Book review – Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (Spoiler Free)

“I’d been upstaged, demoted from protagonist in my own drama to comic relief in my parents’ tragedy”

  • Title: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
  • Author: Alison Bechdel
  • Genre: Nonfiction
  • Pages: 232
  • Publication date: June 5, 2007
  • Publisher: Mariner Books

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic may be known as a great musical, but it all started as an interesting comic book.

It’s about a girl – Alison – who blames herself for her father’s death. Each chapter shows why she does from her homosexuality to her dad trapped in a small town with the family business: the fun house (funeral home).

Its drawing are unique. There’s the simple, childish parts like where the heads are drawn as if they’re twitching back and forth. Those represent her childhood memories and how she experienced life then. When it shows her at an older age, the drawings are more mature. They are all colored in a shade of blue though.

One of its main disadvantages is the lack of tension. From about page two, the reader knows her father is dead. There’s no question about that. The main question is her fascination with his death and if she is the actual reason for his death. About halfway through the book though, I couldn’t blame her for the death at all. I lost the main drive that kept me reading; I finished it to see what else happened. I felt more of a familiar “blame self” for a tragedy theme than anything else. I don’t think it’s a factor against the writer though. It’s the state of the story.

Another possible negative aspect is the fact that book references litter the pages. The references are everywhere. As an English major, this should be rewarding. But I hadn’t read some of the referenced books before, which made some of her points harder to understand. But – if you know your classic literature well – you may get extra emotions from the story that others missed.

Overall, it’s a good short read. I read it quickly since it was about seven chapters and none of them felt long. If you’re looking for a good quick read, it’s an interesting story to pick up.

Score: 7.3/10
Average rating on Goodreads: 4.11/5

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