Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Book Review:: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic


Fun Home begins with Alison Bechdel telling us about her father, Bruce, a persnickety man who's into high fashion, tanning, and decorating. His life is about illusions. Together, he and his wife and children must appear to be the ideal family even though they were anything but that.

After Bruce dies in a freak accident (that may or may not be suicide) his secrets begin to surface. Alison learns from her mother that while hiding behind the perfect family facade, Bruce had spent his entire married life having homosexual affairs, at times even with the young boys he met through his work as a high school english teacher.

As Alison reflects back on her childhood, she's not only forced to see her family's past in a whole new way, but to decide how or if at all, it effects her life as a homosexual woman.

Three Reasons You Should Read This Book:

*I know that reading about any sexuality different from the one you identify with can be (for some people) scary/weird/uncomfortable and although sexuality is a major theme in this book, it's also just a really good, albeit slightly twisted, coming of age story.

*Even though this is technically a graphic novel, it didn't always feel that way to me. It felt more like a regular novel just with pictures. Alison Bechdel doesn't skimp when it comes to using words and she doesn't rely on her drawings to tell the story. The words tell the story and the drawings are just a beautiful added bonus.

*Not only do I think you should read this book, but TIME magazine does as well. Back in 2006, Fun Home was #1 on TIME's list of 10 Best Books of the year, ranking higher than books by Cormac Mccarthy and Dave Eggers.

15 comments:

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

The 1st line of your review when you describe Bruce I thought, "he's gay" and closeted.

Now this book I think I'd like. (vs. the camera!)

as always, great review.

Tammie said...

thank you! i think you'd like this one too. and yeah, it was nice to read a good book after that Camera abomination.

kraftykash said...

Sounds good! just got off the phone with the library, they are getting it for me. :)

Dysfunctional Mom said...

I just put it on hold at the library.
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

oh cool, I'm going to look out for this one!

Tammie said...

ooh im so excited that all of you are planning on reading this one. please come back and share your thoughts afterwards!

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

There are so many -- too many -- books out there that I want to read. I'm with Margaret....I knew just where you were going with this one.

Dawn said...

After your riveting review, I changed my mind.
It's on my list :)

Yolanda said...

Where is the photo taken in your header. I live in McMinnville and was just wondering it is beautiful.

Run Lori Run said...

What is your opinion of Dave Eggers: brilliant or self absorbed?

Man you are a reader, I can't keep up with you. Thanks for your reviews (all of them), I'll add this to my list. I've never read any other graphic novels other than MAUS....

Tammie said...

yolanda: Thank You! it was taken at oxbow park.

lori: i've tried to read eggers but have always felt like he was part of a club that i just would never be good enough for, so im going with self absorbed. i want to like him, i feel like i should like him, but i just can't.

i love maus.

daphne said...

I think I will give this a try at some point. I didn't like her big Collected Dykes book but I think I might be more into this one.

And I think it's good for everyone to read about sexualities/cultures/proclivities different from their own. Open minds are good.

Tammie said...

daph: i know what you mean. i have no desire to read Dykes, due in part to your review, and also i just dont think id be that into it. but this one was really good.

Aleta said...

Interesting. I don't think it's a book I'd normally pick up but after your review, I'm game to giving it a shot.

Dani said...

I'm reading Good Grief right now. It's keeping me up waaaaay past my already too late bedtime.

I also started reading it at the wrong time of the month. I've been a blubbering fool.

I'll consider this one down the line.