A fresh and brilliantly told memoir from a cult favorite comic artist, marked by gothic twists, a family funeral home, sexual angst, and great books.
This breakout book by Alison Bechdel is a darkly funny family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Bechdel's sweetly gothic drawings. Like Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, it's a story exhilaratingly suited to graphic memoir form.
Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian home, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with his male students and a family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter's complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned "fun home," as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books.
When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescence, the denouement is swift, graphic — and redemptive.
What I was expecting this book to be and what I got out of it were telescopic. I gave this book two stars due to the great illustrations. How thrilling this book is going to be I thought due to the fact that it is a graphic memoir about a lesbian and her relationship with her father well, I was duped. The book is predominantly told in a way that meshed other books and their characters, for instance, The Odyssey, Homer, Proust, Wilde, etc. into the ongoing plot. Making this read intolerable for readers who loath Greek mythology or a lot of the time making the story confusing. Furthermore, the profuseness of the grammar is too excessive for a graphic novel. For a memoir, the protagonist was undeveloped. She came off atrocious and unkind. Yet, I felt deep sympathy for her father. He was unable to become the person he truly was in life due to the era he lived in. Yet, in his own way he still tried to be true to himself which the daughter ridiculed relentlessly.