Review: Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Allie Brosh can be a little bit (actually, she can be a lot,) petty. She's a bit immature, swears, does not like marketing gimmicks, but uses them quite jokingly on the blurb to her book, has great insight into human nature (and the behaviour of her dogs,) and she draws odd but fantastic pictures of herself and her loved ones using Microsoft Paint. (Or perhaps she uses a different similar programme. I don't know her and have not actually asked. So you know, I could be wrong about that last one.)

Anyway, as many readers would already be aware Hyperbole and a Half started out as a blog a few years ago, featuring well, words and hilarious pictures that told stories about Brosh's life, which gained a lot of momentum after her brilliant posts about her personal struggles with depression. And there is a lot to like about the website. It's silly, it's insightful and you're kind of left with the feeling that the author is secretly irritated with you and/or laughing at you for liking and enjoying it. Oh, and it wasn't updated for a really long time after Brosh gained a book deal with Simon and Schuster.

Anyway Hyperbole and a Half, the book, is more of the same insight and silliness that we can see on the website. About fifty percent of the book is new material, the other fifty percent is some of the best posts from the sight, though, disappointingly (for me, anyway,) my personal favourite The Four Levels of Social Entrapment was not included. There seemed to be no consistent themes or sections, each post just seemed to have been chosen at random and placed inside the book in an equally random position. I have no doubt fans and followers of the blog will lap this book up and leave five star reviews in all the right places. Personally I think its a funny book with a bit of wiggle room for improvement--the author needs to work on themes and pacing and making the entire book work as a whole, rather than slapping down little pieces that work well on their own and expecting it to all fit together. But maybe I'm being too harsh here. After all, it is based on a blog and the very nature of blogging is that posts can be quite random and don't need to fit in with one another.

Anyway, if you like cartoons that tell stories and you're in the mood for a book that is as honest as it is silly, then Hyperbole and a Half is the perfect choice.


Andrew Leon said…
Probably, I will not buy the book. I like the blog but not enough to actually go back and read posts older than when I started following it, and that's free, so I don't see myself paying money for something I'm already not interested in reading without more cost than time.

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