Tuesday, February 25, 2014

"Hyperbole and a Half" by Allie Brosh

A while back I stumbled upon Hyperbole and a Half, an entertaining blog which has short autobiographical stories, accompanied by entertaining drawings. I received this book as Christmas present and read it almost immediately.

Summary: This is a collection of autobiographical stories, many from childhood, in which Brosh reflects on things that happened and examines her internal thoughts while they happen. She discusses serious topics of depression, personality, motivation and does it in a way that is respectful and lighthearted. She writes with a high degree of insight into issues that most people try and avoid. It's clear she has a genuine interest in understanding her thoughts, instead of just having them. She spends a lot of time exploring the topics of dogs and dog training, kids parties, dental work, lost in the woods, hot sauce and what not. Each story is written half in text and half in pictures with a charming element that are enhanced by their poor quality.

What I Liked: This was a fun read, even as it dealt with some topics that are usually not considered fun. I also found a lot of points where I could relate to the stories when she reflects on the thoughts going through her head. Brosh is great at presenting stories in a way that maximizes their comedy and value. The pictures are exactly right to make the jokes funnier than text alone.

What I Didn't Like: It was too short. I could have been five times as long. I should warn potential readers that Brosh is not afraid to use words which are generally, and arbitrarily, considered offensive. If you are uneasy about "swear" words, I suggest you stick to other authors. This vocabulary did not bother me, but it might bother some.

Rating: Amazing. This is a must read for anyone who has an active internal mental life.

Also Read By This Author: Hyperbole and a Half website. 

Reviewed by: Nick

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