Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

by Alison Bechdel

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Overview

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

A fresh and brilliantly told memoir from a cult favorite comic artist, marked by gothic twists, a family funeral home, sexual angst, and great books.

This breakout book by Alison Bechdel is a darkly funny family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Bechdel's sweetly gothic drawings. Like Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, it's a story exhilaratingly suited to graphic memoir form.

Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian home, 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 his 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 adolescense, the denouement is swift, graphic—and redemptive.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780618871711
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 06/05/2007
Series: Edition 001 Series
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 17,480
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

ALISON BECHDEL has been a careful archivist of her own life and kept a journal since she was ten. Since 1983 she has been chronicling the lives of various characters in the fictionalized “Dykes to Watch Out For” strip, “one of the preeminent oeuvres in the comics genre, period” (Ms.). The strip is syndicated in 50 alternative newspapers, translated into multiple languages, and collected into a book series with a quarter of a million copies in print. Utne magazine has listed DTWOF as “one of the greatest hits of the twentieth century.”

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Fun Home 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
Jackie2794 More than 1 year ago
I was recommended Bechdel's Fun Home by a former English teacher of mine. As a fairly avid reader, I was excited to see what this book had to show me. They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but I couldn't help but to be captivated by all of the praise and awards on the memoir's front and back cover as I initially looked it over. To my great dismay, the book ended up being kind of a disappointment. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Bechdel - her honest writing style and literary knowledge are both interesting and impressive, but the memoir simply did not resonate with me. I don't really know what to think of this memoir; there were aspects of the book that I really loved, and other aspects that were hard to sit through, but there was nothing about this memoir that I found to be particularly gripping. I will say that I am extremely impressed with the amount of hard work that went into this memoir. The graphic novel layout (drawn by Bechdel herself) is aesthetically pleasing to the eye and really shows how arduous it must have been to create. Bechdel's story is so well thought out that it is obvious that she has spent a lot of time preparing herself to write this memoir. My biggest disappointment with this memoir was that I found nothing enticing about Bechdel's story. I think Ms. Bechdel told her story of her troubled past with her father to have closure with her upbringing, as opposed to appealing to her readers. I didn't find this book to be extremely funny or extremely sad, it was a monotonous read, which is fine, but I was really looking for a gripping memoir similar to so many that I have read before. All in all, I would say that Fun Home is a story that is either hit or miss for readers. I think that many will enjoy Alison's story and appreciate her quirkiness, but others will simply just not see what all the hype is about.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was introduced to this book by my former roomate who grew up not too far from where Bechdel grew up and where most of the book takes place. At first I was weary of a graphic novel but I was enthralled by her use of elevated language and literary comparision. Each time I read it I find something new, if not within the text then the pictures themselves. Her novel peeked my interest in her other works and have become a Bechdel fan. I had the pleasure of meeting her and I must say she is a woman of great intelligence and is suprisingly humble. I would agree that this book is not for everybody. But those with open minds able to appreciate a non-tradtional book with an equally different story then please by all means go forth and enjoy this book!
wagnerclassiccars More than 1 year ago
I expect a bit more from something repeatedly called “dark comedy.” The Fun House is Gothic and is a funeral home, but this isn’t Six Feet Under. The story is dark but there is little humor. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had not been under the illusion it was “darkly funny.” 
Guest More than 1 year ago
A brilliant escapade into the life a young woman and an exploration of finding herself. Beautiful and far more reading intensive then other Graphic Novels/Memoirs, Fun home is beautiful in everyway. The parallels between Joyce, Fitzgerald, James, and many others is astounding. Not since Blankets have I fell in love with a Graphic Novel to this magnitude and not in a long while have I read something this eloquent, brilliant, and poigant.
smg5775 3 months ago
Growing up in a small town when you are different is not easy. Add a father who seems to be so exacting, a mother who is intent on her thesis and her theater productions, and siblings who are into their own things makes it harder. Alison knows she does not like the feminine clothing her father wants her to wear and their house is, as her mother later calls it, a mausoleum. At times there are moments when she and her father are close, usually around books. Coming out in college, she must now come home for her father's funeral. This story resonated with me. I could identify with Alison. Though they are a family, there is a disconnect between them. Each person is into their own thing. No one seems to be there for one another. I don't know how this family remained together. There are memories that come out during the book. They may provide clues to the father's lifestyle but, for Alison, there is no more to them than the face value at the time. Later she can see the pattern and realize her father thought she knew about him. There is so many lost opportunities in this family for them to become closer. I felt sorry for them all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great read, highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book because I am going to see the live theatre performance of the same title and wanted to learn more about the story. I found it a bit boring. I was also disappointed that it was written in comic book style. I found the format annoying and it took away from the story. I hope that the theatre performance is much better. ?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
B and N is getting alot better than they used to be i still cant beleive it theyve got better
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
This wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be. I found myself enjoying parts of this graphic novel and then later, I found myself wondering exactly what I was reading. It seemed to have weird transitions between scenes which threw me off and some of the topics were redundant. Overall, not a good novel for me. Alison has been watching her parent’s interactions and the lives that they lead and she has decided that she does not want to follow the same paths that they took. Alison is set free by this realization and she’s on a mission. Our novel explodes with her new vocabulary as she conducts research, with detailed illustrations we see her new identity being exposed and Alison herself has never felt so liberated. It’s time for Alison to tell her family that she is a lesbian but the news is not as startling as what occurs after Alison’s statement.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While it is no doubt of some theraputic value to the author to write this book the reader might do better to keep a three week journel then tear it up unread this is one of the material ways to reduce stress in conjuntion with one on one theraoy group and before meds can kick in why buy when you can do your own why dysfunctional is considered funny however comedy is itself cruel and even the kings fool was in danger if he went too far
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sunpensun More than 1 year ago
The images in Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel told whole stories in the people’s expressions. The narration is sharp and explores her stressed relationship with her father. It’s a pity he didn’t live to see his daughter mature into the artist she is today. 
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Very moving. The way she writes and the way she draws really gives you an insight into her childhood.
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