Thursday, January 29, 2009

8. "Fun Home" - Alison Bechdel


"A comic book!" my youngest said. "Can I read it?"

Um, no. You may not read a book.

"You've never said that to me before. You always tell me to read. Is it inappropriate?"

Totally, for your age group.

Of course, I found him peeking at it while I was in the bathroom. He later said it was boring and didn't understand why I wouldn't "chillax."

This is all beside the point. The graphic novel, Fun Home, is not appropriate for kids, but it is a funny, poignant look at Bechdel's life. Memoir as art as writing.

Bechdel's father, a closeted English teacher, is both funny and distant. He also works for the the family business: a funeral parlor (called "The Fun Home"). As Bechdel grows up, and deals with her own sexual orientation, the one-liners become sad. She was shoved into the background after her father's continuous affairs with younger men. The fact that she is a lesbian brings this response from her mom, "Your father has been doing that for years." (paraphrased)

It's a very quick read on a quirky subject. The best part is that Bechdel uses parts of her diary to supplant the book. Nice... a memoir to believe and enjoy.

3.0 out of 5.0 Hyper Beams.

1 comment:

Lesley said...

This was the first graphic novel I read and it got me hooked on the form. Glad you enjoyed it! (Although I agree on its age-level appropriateness - when it initially came for our library from our supplier, it was mis-catalogued as YA. I quickly had that changed!)