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Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Fun Home (original 2006; edition 2006)

by Alison Bechdel

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4,952271926 (4.2)444
Title:Fun Home
Authors:Alison Bechdel
Info:Jonathan Cape (2006), Edition: Second Printing, Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:2013 challenge

Work details

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel (2006)


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English (260)  Danish (3)  French (3)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  Finnish (1)  All (272)
Showing 1-5 of 260 (next | show all)
Well drawn and well written memoir of the author's preteen to college years. Growing up in the same small Pennsylvania town her dad grew up in, they live in the big old house her father has perfectly styled--everything must be perfectly perfect, style, taste, looks, etc.

The author realizes she is a lesbian, and after coming out to her parents while she is away at college, she learns more about her father. Yes, he is a small town lawyer/house restorer/funeral home director (the Fun Home) who came back when his mother was sick. Yes he teaches occasional classes. Yes he is obsessed with architectural style and design, and gardening. Yes he always had young male students around when Alison and her brothers were young (babysitters, workers). Yes he went to court for buying a 17-year-old beer. Her father is bisexual/homosexual himself--and seems to think she has known.

Very interesting book about finding yourself, and then learning that things you thought were true were actually quite different. ( )
  Dreesie | Jan 28, 2017 |
A moving, sad, funny look at graphic novelist and cartoonist Alison Bechdel's life. The GN illustrations and format are perfect for this story. So well done, and sprinkled throughout with brilliant literary connections. Focusing on family, in particular her difficult relationship with her father, and her exploration of her own sexual orientation, this is an amazing book. ( )
  Berly | Jan 11, 2017 |
Heartbreaking graphic memoir. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
H/T Sean Thompson

Cathartic auto-biography. ( )
  bensdad00 | Jan 10, 2017 |
this is a brave (because it's not self-indulgent and is an actual exploration of her relationship with her father and an attempt to understand herself with that history in mind) telling of her and her (interpretation of her) father's stories, with strong parallels to authors and literature. it's really well done.

some of those literary references are probably a bit too much for most people (or maybe it's just me) because most of us, even the readers among us, aren't too familiar with the underlying themes or the text of proust or ulysses. still, i really enjoyed those aspects of the book, as well as the art and the touches of humor.

i wonder, as time goes on and as trans people are more noticed and accepted, how many of these stories of queer sexuality will turn into trans stories. i'm not saying that her father was trans, but he may have been, and certainly there were things in his life that indicated that he could have been. i read this book in '08 and never even noticed those things. i wonder, if i read this again in 8 years, if that'll seem obvious or something, and how much more we'll see those stories in books long since published, in the same way we see queerness in books long since published.

a passage i related to: "Although I'm good at enumerating my father's flaws, it's hard for me to sustain much anger at him."

"For a wild moment I entertained the idea that my father had timed his death with this in mind, as some sort of deranged tribute. But that would only confirm that his death was not my fault. That, in fact, it had nothing to do with me at all. And I'm reluctant to let go of that last, tenuous bond."

4 stars

from july 2008:

this was my first graphic novel. it covered some interesting territory. i wish she'd focused a bit more on some of the things she only glossed over, but since it was her life story, i guess she gets to decide about that... (3 stars) ( )
  elisa.saphier | Jan 8, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 260 (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)

(summary from another edition)

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