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Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2006)

by Alison Bechdel

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,0333391,076 (4.18)584
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 584 mentions

English (327)  Danish (3)  French (3)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  Finnish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (339)
Showing 1-5 of 327 (next | show all)
In this graphic memoir, Alison Bechdel discusses her relationship with her late father as well as an account of growing up uncomfortable in your own skin and knowing you are different.

This book had a lot of text in it for being a graphic novel… It almost put me off reading it, but I wanted to see what could cause this book to be on the challenged/banned list (you can see my theme this year).

Did I like this book, yes. It felt like an honest, well written memoir. The way Alison Bechdel talked about her father and the way she sees him changes over time is well written as well - filled with anger, confusion, and uncertainty.

Did I absolutely love it, no. Again, I think it goes back to the fact that there was so much inner dialog on the pages, it felt like I was reading more of a memoir with pictures and not a graphic novel with text… if that makes sense…

This is an interesting graphic novel filled with self discovery and the relationship one has with their parents. ( )
  oldandnewbooksmell | Apr 18, 2022 |
Painful, but the good pain. ( )
  livertalia | Feb 22, 2022 |

Wow, a lot of people like this book. It took me scanning through 30 reviews to even find a 2 star review.

I think that I'm just not the audience for this book. Kept at it because the book does have something special. It finally just lost me with all the literature reference. Hey, I thought I read a lot but I only read one of the books they mentioned - Dorian Grey - and have an idea of the story of Odysseus.

I could imagine why this book is so loved. I just don't see it for me.



( )
  wellington299 | Feb 19, 2022 |
I'm finding that I'm rather fond of memoirs in graphic novel form. I'm pretty new to the format, though, so my only point of comparison is Persepolis. In this instance, I think I enjoyed Persepolis more.

In Fun Home, Alison comes to terms with her father's past, her love for him, her frustration with him and ultimately with his death. Through all of this she navigates through her life, her coming out, and her relationships.

If you dig memoirs as graphic novels, this one is pretty good. ( )
  bookdrunkard78 | Jan 6, 2022 |
I haven’t read a lot of graphic novels, but I loved this one, and now I want MORE like this. So so good. ( )
  lacurieuse | Nov 11, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 327 (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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Epigraph
Dedication
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."
Quotations
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (4)

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.

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Book description
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.
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