Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hyperbole and a Half

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh (2013)

This might be the opposite of the last book I read. I read it in about two sittings, laughed the whole way through, and will probably read it again. Maybe even soon. I've been a fan of the Hyperbole and a Half blog for a while now. Brosh doesn't publish frequently but her comics are worth the wait. Each one is a pretty long comic essay about some event in her life. Her drawing style is simple, yet conveys a wide range of emotion, and in her stories she somehow manages to really pinpoint the most ridiculous aspects of the human (and canine) condition.

I admit I was a little skeptical when I first heard that Hyperbole and a Half was going to be a book, because I am suspicious of blogs that become books. My first concern was whether there would be any new content, and I'm happy to report that there is a ton of new content. I enjoyed many stories that were new to me, and I was more than willing to also enjoy the familiar ones again. That's the thing with Allie Brosh's comics - they're just as funny the 12th time you read them.

I don't think I will ever get tired of "Adventures in Depression." My favorite part is when she is berating herself one day while eating.

I mean, not to belittle the very serious problem that is depression, but being able to write about her experiences with such candor and self-deprecating humor is really a gift to the world. If reading this doesn't actually lift your spirits (and how could it not?) at least it will show you that you aren't alone.

Many of the stories are much more light-hearted. In one, a goose gets into her house and terrorizes her boyfriend Duncan. In another, she recounts an incident in which she went to great lengths to ravage her grandfather's birthday cake. Her dog, who she kindly refers to as "simple" is also a frequent subject of her comics. It is amazing how expressive Brosh's simple drawings of her simple dog can be.

There is very little in this world that actually makes me laugh out loud, but Hyperbole and a Half does, over and over again. I'm so glad to have this book in my house because sometimes I really depend on these comics to cheer me up, and it's nice to have some in print in case I ever find myself needing cheering and the internet is out. If you're new to Allie Brosh get yourself over to her blog immediately, and then go get the book. You won't be sorry. But don't blame me if you pull a muscle from laughing too hard.

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