- Paperback: 232 pages
- Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (June 5, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0618871713
- ISBN-13: 978-0618871711
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 759 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic Paperback – June 5, 2007
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"[With] uncommon richness [and] depth...[Fun Home] shares as much in spirit with...other contemporary memoirists of considerable literary accomplishment." Kirkus Reviews, Starred
“Alison Bechdel – she’s one of the best, one to watch out for." --Harvey Pekar
"If David Sedaris could draw, and if Bleak House had been a little funnier, you'd have Alison Bechdel's Fun Home." --Amy Bloom, author of A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You
"Brave and forthright and insightful--exactly what Alison Bechdel does best." --Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina
"Stupendous...mesmerizing...The details...are devastatingly captured by an artist in total control of her craft." --Chip Kidd, author of The Cheese Monkeys
"One of the very best graphic novels ever." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
"Fun Home must be the most ingeniously compact, hyper-verbose example of autobiography to have been produced. . . . pioneering." --Sean Wilsey The New York Times Book Review
TIME Best Book of the Year: "A masterpiece about two people who live in the same house but different worlds, and their mysterious debts to each other." Time Magazine
"One of the best memoirs of the decade ... at once hypercontrolled and utterly intimate." --New York Magazine, 10 Best Books of 2006 New York Magazine
"Fun Home must be the most ingeniously compact, hyper-verbose example of autobiography to have been produced ... a pioneering work." --Sean Wilsey The New York Times Book Review
"A revelation ... feels like a true literary achievement, something with characters who baffle and disappoint and break hears the way people do in life and in the best of prose." Minneapolis Star-Tribune
"Graphic storytelling at its most profound." --a Los Angeles Times Favorite Book of 2006 The Los Angeles Times
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"Fun Home" is an entertaining and poignant autobiography of Bechdel's childhood. Her family owns a funeral home in a small town so her father works as an English teacher, her mother an actress. They buy a charming fixer-upper which her father lovingly devotes much of his spare time to restoring to grandeur often enlisting Alison for assistance. Much more, this is Alison's story of growing up as she starts to realize she is a lesbian, her coming out as well as learning that her father was a "closeted" gay man. Her father dies after being hit by a car and Alison wonders whether this was an accident or suicide, unable to fully express himself and his true sexual orientation. It is also about the unspoken bonds between Alison and her dad after she tells her parents she is gay --- she can never quite come to ask him about his sexual orientation and he never directly broaches the subject with her before his death. The illustrations only serve to enhance the development of the Alison and her family and deepen the emotional engagement with their struggles. There are moments of sadness, but more moments of joy and discovery to be found in this exceptional autobiography.
Fun Home is Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir of her life growing up. Fun home is what she and her brothers called the family-owned funeral home her dad ran. This was the first adult graphic novel I’ve read. (And by adult, I mean for grown-ups, NOT porn.) I was really surprised how drawn into it I was. I didn’t realize that characters could be so defined in the graphic format. I really felt for Alison, having to grow up with such distant, detached parents. Her pain and confusion over her father’s death jumps off the page.
The only way that Alison and her father relate to one another is through a mutual love of books and reading. Fun Home is peppered with literary references and comparisons that went completely over my head. Once again I’m pulling the “I was an accounting major so I didn’t read any classics in college card”. If you have, you may enjoy the references and Alison’s book will have even more meaning for you. However, I still liked this book a lot anyway.
There were a few nude drawings in this book, when Alison figures out she’s a lesbian and starts having relationships with women. However, Alison is a talented illustrator and they looked like works of art in my opinion. If the scenes had been described using words, they would have been much more graphic. I am applying Justice Potter Stewart’s “I know it when I see it” test of obscenity and this ain’t it.
As far as the homosexual themes in the book goes, yes this is a memoir written by a lesbian about her relationship with her gay dad. It’s a gay book. But isn’t one of the great things about reading learning about people who are different than you? Reading helps one develop a deep sense of empathy. Maybe you might even learn that people you once thought were evil are not. Maybe that’s a scary thought for some people and they would rather live in their insulated bubbles. I’m glad I’m not one of those people. However, I should thank the students at Duke for alerting me to this book’s existence.
Put Fun Home on your list of challenged books that must be read!
Not only is it intelligent, layered, original, and astonishing, it's one of the best books I've read in a long time that uses other literary works to emphasize and humanize its story. Ms. Bechdel is sly, funny, and more self-aware than most writers I can think of, and Fun Home is a triumph. I only wish I had read it when it came out so I could have been recommending it to everyone all of these years.
I can't remember the last memoir I enjoyed this much (maybe "Liar's Club" by Mary Carr) that contained so much wisdom and humor. Yes, it has much frank discussion of homosexuality but it is hardly gratuitous when it is fundamental to the natures of the two main characters--the narrator and her father, their destinies beautifully interwoven with the themes of books they read in the course of this graphic "tragicomic."
Those who look down on graphic novels as less than "literature" would do well to withhold judgment until they have read "Fun Home." It is a great--an important--book--in any genre.