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”
― Alison BechdelFun Home: A Family Tragicomic


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

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic may be known as one of the best musicals around, but it all started as an interesting comic book.

The book is about a girl – Alison – who blames herself for her father’s death. Each chapter offers a deeper inside as to why she blames herself from her homosexuality to her dad being trapped in a small town with the family business: the fun house (funeral home).

The book is drawn in an unique way. There’s the simple parts like where the heads are drawn as if they’re twitching back and forth in disbelief. Those represent her childhood memories and how she experienced life then. When the book shows her at an older age, the drawings are more mature by far. All the drawings are also colored in a shade of blue. She explains why later on in the comic book, which brings a pleasant twist to it all.

One of the book’s 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 curiosity about his death and if she is the reason her father died. About halfway through the book, I realized I couldn’t blame her for her father’s death at all. I lost the main drive that kept me reading; I just finished the book 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, however. It’s just the state of the story.

Another possible negative aspect of the book is the fact that book references litter the pages. There’s literary references everywhere. As an English major, this should be rewarding, however some of the referenced books were books I’ve never read before, which made some of her points harder to understand. But – if you know all of your classic literature well – you may get extra emotions from the story that some people missed.

Overall, the book is a good short read. I read this book in under a week since it was about seven chapters and none of the chapters felt long. If you’re looking for a good quick read, it’s an interesting story to pick up.

Score: 7.5/10

Average rating on Goodreads: 4.11/5

Get the book here!


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