Book #36 for 2014
That I’m not giving this five stars says more about me than about the book. I find graphic novels visually confusing, and I am not well read enough to appreciate many (probably most) of Bechdel’s literary allusions. And much of the subject matter just didn’t resonate with me.
For one thing, I don’t think my dad has ever been suicidal. But I don’t think Alison’s father was suicidal, either. I’m not entirely sure where she got that idea, and it seemed strange to me that she used that specific idea — that her father committed suicide — to frame not just her entire book, but most of her adult life. But it also made her something of an unreliable narrator, and I think we are discovering, are we not, that I have an affinity for unreliable narrators.
I was pleased that this graphic novel was for the most part Stina-friendly. The flow of the text was usually clearly defined, and the asides made for fascinating little trips down memory lane for this baby of the ’70s.
I’m not sure what I was expecting from this book, but I know I got more out of it than I expected, and even though much of it wasn’t all that relevant to me, I was able to get a really good sense of Bechdel’s talent. It’s definitely an interesting read on a number of levels.