Marcie's Reviews > Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
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Jan 15, 2009

it was amazing

I'm tempted to copy-and-paste Lindsey's review of Fun Home here, since it is so well written and coincides well with my appraisal of this book. Fun Home was very approachable for first time graphic novel readers like myself-- there are no caped heroes or "POW!" bubbles-- and I found that having to study the pictures to glean details that would normally be expressed verbally forced me to take time to contemplate and appreciate Bechdel's messages as I read. It was a really unique experience looking at the drawings and making my own judgments, for example, noticing that the author's self-portrait depicts a boyish little girl, rather than being told straight out, "I was a tomboy." And as Lindsey noted, it takes skill to tell an adolescence story (or a father story, for that matter) in a fresh way, but Bechdel pulls it off beautifully. Fun Home made a great book club selection, since there was so much going on, and I definitely need to read it again. Bechdel and her father were avid readers themselves, and her mother a skilled actress, so there are abundant references to books and plays, and I felt like I only skimmed the surface of all her interesting symbols, allusions and metaphors on my first reading. I highly recommend this book, although, with the warning that it is "graphic" in more ways than one-- love-making in an all-words novel is more likely to go unnoticed by your seatmate on the train than Bechdel's drawings of the same, and don't let any of your local children flip through it on the premise that it has pictures.
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