Fun Home – Alison Bechdel

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Fun Home is the first graphic novel I have ever read, and although it is a very different experience to reading a book, I enjoyed it very much. I read Fun Home as part of the Dewey challenge. You can see her review here.

Fun Home has been described as one of the first graphic memoirs. It is basically a coming of age story, following one girl into adulthood, as she realises that she is a lesbian.  The book is well observed, and full of light humor:


There were lots of literary references. I think bibliophiles will really appreciate this book, and the way that quotes from Oscar Wilde and Homer were used to sum up many of the feelings the characters experienced.

The title refers to the family funeral business, and I loved the insights into life surrounded by death:


The book reveals the thoughts and feelings of a teenager discovering her sexuality, and so is sexually explicit in places. It contains some full frontal nudity, so avoid it if you are offended by this.


This book was touching, intelligent and full of surprises. I recommend it to anyone looking for something a bit different.


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  1. Sandy says:

    I remember when this came out years ago, and the review in Entertainment Weekly was excellent. In fact, I think it may have made a top whatever list at the end of the year. I have never read a graphic novel before in my life, but I should make an attempt at the genre. Perhaps this is the one I should start with…

  2. Jackie says:

    Sandy – I’m not an expert on graphic novels, as this is the only one I’ve read! I don’t know if this is a good one to start with, all I can say is that I really enjoyed it.

  3. Beth F says:

    Super review. Isn’t interesting to review a graphic novel? I read my first GN in January. I had no idea of the range of genres and stories available.

  4. Jackie says:

    Beth – Yes – I never knew the range that was out there – I’ll be reading lots more in the future.

  5. Nymeth says:

    I really loved this book. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it too!

  6. Rebecca Reid says:

    I’m glad it worked for you!

  7. It was Time magazine’s book of the year.

  8. I’m not surprised it was Time magazines book of the year – it was very special.

  9. ian darling says:

    Fun Home is a (sort of) misery memoir told with such skill,humour and compassion and with such brilliance in the use of the Graphic novel form in the mode of autobiography- that it stands right up there with Father and Son by Edmund Gosse and Bad Blood by Lorna Sage.I gather from other material on the web that Alison Bechdel’s version of these events is not uncontested but I am certain of her integrity.
    The last section of Fun Home is superbly constructed and one of the most moving things i have ever read.

    1. Jackie says:

      Ian Darling, Thank you for commenting on my blog for the first time! Thank you for recommending Father and Son – I hadn’t heard of that one before. Bad Blood is sounding familiar, but I haven’t got a copy yet. I’m still very new to graphic novels, but the more I read, the more I love them.


  1. The Dewey Challenge – Farm Lane Books Blog
  2. Saturday Review of Books: March 14, 2009 at Semicolon
  3. Fun Home, Alison Bechdel « Jenny's Books
  4. Farm Lane Books Blog – Farm Lane Books Blog
  5. March Summary – Farm Lane Books Blog

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