Updated on May 19, 2015
48. ‘Hyperbole and a Half’ by Allie Brosh
If you haven’t heard of Hyperbole and a Half, here you go. It’s a blog, an absolutely brilliant blog, far better than this one. Go and read it now. I’m telling you, you won’t regret it.
When I first discovered Hyperbole, I think I read it all in about two days and then went off to cry in a corner because the writer, Allie Brosh, hasn’t updated her blog in months. The only thing that pulled me out of my funk was realising that Allie’s book – also called Hyperbole and a Half – features all new material never included on the blog. So I ordered it instantly.
Allie writes about a range of different things: there are stories from her childhood, descriptions of her adventures in owning (and attempting to train) two dogs, and in-depth self-analysis of her own failures to become a properly functioning adult human.
Allie is both self-deprecating and self-aggrandising; she delves straight into her own flaws and shortcomings and exposes them with her brilliantly uplifting sense of humour. When you read this book you’re going to laugh, alot, and you’re also going to feel like she’s talking directly to you, because she touches on insecurities and fears that (I think) we all have.
Of course, I have to mention Allie’s fantastic art style. Both the book and the blog are heavily illustrated with her excellent line drawings: simple, colourful and just a little bit crap-looking.
That’s not to say she’s a crap artist. Quite the opposite, in fact. I’ve seen some of Allie’s more ‘serious’ artwork and she’s a very talented artist; I think that’s why she can create such emotive stick characters using only a few lines. And the pictures are completely hilarious too, perfectly capturing rage, bemusement and misery in a beautifully comical way.
I can’t talk about Hyperbole without mentioning Allie’s excellent comics about depression (you can read both parts, one and two, online). Allie suffered from depression for nearly 2 years and wrote the blog posts about her experiences. Some psychologists have called her work “one of the best contemporary portraits of the condition,” and I have to say that they provide amazing insight into the thought processes of a depressed person.
I honestly can’t recommend this book and Allie’s blog enough. I want more than anything for her to make a return and start writing again, but in the meantime rereading Hyperbole and a Half over and over and over again will have to do.
If you liked my review, why not read the book and let me know what you think?