Monday, January 13, 2014

INTERNET! Forever...

Is it safe to assume you're familiar with Allie Brosh's blog Hyperbole and a Half? Because if you're not, you should probably go check that out right now. I'll wait. Or I mean, I won't just sit here while you're reading it, but my website won't self destruct or something if you leave it open in a different tab while you go read H&H.

Brosh wrote a book. Illustrated a book. Both. It's stories about her life, told mostly through her MS Paint drawings, which means they're both crude and AMAZING. Even if you're not already familiar with her work, if you've spent a significant amount of time on the internet I'm sure you've seen this

She shares stories about her childhood, her life with her (now) husband and their dogs, and her battles with depression. The stories are mostly ridiculous and absurd and had me crying laughing, even though I knew a fair amount of them already. Even her more serious stories are funny. Or at least have funny elements, while still being poignant.

A lot of the book is made up of stories that are on her blog. Which normally I'd think "Well, then I don't need to buy your book cos the content is free online." And honestly, if you decide to go that route it's understandable. But I've read her entire blog (which I recommend but she has posts going back to 2009 so it may take some time) so when I heard about her book I knew I would be getting it, even if there are only a couple new stories. And then it ended up that about half the book is made up of new stories so WIN. And a lot of the new stories are some of the best ones, so another good reasons to pick up the book.

There's no real theme to the book, other than they're stories about Brosh. They don't go in order, which is nice because I don't know that reading all of her childhood stories followed later by all of her depression stories would have been good choice. So you jump around from This Is Why I'll Never Be An Adult (my favorite, and has lines like "For a little while, I actually feel grown-up and responsible. I strut around with my head held high, looking the other responsible people in the eye with that knowing glance that says 'I understand. I'm responsible now too. Just look at my groceries.'"), The God of Cake, and Depression Part Two. It's a quick read too. I read most of it on the train ride coming home after I bought it and then finished it the next morning. Oh and her dedication page reads:

For Scott.
What now, fucker?

If you're a fan of Brosh, well, you probably already have her book.  But if you haven't picked it up yet, you should. And I would recommend a physical copy as opposed to an ecopy. I don't know how the images show up but they're important so big color illustrations are the way to go. If you're not sure about Brosh, check out her blog. The first post of hers I ever read was The Awkward Situation Survival Guide and while it's not the best story, it did hook me in enough to read ALL THE BLOG (see what I did there? meta). If you're not a fan of Brosh well, I don't know why you're reading a review for this book. You already know you don't want this. I'm not going to change your mind. Not matter how much I love it.

I realize this review is a mess. I'm sorry. You should probably read Kayleight @ Nylon Admiral and Laura @ Devouring Texts reviews. They're far more coherent.

Title quote from page 227

Brosh, Allie. Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened. Touchstone, 2013.