Book: Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh
Genre: Graphic Novel, Humor, Memoir
Publication Date: October 29, 2013
Synopsis: Hyperbole and a Half is a graphic novel based on Brosh’s blog of the same name, which originally featured some of the comics that appear in the book. Brosh humorously recreates various episodes of her life, including stories about her dogs and childhood. Brosh also touches on some heavier subjects, particularly with her two chapters about her struggle with depression; nevertheless, Brosh still manages to keep a streak of humor alive in these chapters without undermining their seriousness. Each chapter is, for the most part, independent of the others; therefore, it is somewhat difficult to provide a summary of the over-arching storyline.
Thoughts: Am I the ONLY person on the Internet who just recently discovered Brosh’s blog?! I don’t even remember how I came across it, but when I did I was distracted by it for at least an hour. So, I obviously had to get the book – and I LOVED it. I’m not sure how one would respond to the book if they weren’t at least familiar with the blog, so I would suggest maybe checking out some of her most popular comics there to get a feel for her style of humor. I don’t typically laugh out loud when reading (aside from the occasional chuckle), but I broke out into actual fits of laughter while reading this book. As someone who owns less-than-brilliant dogs myself, I thought the chapters about her dogs were especially relatable and hilarious. The chapter “Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving” was probably my favorite. After doing some Googling, I discovered that Brosh’s chapters on depression are actually pretty well-known for being able to portray what depression sufferers experience. Though I can’t personally relate, I really feel like I have a better understanding of depression than I did before reading this book.
Bottom Line: The fact that I continuously laughed out loud while reading this book (and that I pretty much read the whole thing in one sitting) is enough for me to give it five stars. I will definitely be revisiting Hyperbole and a Half whenever I need a pick-me-up!