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Fun Home. A Family Tragicomic: Eine Familie von Gezeichneten

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  51,086 ratings  ·  4,384 reviews
»Das beste Buch des Jahres.« Time Magazine Der größte literarische Überraschungserfolg des Jahres 2006 aus den USA erzählt von einer jungen Frau, die einem Familiengeheimnis auf die Spur kommt. Sensationell ist die Form, in der die Geschichte erzählt wird: In Worten und Bildern, die sich zu einem Meisterwerk der Comic-Kunst zusammenfügen.Alison Bechdel, Autorin und Erzähle ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published January 23rd 2008 by Kiepenheuer&Witsch (first published June 5th 2006)
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(good!) Hipster Literature
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19th out of 29 books — 2 voters

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Community Reviews

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Paul Bryant

Fun Home, a cripplingly hip graphic novel, is....




Well, let's see, it's, you know, all right, good, yes, nods head, hummphs into beard, pulls earlobe, raises eyebrows, waves hands in a vague direction, shifts about in seat. You know. Don't get me wrong. It was good. Yes. Cool, clever, really hip, I mean, really, as far as I can tell, my hipometer needs a new battery I think; it was not the least bit funny, but that's not such a
Having never felt much inclination toward the graphic novel genre, I accepted a copy of Fun Home by Alison Bechdel on loan only because a coworker promised that I could finish it in one hour and forty minutes--almost precisely the amount of time it would take to travel from the office to my home in Connecticut, where I had plans to spend the weekend.

One hour and fifty-five minutes later, when my mom pulled in her mini-van, I was close to the end, but not there yet. I'm a slow reader. But Fun Hom
Book #4 for Jugs & Capes, my all-girl graphic-novel book club!

You can also read this review (slightly tweaked) on CCLaP.


I've been wanting to read this book for years. Isn't it crazy that I had to start an entire graphic novel book club to somehow give myself permission to read it?

Perhaps. But who cares about the machinations I forced myself through to get to it? I am so glad I did. This book is simply spectacular. It is dense, fraught with meaning, stuffed with prose and complimented by
Meg Powers
Reading Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic put me in the same irritated and impatient mood experienced when reading Toni Morrison's The Song of Solomon in high school: both books feel like major wank-offs to the writers' cumulative reading endeavors. To put it in less crude terms, both books overflow with self-conscious references to classic literature (both use The Odyssey in a major way). However, this is not a review of The Song of Solomon, so I suppose I will set aside that grudge for now.

This is
Apr 27, 2008 Sara rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Folks stuck in LAX
I went out and bought this book immediately after hearing a paper on it at a recent conference. The paper had to do with narrative strategies that children use for uncovering and witnessing their parents' trauma -- in this book, the narrator Allison tries to piece together her father's life into a narrative she wants to read as that of a closeted gay man. In the narrator's logic, her coming out of the closet prompted her father's suicide four months later. After a life of secret affairs and sedu ...more
I've known about Bechdel for some time, but I've never gotten around to reading any of her work.

Odds are, you know about her too, even if you're not aware of it. She's the one that invented the appropriately-named Bechdel Test for movies.

If you don't know about the test, it bears talking about. It's almost like a checklist:

1. Does the movie have two female characters in it?

2. Do the two female characters have at least one conversation?

3. Does at least one of their conversations concentrate o

This is a terrific book.

I would guess that a graphic memoir has never been published before, and t shows you what I knew about the graphic format! The format added an extraordinary dimension to the story. (I can't recall ever having read a graphic novel before, so in that sense the entire experience of this book was new to me.)

The book was published when Bechdel was in her mid-40s, and tells the story of her own life, up to just before her twentieth birthday, and her father’s life, up
I wonder pretty often what the point of writing books is, mostly because, well, you know, there are already so many of them...

More narrowly, I think I kind of understand why people feel compelled to write memoirs, but I do wonder -- as I remain stalled out on page 236 of Martin Amis's Experience -- why anyone ever reads them.

Fun Home answers both of these questions for me, plus a third larger one about what the point is of being alive. It seems like sort of a confusing and overwhelming waste som
just insert "Fun Home" in place of "House of Leaves" in Mickey's review:

This book looks at you with this smug fucking smile on it's face, daring you to say that you don't like it, knowing that masses of people are going to go along with it because they don't want to look stupid. That's what this is. It's the fucking Radiohead of books. Well, House of Leaves, I am not stupid and I'm calling your bullshit. Fuck you
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic is Alison Bechdel's (of Bechdel test) memoir about growing in a cold home where all the occupants isolated themselves in artistic pursuit, with particular focus on her relationship with her closeted father, who killed himself soon after she came out as a lesbian in college. I don't write about the graphic novels/series I read often because I generally feel unable to talk about their impact without more knowledge of their nuts and bolts. I've been reading more review ...more
Alison Bechdel’s comic-form autobiography Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic begins and ends with strong textual and visual images of her father. The book’s first full drawing on the title page of chapter one is, in fact, a recreation of an old photograph of the enigmatic man. It sums up all that is impossible to capture about the man’s sexual and emotional being in one frame. As well, it sums up everything that makes this work artistically and thematically remarkable, an important contribution to li ...more
Nandakishore Varma
Alison Bechdel's Fun Home is the third comic I have read which is meant exclusively for adults (after The Complete Persepolis and Maus, I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History & Maus, II: And Here My Troubles Began). I must say that out of the three, this one is the most brilliantly drawn and narrated. The three stars are a personal thing.

Alison is a lesbian. This book is an attempt on her part to come to terms with the fact that her father was gay, and possibly a paedophile, somethin
MJ Nicholls
Shatters all my preconceptions of the graphic novel, reassures me of the form’s capacity for dense literally allusiveness, intellectual analysis and philosophical ponderings. Brilliant. The writer/artist was raised in a marvellously retro setting—a refurbished mansion kitted out like a Russian estate, with a snobbish bookworm for a father and an upper-class actress manqué for a mother (both of whom taught high-school English). The story attempts grand parallels between the author and her father, ...more
It's no coincidence that I read and reviewed this book the day after the musical adaptation of Fun Home won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It was, after all, seeing that it had been nominated for twelve Tonys that gave me the push to finally read it. If you missed it last night, and you have any interest whatsoever in musical theater, please take a moment to watch Ring of Keys, because it's really lovely. And worth pointing out that every actor involved in that piece was nominated, an ...more
An exceptionally well-written piece of work that will hopefully open some doors to people unwilling to take comic art seriously.
That said, I can't help but compare it to the benchmarks of graphic novel memoirs - "Blankets," "Maus," and "Persepolis" - and it falls short. It just didn't draw me in the way I should have been. She relies too heavily on captions and telling us what happened, rather than letting her characters speak to each other and show us. She doesn't give the art room to do what i
Rebecca Foster
This memoir in graphic novel form is super. Bechdel puts the ‘fun’ in both dysfunctional family and funeral home – the family business her father inherited in small-town Pennsylvania. All through her 1970s upbringing, as Alison grew up coveting men’s shirts and feeling strange quivers of suspicion when she encountered the word “lesbian” in the dictionary, her father was leading a double life, sleeping with the younger men who babysat his kids or helped out with his twin passions of gardening and ...more
Jennifer (aka EM)
May 25, 2015 Jennifer (aka EM) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennifer (aka EM) by: jo
Shatteringly and heart-wrenchingly good. Three things I don't generally read (or don't read enough of maybe?): graphic novels, memoirs, lesbian fiction. All three of these walls come tumbling down in this. The depth of feeling and thought, the honesty, is extraordinary, and to have it conveyed in graphic novel form is a little--no, a lot--mind-blowing. (In addition to the clarity and beauty of her writing, Bechdel is a *fantastic* graphic artist). (Perhaps) more thoughts to come after Are You M ...more
La Mala *iniciando bimestre de DICKENS*
EDIT: Abril, 2015

[Releyendo e a poquito. ¡Qué ganas de comprarlo en físico!]

Reseña Original: Enero 2015

Estoy un poco revolucionada, así que la siguiente reseña es un desvarío en pocos párrafos. Sepan disculpar.

"Not only we were inverts. We were inversions of one another. While I was trying to compensate for something unmanly in him. He was attempting to express something femenine through me."


Puede sonar absurdo decir que identificada me siento con esto, absurdo y cliché-- se me sale la voz in
Aqui está mais um "filho" que adotei por culpa do Goodreads...
Se eu não andasse sempre por aqui a bisbilhotar nos livros alheios nunca o teria lido, porque tem duas características que, à partida, rejeito: trata-se de uma auto-biografia em banda desenhada.

Alison Bechdel - uma mulher corajosa - expõe uma parte da sua vida de uma forma criativa e enriquecedora. A figura principal é o seu pai, um homem rígido com a família, misterioso e com comportamentos socialmente não aceitáveis. Através de des
The 7 chapters in this graphic memoir feel less like she's telling you a story from beginning to end... and more like she's telling you the same story 7 times. But each time, she reveals a little bit more, either contextual, historical, or personal analysis. It's more of a graphic-personal-essay than a graphic-memoir, in that she is trying to work something out, trying to make some meaning out of her past by looking at it from several different angles. The point is not to tell a good story, the ...more
10 stars! No 20! No 1000! Not only does Alison Bechdel tell her own very personal story, she tells a larger lesbian coming out story, an even larger coming of age story; heck she tells MY story in some stunningly coincidental specifics.

Bechdel and I are approximately the same age. We met once when she lived in Minneapolis, at a book event, (I think)<---Fun Home reference. It was a book signing, possibly in the upstairs of the Minneapolis' most famous and recognizable gay bar: The Gay 90's. S
Lisa Vegan
Brilliant! (That word sums it up just fine and could have been a fine entire review.)

I’ve never been a huge comics fan. I liked Peanuts from a young age and Doonesbury and I think The Far Side is absolutely perfect, but I never read comic books when I was young. As an adult I’ve found many graphic/comic book books that I’ve enjoyed, most of them memoirs and this is another one, a unique one.

I am in awe of those who can take their pain & grief & the unfinished business in their personal h
Only my second graphic novel but another amazing experience. The author recounts her childhood, coming of age and relationship to her family, especially to her father. There are comic moments but the story is primarily one of introspection. Bechdel reaches back and picks high and low-lights from her life to try to understand that particular special bond that seemed at times to exist between her father and herself and that she sought.

He managed the family business, the "fun home" or funeral home
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
I was running the sound board this evening for another Oklahoma! show, and reading this while I waited for the house to settle in so we could get started. An older lady glanced over and said, with a bit of obvious disdain, "Looks like you're reading something that's really intellectual." I smiled and said, "Actually, yes. The musical adaptation just won big at the Tonys two weeks ago." I briefly explained what the book entailed and the fact that it was a true story; she shut up, smiled and sat d ...more
I first heard of Alison Bechdel through fandom and the Bechdel test. This is a simple way of evaluating the gender bias of a film:

1. It has to have at least two women in it,
2. who talk to each other,
3. about something besides a man.

Because it's simple, it's not always true. (Do Natasha Romanov, Pepper Potts and Maria Hill talk to each other in Avengers? No. Are they all female characters worth watching and identifying with? Yes.) But quite often, it is. (Sorry, Supernatural, but really. Really.)
Emilia P
You know, I thought this book couldn't possibly be as good as I remembered it. But it really really is. It is exquisitely paced and laid out and drawn and balances Bechdel's story with her father's very well. And yes, it is maybe a little snobbily literary (Camus, Proust, Anais Nin, Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Joyce, Wilde off the top of my head) but it is essential to the nature of the characters.

So two of the basic themes are important ones. First: family and memory. She makes it clear th
Sometimes my reading takes on a sort of frantic archeological hunt-ness and I find myself tearing through books looking for the best sentence, the most aurally appealing word, the most curious idea. The next best thing ever. Or the next worst thing ever. A superlative in some respect. Something that bonks me over the head, bleeding from pores and lamenting the cruelty of only being able to read this thing for the first time once. And that there is a chance I will never again read anything better ...more
This is a well-written memoir, and had to be both difficult and cathartic for the author to research and to write. There are moments of poignancy that hit me hard (end of Chapter 3 and also the very last page of the book), as did the sad humor of the adolescent narrator trying to wean herself from her compulsions (end of Chapter 5). I also enjoyed the many literary references and parallels (the author's father was an English teacher), and the time period -- Bechdel must be only a year or two old ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Discussed on Episode 4 of the Reading Envy podcast!

ETA: Finally coming back to write an actual review. Sorry for the delay!

I had previously read Are You My Mother?, which is a bit out of order since Bechdel wrote this graphic novel first. While Are You My Mother focused on her relationship with her mother and her experiences in therapy, Fun Home focuses on her experience with her father and the home he built.

I was thinking about this book a lot as I went back to my parental home for the first
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Alison Bechdel is an American cartoonist. Originally best known for the long-running comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For, in 2006 she became a best-selling and critically acclaimed author with her graphic memoir Fun Home.
More about Alison Bechdel...
Are You My Mother? The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For Dykes to Watch Out For (DtWOF, #1) More Dykes to Watch Out For (DtWOF, #2) New, Improved! Dykes to Watch Out For (DtWOF, #3)

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“Grief takes many forms, including the absence of grief” 43 likes
“I suppose that a lifetime spent hiding one's erotic truth could have a cumulative renunciatory effect. Sexual shame is in itself a kind of death.” 35 likes
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