Bechdel uses the comic format to lend more layers to her metaphors, give more meaning to any manner of thing she's expressing (specificity FTW), and add that much more weight to the family secrets she exposes to the world. And I love the way she reveals those secrets, hardly building up to them at all, but carrying on with the ordinary until WHAM, secret-sucker-punch.
Do not be afraid of the whole "Graphic Novel" thing if it's new to you. If you can dig a good memoir, pick this one up. Bechdel's writing is wonderful: it gets out of the way when it needs to and it delights in its own goodness when it's called for. And she uses so many literary references that it really upped the "Ah, yes. I am Reading a Book" feeling. It did make me realize that I really need to go ahead and read Joyce's Ulysses already. But I feel like I should read The Odyssey first. I have seen O Brother, Where Art Thou. That'd be enough background, right?
|'bout sums it up.|