Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Fun Home

In this graphic memoir, Alison Bechdel charts her fraught relationship with her late father.Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the Fun Home. It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his ...

Details Fun Home

TitleFun Home
Release DateJun 5th, 2007
PublisherMariner Books
Number of pages232 pages
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Autobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Comics, Glbt

Reviews Fun Home

  • Paul Bryant
    THIS JUST IN : P BRYANT FAILS HIP GRAPHIC NOVEL TESTFun Home, a cripplingly hip graphic novel, is....Yes?It's....YES??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 w...
  • Emily
    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,...
  • 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 su...
  • Fabian
    Works doubly as a hugely terrific autobiography & a megaengaging graphic novel. In FUN HOME, there is a tremendous longing to merge both of these Arts. The intent is always to make print as compelling as the pictorials they are made to convey. Astute, cheeky & enthralling, it brings together disparate themes like 'Wind in the Willows" and "The Importance of Being Earnest" and "Catcher in the Rye", as well as A Chorus Line & Joyce's Ulysses: prett...
  • Natalie
    This graphic memoir has been on my to read list for what feels like ages, so I felt entirely satisfied when I completed reading it.In this graphic memoir, Alison Bechdel charts her fraught relationship with her late father.Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the Fun Home. It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a les...
  • Samadrita
    3.5/5Fun Home's biggest flaw is its self-conscious, droll narrative voice that diminishes its raw earnestness at times. Alison Bechdel imposes her obsessive-compulsive desire for extracting meaning from even the most commonplace of occurrences on to a narrative of coming to terms with personal loss. And this whole exercize of drawing parallels between fictional and real life tragedies and pivotal emotional beats becomes too trite all too soon. Ma...
  • Patrick
    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...
  • Darth J
    Hmmm...Well, I wanted to read this for some time, mostly because Alison Bechdel is probably one of the more prominent names that both authors and readers are aware of these days due to her test. Anyway, I wanted to like this more than I did. You see, I'm not really a fan of graphic novels, but it worked here to illustrate her points. However, this whole book felt more like a project of self-analysis than a commercial product. It was extremely per...
  • Frankie
    So dark & so honest. I loved it.
  • Oriana
    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 m...
  • Ted
    UpdatedThis is a terrific book. The graphic memoir 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 to the same point in time, when he was run over by a truck...
  • Sara
    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 mon...
  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    Find all of my reviews at: Confession time: The only reason I read Fun Home was because it was on the list of most challenged or banned books last year, I had already read more than half of the others on the list and there was a snowball’s chance in hell I’d opt to read The Bible for pleasure.I had also never heard of Alison Bechdel prior to snatching this one up from the library display (such a badass, righ...
  • 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 fathe...
  • Kaion
    Honestly, I have no idea why this is considered such a classic of graphic memoirs. I'm not an expert on this form, and feel self-conscious critiquing graphic literature because of this, but let's work through this.Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic details growing in a cold home where all the occupants isolated themselves in artistic pursuit. Alison Bechdel (of the Bechdel test) particularly focuses on her relationship with her closeted father, who ki...
  • Jessica
    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 l...
  • Cristina Leitón
    Mi primera lectura de novela gráfica no podía haber sido mejor. Cuando Jennifer (una de las libreras de la Come In, en Barcelona) me recomendó empezar con Fun Home y lo hizo con tanta emoción, no pude resistirme a llevármelo a casa conmigo. Y lo empecé, y seguí leyendo, y fijándome en cada detalle de cada página mientras me dejaba envolver por la vida de Alison Bechdel, su relación con su padre y una infancia dolorosa con algunos moment...
  • Earline
    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
  • Aubrey
    I could dislike this if I really put my mind to it, but acting out of spite appeals about as much as following out of habit, so I will trust in my years of youthful reading of words and/or images to do the instinctual judgment work for me. It's pitiful, though, how alike the context of this work is to Delta of Venus as Highlander breeds of their respective genres. So there's a lesbian Künstler-graphic-roman running around the top stacks of laude...
  • 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 atte...
  • KFed
    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 ...
  • Peter Derk
    Here's why I give this book only a single star and didn't finish it.Alison Bechdel is smart. And here's how my relationship goes with people who are chronically, unendingly smart usually goes.1. I think to myself, "I want to talk to some smart people who have big ideas."2. I avail myself of a smart person.3. Smart person tells me an oral sex story, comparing the events to Homeric writings, perhaps even using the word "Homeric".4. Smart person ask...
  • El
    Alison Bechdel is a cartoonist, which is an area that sort of fascinates me because I can't draw a consistent comic strip to save my life. Each panel would look different. So when someone can do it convincingly, I'm intrigued. Bechdel intrigues me because not only can she do that, but she can tell her own story in that format. When you decide to write a family memoir that deals with something so complicated such as homosexuality, putting it out t...
  • 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 ...
  • BrokenTune
    The latest foray into the realms of the graphic novel led me to Bechdel's autobiographical works about her parents.Fun Home, the earlier of the two books, describes her growing up and relationship with her father. Without going into much of the plot and issues, Fun Home offers an exploration into Bechdel's coming to terms with outgrowing the illusions of her childhood whilst exploring works of literature. In a way, one of the aspects that have ke...
  • Sesana
    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 ev...
  • 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 ...
  • Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
    This year I've been on a quest to read more graphic novels, and Fun Home has been on my list for a while. Tomorrow, I am seeing the musical adaptation on Broadway! So I figured there was no better time to finally pick up the book.And WOW, I was blown away. Alison Bechdel's graphic novel is beautifully written and illustrated. It's emotional, funny, tragic, and engrossing from start to finish. I really loved it and I'm excited to see the play!
  • Jason
    This was as excellent as people have told me it would be. Loving the intertextuality here and the way Bechdel examines memory through the reading life of her father and herself. Keen to learn more about the adaptation of this graphic novel into a musical, especially how it treats the heavy focus on literature and intertextuality.
  • Jimmy
    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 a...