoir, the protagonist was undeveloped. She came off atrocious and unkind. Yet, I felt deep sympathy for her father. He was unable to become the person he truly was in life due to the era he lived in. Yet, in his own way he still tried to be true to himself which the daughter ridiculed relentlessly.

Either you like the book or you don't. ( )
  THCForPain | May 27, 2016 |
This was DEEP. It was a graphic novel, so it helped the reader understand a bit what the relationship between the narrator and her father was like. The pictures help the plot move quickly and helps the reader understand the narrators position, but it is circular, so it is hard to read and understand only once. The narration jumps about so it's hard to keep track of what happened when. There are a LOT of allusions so that makes it a bit tough- it is definitely not something you can read early - you have to be in college or after to understand the refernces, and even then it's tough. I don't think I liked it, but it was interesting, for sure, because it is a side of a person that I have no understanding of - a queer narrator and her closeted father, so the connection is difficult between reader and narrator ( )
  trinityM82 | May 17, 2016 |
Fun Home is a memoir told in the form of a graphic novel. When Alison Bechdel was twenty, her father died, four months after Alison came out as a lesbian and shortly thereafter found out that her father had affairs with men.

“I’d been upstaged, demoted from protagonist in my own drama to comic relief in my parents’ tragedy.”

Fun Home is Bechdel’s reflections on her childhood and her relationship with her father. Obviously, it involves a large coming of age element, which isn’t one of my favorite story types. However, I did enjoy Fun Home.

It’s unclear how much truth there is to any of the connections Bechdel draws, which she will readily admit in the memoir itself. She and her mother speculate that her father’s death was a suicide, but they have no firm evidence. She also admit that his death might not be related to her coming out, as there were plenty of other reasons that might have motivated his suicide, including her mother asking him for a divorce two weeks before. Yet Fun Home is less about Alison Bechdel finding the concrete truth as it is a documentary of her own experiences and thoughts. Its nature is highly personal.

There were elements to Fun Home that I was not so fond of. The constant literary references might have been important to Bechdel’s life, but they could feel pretentious at times. I also didn’t think the art was anything note worthy. It wasn’t bad, but it never moved past “all right.”

Still, on the whole, Fun Home is a book worth reading.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | May 11, 2016 |
I really, totally don't know what to make of this story, this book, this graphic novel. It get's so close, too close, to being disturbing, but never close enough. It poses questions.
(Can all people in societies similar to the one I'm experiencing somehow relate to all this, can they all identify with Alison?)
It was not always enjoyable to read. So many references to books I might never get to know, so much talk about suicide. (I don't know which was worse, probably the former. "Oh my good look at how much time I'm wasting on the Internet it took me 5 days to read this etc pp.") Not uplifting, not really.
But something to hold on to when no "real book" can be seen as possible. Somehow likable.
And I love the illustrations. ( )
  kthxy | May 6, 2016 |
There's a lot of I would love to say about this graphic memoir. First off, I must say I adore how the author decided to represent her father through the use of several different literary characters and authors that she believed her father saw himself as a part of. Admittedly, it was a little confusing at times, and it's quite obvious that Alison took her studies very seriously with the English language and the studying of worldly literature by the means of analyzing and interpretation. She came to many conclusions that I would have not come to myself.

The art, while at first, seemed rather simplified, actually slowly became more appropriate for this kind of story. The characters as they are drawn, don't seem to express very much emotion, but the intentions of Alison telling this story, was not to spill her emotions on the pages. Her intentions were to take all of her memories, diary entries, and stories told to her by someone, and place her father in the eyes of some sort of literature discussion group. Yet, it is clear when she expresses sadness and pieces of regret, it is also clear that she did not let these emotional tidbits control her thinking or largely affect her at all, if that.

As we know, this is a story focuses on her father. Other family members are mentioned, but it's not their time for this round. The relationship her father has with the family is complex, strained, and a lot of times absent. He wanted his children to be extensions of himself while he delved into his passions (restoration of their old Victorian-styled home, as one example); in other times, he wanted them completely devoid of his "other life" that didn't come to surface until much later in her life. Alison explains how she was given clues and hints to this secret nature, especially more so when she revealed that she, herself, was a lesbian. However, it was until just a few months before his death, did she learn of the truth and was only able to get out so much of her father before he died. While unfortunate, Alison also saw it as a chance to learn and strangely enough, build a connection with her father that she couldn't see before.

While we are limited to her brothers and mother with their thoughts, it does eventually come to surface that Alison and her father did have something in their familial relationship; there was an understanding between them. They just didn't come to this result until just before a tragedy fell upon them. ( )
  ShayLRoss | Mar 16, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 248 (next | show all)
Bechdel’s style is straightforward. Her detailed drawings strive to present what she remembers accurately and with detail. The book is black-and-white with a blue-grey watercolor wash that provides depth and adds to the feeling of memory.
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For Mom, Christian, and John.

We did have a lot of fun, in spite of everything.
First words
Like many fathers, mine could occasionally be prevailed on for a spot of "airplane."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618871713, Paperback)

In this groundbreaking, bestselling graphic memoir, Alison Bechdel charts her fraught relationship with her late father. In her hands, personal history becomes a work of amazing subtlety and power, written with controlled force and enlivened with humor, rich literary allusion, and heartbreaking detail.

Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the "Fun Home." It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:09 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

This book takes its place alongside the unnerving, memorable, darkly funny family memoirs of Augusten Burroughs and Mary Karr. It's a father-daughter tale perfectly suited to the graphic memoir form. Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian house, 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 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 adolescence, the denouement is swift, graphic, and redemptive.--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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