‘Fun Home’ by Alison Bechdel [Book Review]

With less than a month of the 2017 Reading Challenge to go, I have to read ten books before the end of the year to reach my target (if we are playing a purely numbers game): and so begins the great reading sprint *hopefully* of December 2017!

This afternoon, I spent a couple of hours reading the last 150 pages of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel. I first heard about this graphic novel in an interview Waterstones conducted with E. Lockhart, author of one of my favourite YA novels, We Were Liars, so I immediately purchased it with high expectations. Sadly, they were not met.

Title: Fun Home
Author: Alison Bechdel
Released: 2006
Pages: 232
Category: #41 A book recommended by an author you love
Rating: 3/10

[PHOTO]

Review:
“Causality implies connection, contact of some kind, and however convincing they might be, you can’t lay hands on a fictional character.”

This graphic novel is an autobiography, analysing the author’s discover and acceptance of her own sexuality, as well as the circumstances surrounding her father’s suspicious suicide.

It is incredibly philosophical, and carries some deeply profound content. It incorporates relevant themes from prominent works of literature (including Ulysses and The Importance of Being Ernest), the one passion both Bechdel and her father share; they seem to discuss anything of importance through the fictional exploits of others. At times it reads as being almost entirely detached, as though Bechdel is reporting the life of a stranger, but perhaps she is: both from her own experience and that of her father.

Unfortunately, I found this graphic novel difficult to follow, as it jumped about in time a great deal and there wasn’t much direction. There was also little in the way of plot: questions weren’t answered, and there wasn’t much in the way of character growth and development (I’ll let this one slide somewhat, given the autobiographical nature of the book).

However, I think it is something I might revisit down the line, if only to assess some of the more interesting philosophical debates raised.

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