Hyperbole and a Half
By Allie Brosh
Paperback, 369 pages
Do you like funny stories about dogs, goose attacks, lies about how much someone enjoys hot sauce, identity, depression, getting lost in the woods and more dogs? Then you will probably like this book. Allie Brosh, from the blog Hyperbole and a Half, gives readers cleverly worded and charmingly illustrated anecdotes from both her childhood and adult life.
This was recommended to me by a friend when I asked her for a humor suggestion for my genre switch-up challenge. When I added this blog to my list I hadn’t ever read Brosh’s blog (and it doesn’t appear to be active anymore? And as funny as her work is, I’d prefer to read it in a book than stare at a computer screen for hours) though I had heard of it and seen her self-portrait before. Boy, am I glad I picked up this book.
First off, it’s full color (most of the pages even have a solid background color!) and printed on nice glossy stock, so it’s also very heavy and could be used a weapon if necessary. I love the simplicity and MS Paint vibes of Brosh’s work and I know from browsing her (extensive!) FAQ page on her blog that she spends a lot of time on these drawings, calling it a “very precise crudeness” so if you think her work looks like shit, it’s on purpose!
More important than how this book looks, is how funny it is. Brosh tells incredible stories ranging from the strange things she did as a child (like lying about how much she liked hot sauce and eating her grandfather’s birthday cake – the entire thing), to her two hilarious (and terribly behaved) dogs, to how she deals with depression and self-identity. Most of these stories had me laughing out loud and even the way she speaks about depression, while meaningful and relatable, is also lighthearted to some degree.
I thought about quoting this book, but then I wanted to quote all of it, and then I realized that the pictures really do help emphasize her stories and I can’t quote those, so really, if you like to laugh, you should buy this book. It desperately makes me wish I was funny and that I’d done more strange things as a child so I could tell amusing stories and illustrate them. Basically, I need Brosh to write at least five more books, or publish her whole blog in book format or something because her work is awesome and I need more of it right now.