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Review: Fun Home

July 10, 2015

Fun Home

When I was in New York for BEA, someone suggested Julie and I see the Broadway show, Fun Home.  He predicted it would win lots of Tony Awards, and he was right, but we weren’t able to get tickets to see it so we decided to do the next best thing and read the book it’s based on.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel is a graphic memoir that focuses on Bechdel’s relationship with her father.  The third of three children, and the only girl, Bechdel was born to an English teacher father and an amateur actress mother.  Her father also ran the local funeral home but the town was small so business was slow.  She says,

And indeed, if our family was a sort of artists’ colony, could it not be even more accurately described as a mildly autistic colony?

The family lived in an old house that Bechdel’s father lovingly restored.  The house was his passion and he was very particular about it.  He was cold and distant and obsessed with appearances.  It wasn’t until years later that Bechdel realized he was hiding a secret and that the secret was the one thing they had in common.

Bechdel is a talented artist and obviously very intelligent.  Fun Home is very introspective and somewhat philosophical at times.  I enjoyed the book but admit that she lost me a time or two with her literary references.  It wasn’t too hard to follow, though, since this is a graphic memoir.  Parts of the book are explicit so I wouldn’t recommend it to younger readers.

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21 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth F permalink
    July 10, 2015 5:50 am

    I can’t believe I haven’t read this one yet. I remember it getting lots of praise the year it came out. Maybe you’ll get to see the play next time you’re in New York.

  2. July 10, 2015 6:58 am

    I have this book but haven’t read it yet and I so want to see the show.

  3. Diane permalink
    July 10, 2015 7:11 am

    I bet this would be great on stage!

  4. July 10, 2015 7:36 am

    Too bad you didn’t get to see it. The book sounds good though.

  5. July 10, 2015 8:14 am

    We tried to get tickets a few weeks ago, too – no luck. Maybe I should read the book.

  6. July 10, 2015 9:46 am

    I haven’t heard of this book, but it sounds good.

    Nice post.

    ENJOY your weekend.

  7. July 10, 2015 10:25 am

    Sounds good! Too bad you missed the play, though. Thanks for sharing.

  8. July 10, 2015 11:06 am

    Sure, maybe. Too bad about the play though

  9. July 10, 2015 11:14 am

    I’ll look for the graphic novel – I’ve read a couple in the past year and like them!

  10. July 10, 2015 12:07 pm

    Terrific review, Kathy!

  11. July 10, 2015 1:51 pm

    I remember hearing such great things about this one, but never got around to reading it. Glad you enjoyed it.

  12. July 10, 2015 3:13 pm

    Too bad you couldn’t get tickets for the play. But this sounds intriguing, even if there are some obscure references.

  13. Literary Feline permalink
    July 10, 2015 5:47 pm

    I wish you had gotten to see it. I have read the graphic novel and really enjoyed it.

  14. July 10, 2015 7:02 pm

    I have such a hard time with graphic novels, not sure why, I might be just to old to change from the traditional works.

  15. Patty permalink
    July 10, 2015 9:27 pm

    The play must be interesting!

  16. July 11, 2015 2:53 am

    I’ve not read a graphic novel as yet. This sounds good.

  17. July 11, 2015 10:52 pm

    I have not read a graphic novel and not certain it’s for me. Did you really like reading this as a graphic novel? I’m just not sure how I’d like it.

  18. July 13, 2015 11:38 am

    I haven’t heard of the book or the play but it sounds good. The touring company will probably come to KC in about 5 years. We just got The Book of Mormon a few months ago and it’s been out for how long?? LOL

  19. July 14, 2015 6:52 pm

    I cannot wait to read this one. Bechdel was also recently profiled in EW so that article was kind of fun to read as well.

  20. bookingmama permalink
    July 15, 2015 3:11 pm

    I did the exact same thing after we couldn’t get tickets to it!!!

  21. July 18, 2015 10:31 pm

    Too bad you didn’t get to see it on stage! Broadway is one of my favorite parts of visiting NYC.

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