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Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison…

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2006)

by Alison Bechdel

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,2583161,080 (4.18)535
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)

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» See also 535 mentions

English (305)  Danish (3)  French (3)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (317)
Showing 1-5 of 305 (next | show all)
Absolutely phenomenal storytelling. I've read lots of graphic novels this year and this one is one of the best. Spiegelman's influence is obvious and more than welcome; like MAUS, Fun Home is a dark yet warm exploration of complex family relationships (and also trauma). The title is misleading, it's not a joyous read. Even the warmth and love within the book is coated in pain, and the overwhelming emotion that many people in my class have mentioned is discomfort. This book attempts to disorient you, while it uses literature and pop culture references to decode the nuances of a fucked up family. It's fantastic, and consider me an immediate fan of Bechdel.

Visually it's simple yet pleasing, with a fairly consistent structure and a single soft blue color used as accent. The art style isn't anything incredibly unique, but it suits the story well and gets out of the way to let the plot do its thing. The author's voice is so incredibly central to what makes Fun Home work as a story; not only in the ongoing narration, but in the little ways details are given visually. From the start this story is personal and intimate. It isn't a sad story in a way you might expect (given that it's about the author's father committing suicide), yet the darkness of the book bleeds off the page and sticks with you.

I'm not forgetting this book any time soon, my first thought upon finishing it was that I'm glad I bought it and didn't rent it. ( )
  MaxAndBradley | May 27, 2020 |
There are times when her eloquence reads more as pompous, but it all works for the kind of story she tells. Similarly, it sometimes feels like she relies a bit much on literary references, but in the end, it still feels honest. Despite my complaints I found it very well-written on the whole. ( )
  peterbmacd | May 16, 2020 |
Unsolicited gift from a coworker that I did not expect to like. Loved it! Highly recommended for children of academics, anyone with weird family dynamics, bibliophiles. ( )
  uncleflannery | May 16, 2020 |
Read. ( )
  sasameyuki | May 7, 2020 |
This was an incredible read, and one that I will be going over in my mind for years to come! On top of that, I'm even more encouraged to give Joyce's Ulysses a go one of these days, mainly because of how often it has been mentioned in my reading choices over the last several months. ( )
  jafisher1980 | May 3, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 305 (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."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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