Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic - Alison Bechdel It's finally over. <-- First thoughts about completion. But let's start with a little commentary. Gotta say, two books that don't quite appeal to me one after another. I'm no great lover of anything homosexual related. To me, as I said before, reality doesn't matter--even more so when it's about things that for me are personal and should remain so. The book was a lot more graphic than I had anticipated, but that's not what even threw me off. To be blatant: I just didn't care. The story of a girl growing up, "realizing" that she's a lesbian, finding out her recently dead father (possible suicide case) also had gay flings with lovers and all, and finding a way to identify with that dead parent as a means of establishing herself as an individual--all that makes for a very well plotted-out story. Even its telling was done masterfully, each piece of the tale unfolding slowly and with expert precision, so that some parts you read before were brought up again to fit snugly into the whole, making the end result a lot more gratifying and complete than it would have been otherwise. The story carried a lot of weight to it--meaningful weight--because of the talent of its author to reveal the story in this manner. It is, on that part, an expert piece of writing.

It's the fact that I'm reading about a girl identifying with her father that, frankly, bores me. I cannot find it in myself to place value in things that are everyday, and that I see or experience almost all the time. The allure of the forbidden by this particular story being about two very unexpected homosexual family relatives doesn't cut it for me on the interest level. It doesn't perk anything. And no, this is not because I'm a female reading about a lesbian's issues. Trust me. I've been taken for a lesbian simply because my ideals for myself are so masculine, and God do I also love men's clothes to death. <333 (Trust me, constant source of playful angst in my life is that I cannot cosplay the characters I love from most animes/videogames because half the time... the characters that suit me most are male! Darn my female body sometimes!) It's not the situation here, that I cannot identify with the character or what she goes through. For a lot of the frank and open realizations that she went through as her female body matured and as she learned to experience it and society in new and different ways, I can very easily step into her shoes. Even her life with her father who always fixes up things, finds crazy amounts of gratification in perfection, and treats his children as extensions of himself in doing all these random acts of fixing/building around the house calls me right back to my own childhood, teenage years, and even my present day life. I grew up in a household that had no brothers. I essentially became the firstborn son in my family as I was the oldest child. I've been there. So the complaint can be almost completely separated from the sexuality of the author and the story.

Of course, the fact that the entire story revolves around homosexuality makes that impossible. All I'll say is this: for a story of its kind, it was presented admirably well. The "plot"--her life story--was dealt out to us as readers with great care, carefully concealed diligence in the casual tone of the tale, and made for an impacting, memorable ending that won't soon leave the minds of its readers. Nevertheless, it's not my cup of tea. If I wanted to worry about real life problems, finding yourself in the midst of a social, turbulent world, and other stories of identifying with those nearest and dearest to you--I could turn to my own life and try once again to sort out the compounded chaos that makes everyone revolve through it on their own paths, constantly interchanging, affecting, and adding to one another. I don't need a book to show me all the things that I've gone through myself. It doesn't do it for me. I want to read about things outside of this life and this reality. Why should someone else's story about their childhood, their family, their relationships, their school life, and their self interest me? It's all just another mish-mosh of the same old, same old in my book.

Bechdel, kudos to you for putting together a well-written, well laid-out piece of writing. If it was on any other subject and written in the same style, I would probably have enjoyed it a lot more. As it is, it didn't suit my tastes, but that doesn't undermine the fact that your work was very well produced. To those of you who would enjoy something more autobiographical, identifying with a parent, or homosexual themed, then this might be the book for you. As it is, I can only recommend it on the quality of the way it was put together. That alone stands out for me~