Title: Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things that Happened
Author: Allie Brosh
Genre: Biography, Humour, Illustrated
Publisher: Square Peg (31st October 2013)
Hyperbole and a Half is a blog by a twenty-something American, Allie Brosh. Her debut book – half new stories, half favourites from the blog – chronicles her ‘learning experiences’ and character flaws. It includes stories about her rambunctious childhood; owning a mentally challenged dog; and a moving account of her struggles with depression.
Rating: **** (4 stars)
HYPERBOLE AND A HALF is Allie Brosh’s first book, based on her blog by the same name. The book is made up of stories about Brosh’s life; stories about her childhood, how she sees herself, life at home, and what depression is to her. Each tale has illustrations which bring the story to life in Brosh’s unique style.
I first heard about Allie Brosh, then subsequently this book, when I was browsing Tumblr and came across a link to a post where she discusses what depression is like for her. Reading it, with its honesty and humour, helped me understand the illness. So when I heard that some of her work was being collected in a book I had to check it out.
HYPERBOLE AND A HALF is a brilliant mixture of words and graphics, mixed with startling honesty and humour. This book made me both laugh out loud (sometimes to the point where I struggled to breathe) and think. It is perfect to read in instalments, but that is to be expected as it is based on Brosh’s blog (which you can find here if you want to see what her work is like).
Brosh’s artwork is simple and easy to follow. She has a very definite style, and the images are clear and easy to follow. The work is also brilliantly colourful in places, as well as more sombre in others reflecting the mood of the story she is telling. The text interspaced around the drawings is clear and legible whether it is the typed story or Brosh’s own writing in her artwork.
If you are looking for something a little different, then this is probably the book for you.