Date of Publication: October 29 2013
Source: Bought it
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:
Stories about things that happened to me
Stories about things that happened to other people because of me
Eight billion dollars*
Stories about dogs
The secret to eternal happiness*
*These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!
I first encountered Allie Brosh's work when I saw a link on Twitter to her post about depression. That post, also in the book, was one of the scariest yet hardest hitting pieces I've ever read. It impacted me and so when I walked into a book store and saw the author behind the post had written a book, I had to have the book. So, I bought it on impulse. Can I just say this is the only time that has ever happened. I don't buy anything on impulse beyond food.
Visually, I love it. Hyperbole and a Half is bright with glossy, multi-coloured pages and Brosh's trademark images (I don't know what else to call them). It's like a graphic novel, except that I think there's quite a bit of text compared to most graphic novels. Well, I assume since I haven't read many graphic novels in the first place. Anyway, as someone who loves pretty things, this book was very well designed.
The actual content was amazing. The stories are from Allie's life and reflections, so there is this undeniable ring of truth to everything. Allie Brosh's voice shines through in her writing and it is introspective and relatable. The depression, identity, and motivation pieces are surprisingly thoughtful for something so succinct. There's a lot of BS in every person, and I admire Allie Brosh for sharing her inner thoughts with everybody.
Did you know Hyperbole and a Half won Goodreads' award for best hunour book? Undoubtedly, that will be what calls readers to Hyperbole and a Half and trust me, you won't be disappointed. Stories about Brosh's dogs, the simple dog and the helper dog, as well as her childhood had me in stitches. I've never used that expression before, so please understand how much I laughed. I laughed so hard my sister from another room walked in and asked what was funny. I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe, and then I had a coughing fit. This book does humour to the point where I laugh at just the memory of what happened. I gave it to a friend who also found it hilarious.
Between the laughs, there are moments of reflection. A lot of the stories could represent something more, which makes the book quite layered and almost literary. Regardless, I know I will be reading Hyperbole and a Half again. I'm truly sorry if I haven't convinced you to read this book. It's about dogs, little girls, depression, and life, and it's probably one of the best things ever. Can you tell I have a complete girl crush on Allie Brosh by now?