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
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Autobiography, Memoir, Comics, Nonfiction, LGBT

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...
  • 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...
  • 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,...
  • 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...
  • Fabian
    Works doubly as one hugely terrific autobiography & one 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" & "The Importance of Being Earnest" and "Catcher in the Rye", as well as A Chorus Line & Joyce's Ulysses: pre...
  • Larry H
    Family dysfunction, bow down to the Bechdel family.Alison Bechdel's father Bruce was an enigma to her while she was growing up—an English teacher and director of the family-owned funeral home (aka the "Fun Home") who had an exacting eye for fashion, decor, and gardening. He wasn't a bad father, but he always seemed to keep her and her brothers at arm's length, not to mention her mother.While Alison remembered some special, tender times, she rem...
  • Elyse (semi hiatus) Walters
    Many Thanks to Margaret who recommended this book to me!WOW! ....I knew NOTHING about this book -TERRIFIC/ SPECTACULAR-until it was in my hands today......(other than it was a highly recognized-graphic memoir - chosen best book of the year by at least 10 major publications in 2006).80, 4333 people rated this book -- so where was I? Hidden away with blindfolds and earplugs? There's a lot going on in this --'memoir'.... so much so, there could be s...
  • Nat
    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...
  • Whitney Atkinson
    My life is such a hot ass mess right now that it took me a week to read this even though I loved it. Whereas most graphic novels are quick, fun reads, this is unlike anything I've read before because it’s so rich with meaning. This is like a literary fiction novel tucked into a graphic novel. It made me think, it wowed me with its language, and it definitely provoked a lot of thought about family and sexuality and... I don't know. Emotions? I g...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Kaion
    ETA: This is from the comment section, where somebody rightfully called me out on not bringing proof of Fun Home's badness, and said I just don't understand Bechdel's "stylistic choices". This is me bringing the receipts, including diagrams which I very poorly made in paint. If you just want the review, skip this part.(view spoiler)[Fun Home is definitely made of Bechdel's stylistic choices, I just happen to think the end product of these stylist...
  • 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...
  • Diane
    Here's something I don't get to say very often: I liked the Broadway musical better than the comic.I decided to reread this after seeing the excellent show, and I had a sharper critique of the book this second time around. I first read Fun Home about six years ago after seeing it on some banned book lists, and, reading rebel that I am, I requested it from the library to see what all the fuss was about. It's a "tragicomic" memoir of Bechdel's chil...
  • 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...
  • David Schaafsma
    I just re-read Fun Home: A Family Tragiccomic for my class on YA Graphic Novels with strong girl characters. A celebrated memoir, made into a Tony-award-winning musical. One of the best comics projects of all time. Meticulously wrought, with attention to every single detail in every single panel, this memoir reveals itself fairly early on as a dual "coming out" story of Bechdel and her father. To say when these events take place would be the spoi...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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 its 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
  • 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...
  • Paul
    This is my first proper graphic novel and is part of a reading challenge for this year. It’s by Alison Bechdel and I hadn’t initially realised I knew her name from the Bechdel test. This is a way of looking at the way women are portrayed in fiction and film. The test is whether a work features at least two women talking to each other about something other than a man. This goes back to Virginia Woolf in A Room of One’s Own:“All these relat...
  • 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 ...
  • Michael
    A memoir of a father's death, as well as a coming-out story, Fun Home explores Bechdel's ambivalence toward the dysfunctional relationship she shared with her dad, before his suicide. The book starts off as a conventional character sketch of Bechdel's dad, reading as a kind of emotionally distant elegy for a demanding father not much missed. As the graphic novel goes on, though, it becomes less about the life of the author's father and more about...
  • 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
    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 ...
  • Puck
    Spice up your Pride-Month TBR with this beautiful and dark graphic novel. Fun Home is the biographic story of Alison Bechdel herself, who grows up with a repressed and strict homosexual father, who dies a few days after Alison herself has come out as a lesbian. Was it an accident, or actually a suicide? Who was her father really?Alison spares herself and her family no kindness in her drawings. Her color palette is simple with only tones of blue, ...