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Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
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December 2018: Geek Reads > Fun Hone By Allison Bechtel - 4 stars

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message 1: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 8509 comments Considered a geek read because its on the list - and because its a graphic novel, and I guess its because its a novel turned musical?

Wow - first of all, I am completely out of my genre's for like the fifth book in a row, and I've just started yet another completely unlikely choice. And guess what? I've liked them all! But true to form, I have coming up this month, the Winter Palace, the Invisible Bridge, and Where the Light Falls, so don't fear historical fiction has lost my attention.

But Fun Home - a graphic novel (like never would I pick up, except for Flying Couch earlier this year - also a memoir, this one a Holocaust one), that became a musical and won the Tony for best musical of the year! It was picked for me by my psychoanalytic group for a book club read this upcoming Thursday. I am now listening to the music, which I also got out of the library to accompany, once the book is finished.

This novel is about the painful upbringing of Allison Bechtel, its author and illustrator, and about her relationship with her father, which at points were loving, at other points, conflicted, and certainly illuminating. I don't give away spoilers, because that's why we read or go to musical, to experience a story as it unravels. Again, my sole complaint with Hamilton, that one shouldn't have to pre-research a musical to enjoy it. I really enjoyed it, and I am really looking forward to talking about it. Particularly to hear about what this group thinks about the mother and her role, character, and presence in the story. She is curiously absent, although completely there, which I imagine is a reflection of the authors experience. The Dad was often absent, but takes over the books presence. It was a great read, and totally a different experience for me. I have now read two graphic novels, and really enjoyed and was moved from them both.

One last note. Jolene appreciated graphic novels, and this is one of a short list that I have, that is in tribute to her. As are a few more. I look forward to hearing other's thoughts on this - it certainly stays with you once its complete, and I can tell by song three that the music is compelling too.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

This sounds like a good graphic novel. I haven't read one in a while, but I really do like those that have some history, or some deeper meaning to them. Have you read the Anne Frank graphic novel yet?


message 3: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 8509 comments Flying Couch is Holocaust memoir in cartoons written by a granddaughter. That was surprisingly good. But no I haven’t touched an Anne Frank version.


Sushicat | 804 comments Bechdel wrote another graphic novel about her relationship to her mother: Are You My Mother?


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Amy wrote: "Flying Couch is Holocaust memoir in cartoons written by a granddaughter. That was surprisingly good. But no I haven’t touched an Anne Frank version."

I will check this one out. Thank you Amy.


message 6: by KateNZ (new)

KateNZ | 2320 comments And she’s the originator of the Bechdel Test


message 7: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 8509 comments Did she really? I was curious about the mother...


Idit | 1028 comments I did not realise it was a musical. Can’t imagine it. Very full-on topics
Glad you liked it Amy. I thought it was very good.

I think I’ve mentioned it here before, but Anne Franck Diaries is now a comics as well. Adapted by the people who wrote and drew Waltz with Bashir. I haven’t read it yet. Will do in 2019


Tracy (tstan) | 1192 comments I hope you like the music as well as you did the book. I don't know all the songs, but a few of them are pretty good. I'd like to see this musical someday. I read both of the books she wrote, and I liked Fun Home better, but it was a while ago, and I don't remember why I did.


Susie | 4488 comments I thought Fun Home was great too. It was one of, if not the first, graphic novels I’ve read and I was surprised by how much it could stir my emotions. If I recall the only reason that I gave it a four was that I’m not overly familiar with The Odyssey so those parts were a bit lost on me.


Susie | 4488 comments I drive my husband and older son crazy with the Bechdel Test. Every time we watch something I have to point out that it doesn’t pass the test. The just roll their eyes st me!


message 12: by Joi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3808 comments I'm not a big graphic novel person, but I really enjoyed this one. Perhaps it's because I'm aware of the Bechdal test, perhaps it's because I knew about the musical. I should read more of hers.


LibraryCin | 8312 comments I read this one not too long ago (sometime in the past year?). I just picked up "Are You My Mother" from the library, as well, so I should get to it within the next couple of weeks.


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