Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Review: Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
Published: October 29th, 2013 (Touchstone)
Pages: 369
Source: bought
Series: NA
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆

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 don't read a lot of blogs, but Hyperbole and a Half is one of the precious few I check regularly. So when I heard this book was coming out.. Of course I had to have it. Allie has this amazing talent of being able to tell real, often deep and emotionally complex, stories with the help of the Paint-like program she uses to draw her illustrations. She always manages to be spot-on in her tales; whether it's funny or sad, somehow it always resonates with me.

It's hard to pick a favourite from the old favourites and new stories in this book, but there's one set of stories that really hit me while I was reading them: Adventures in Depression and Depression Part 2. She is able to put into words and images something I have been unable to describe for years now, that dark place called depression. It's such a difficult thing to explain and every time I attempt telling people about it, it somehow fails. I can't find the words to adequately describe that. Now I know I can just shove this in their face and say "READ THIS -- THIS IS ME" and it will be spot-on. Reading it in this book again once again confirmed how familiar this all is and how much I identify with it.

The book features both new and old stories, some better than others, but always with the same heart. Sometimes I feel like I'm reading Allie's diary because some of the pieces are so personal.

Long story short: Thoroughly enjoyable and often spot-on and hilarious, this is the book you grab off your shelf for a pick me up.

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