Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half blog has influenced me greatly over the years.
So, when I heard she had written a book based on her blog, I decided I must own this undoubtedly odd but fantastic piece of literature: Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened.
I ordered it on Saturday, and good ol’ Amazon delivered it today on my front porch, along with a few crafting supplies for my next DIY project.
When I saw the book, I was super excited at how big it looked. I was expecting a flat little paper book, something akin to a Hank the Cowdog novel; what I got was impressively large book crammed with pictures.
Before my husband even left for work, I sat down and started reading. Now I’m finished, not too long later, and trying to pin down what about Allie’s book made it so wonderful and satisfying.
A Closer Look at Hyperbole and a Half
Allie Brosh has an incredibly unique writing style that pushes a lot of boundaries. It balances humor, with personal experiences, with obscenity, with drawings that look like they’ve been done by a 5 year old. The most accurate way I can describe her style is over-the-top: it isn’t so much exaggerated as it is outrageously hilarious.
As the title implies, the book discusses “unfortunate situations, flawed coping mechanisms, mayhem, and other things that happened” to Allie, or to other people because of Allie. In a sense, it’s Allie’s autobiography, but without the boring details of when she was born, what school she went to, what career path she chose,etc.
The book isn’t even in any kind of chronological order. Instead, it switches from memory to memory in the same sporadic and random style as Allie’s writing. The stories cover everything from how Allie motivates herself to clean her house to eating cake as a young child to more serious topics such as dealing with depression. All of the stories are littered with creative and colorful images that keep you wanting more and more.
You Should Check Out Her Blog
In case you don’t want to dish out the money for a brand new book, you should at least check out her blog Hyperbole and a Half. The book and the blog cover many of the same stories (though both have different stories, too), and you get to see Allie find her groove as a writer. Her humor and her art develop too, so if you don’t want to read everything she wrote over the last few years of blogging, then you may just want to stick to her most recent and most popular posts.
I find Hyperbole and a Half adorable, though I know it’s not great for everyone. Allie does push the envelope with a few things, and that includes language. If you don’t feel comfortable reading cuss words, then her style might not be right for you. On the other hand, I feel Allie has an intense personality, so it doesn’t surprise me that she speaks the way she does. She’s not purposefully being offensive to everyone, but she uses harsh and sometimes extreme language to convey that intensity.
Despite that, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. If you need a pick me up, you can always get a laugh out of Hyperbole and a Half.
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