Book Review of Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
Published by Touchstone on October 29th, 2013
Genres: adult, graphic novel
Buy the Book
FROM THE PUBLISHER:Every time Allie Brosh posts something new on her hugely popular blog Hyperbole and a Half the internet rejoices. Touching, absurd, and darkly comic, Allie Brosh’s highly anticipated book Hyperbole and a Half showcases her unique voice, leaping wit, and her ability to capture complex emotions with deceptively simple illustrations. This full-color, beautifully illustrated edition features more than fifty percent new content, with ten never-before-seen essays and one wholly revised and expanded piece as well as classics from the website like, “The God of Cake,” “Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving,” and her astonishing, “Adventures in Depression,” and “Depression Part Two,” which have been hailed as some of the most insightful meditations on the disease ever written. Brosh’s debut marks the launch of a major new American humorist who will surely make even the biggest scrooge or snob laugh. We dare you not to. FROM THE AUTHOR:This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative—like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it—but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book:PicturesWordsStories about things that happened to meStories about things that happened to other people because of meEight billion dollars*Stories about dogsThe secret to eternal happiness**These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!
I think this book was going to receive a high rating from the start. I try to keep my expectations in a normal range, but Allie from Hyperbole and a Half has never failed to dazzle me. I’ve waited for this book like a kid waits for Christmas. I worried myself silly when Allie disappeared and the news of her book slipped away. I got the notion that Allie was in a very bad place. When this book finally hit the shelves, I was overjoyed and relieved.
This is going to sound very corny, but I feel a deep connection to the author and her comics. I am glad to know that someone came from a totally dysfunctional family and lived to tell the tale. I wish I had her gift with words, and her comics just amaze me. Her depression comic is nothing less than brilliant and painful, and the gratitude I felt for her writing an amazing and very realistic comic about the struggle against depression is out of this world.
Allie’s book is a wonderful compilation of old material and new stories. I love her art work and the drawings of Simple dog drew me in right away when I stumbled over her website. I’m not sure if I can put this into the proper wording, but I love to see the talent under the “crappy-style.” It might look like an elementary Microsoft paint job, but when you study the art, it is nothing less than impressive to notice the small and wonderful details. The stories and the writer’s tone of voice combines brilliantly. The age of the web comic is far from dead, and Brosh’s own personal touch is a welcome addition.
On a deeper level, I appreciate that this web comic comes from a female. I don’t want to come across as a man-hating ice devil, however, it becomes slightly depressing to see that most graphic art and blogs are a male-dominated field. I stopped reading published comics, such as DC, when I got the notion that a female demographic was not welcome in the field. I love The Oatmeal and sometimes I get a kick out of Penny Arcade, but I sometimes miss that connection. I’m also not the most feminine thing on the face of the Earth, but I do have a large quantity of female traits. I found the happy medium when I discovered Allie’s own website. She was a girl who dared to be funny and honest in a place where most females are treated like an unfortunate side effect.
If you are a fan of Hyperbole and a Half, then you need this book. The additional material is wonderful. The art is great, and the first story about time traveling will soon become a classic. If you never heard of the website, or if you are a sad person who does not read the blog, then this is a great starting place.