Book Of The Month June, 2007
Fun HomeAlison Bechdel
One of the most eagerly anticipated graphic memoirs of recent years, Fun Home is a darkly funny family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Alison 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 the 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 adolescence, the denouement is swift, graphic, and redemptive.
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What We Think
Ruth Lester, Sales, on Fun Home:
I hadn’t picked up any graphic novel or comic since I used to read the Beano when I was about 7 years old, until I picked up Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. It looked so intriguing that I had to give it a go!
I found it compelling from the beginning with its dry sense of humour and very real feel that I felt it hard to put down. Following the life of Alison, the dark twists her life takes leave you feeling sad and yet accepting of the situations she had to face. The question around whether her Dad commits suicide or has an accident leaves you wanting to know more about this distant man. The great balance of matter-of-fact-ness and seemingly far fetched occurrences lends itself perfectly to the graphic novel format. I absolutely loved the way that Alison seemed to handle her life and felt really close to her.
I would strongly recommend it to anyone, whether you would normally pick up a graphic novel or not.