Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

By: Alison Bechdel
Nonfiction
2006
Subject Matter: Alison Bechdel; Comic books; Comic strips; Cartoonists; United States; Graphic novels
Rating: 3/5

Fun Home

I recently reviewed a graphic novel, and if you read that one, then you’ll know this isn’t quite my genre.

I just don’t really get it.

That said, I would say Fun Home is fairly middle of the pack. It was interesting, but not really something I’m going to think about for the next year. You can tell it means a lot to the author, Alison Bechdel, and that’s worth something, but I just don’t get much out of this genre.

Fun Home (a play on “funeral home,” the Bechdel family business) is a graphic novel-memoir depicting Bechdel’s relationship with her father and her own homosexuality. It’s not quite chronological, but enough so. It’s not quite funny, but there is certainly humor. And I do not connect to graphic novels enough to feel that this book was truly “sad,” although the events are objectively sad.

We all know I love a good biography, auto or no, so that aspect of this book appealed to me greatly. But as a heterosexual person with an unexacting father, there was not much here for me to grab onto. I think Bechdel misses the mark of being universal, but I also think that’s okay in a book like this.

It is unique; I’ll give it that. Much like Persepolis, the graphic novel has a way of taking horrific and personally scarring incidents and presenting them in an almost detached manner. Or maybe that’s just how I read them.

Good news. If you are a Bechdel fan, there’s both a play and a follow-up novel.

If, like me, you read this one, go “Hmm,” and move on to the next book, I think that’s okay too.

 

*****

 

Books similar to Fun Home:

(for more graphic novels)

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

The Sandman by Neil Gaiman

The Color of Earth by Kim Dong Hwa

(for more by Bechdel)

Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel

The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel

 

Coming up:

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2017 by Richard N. Bolles

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