With over 151 million visits to date, Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh is arguably one of the funniest blogs on the internet. And now there's a book!

What sets her observations about life apart? The artwork, of course. At first glance the brightly colored pictures appear to be rather crudely drawn by a child using a basic Paintbrush program, yet her bizarre characters--especially the ones representing herself and her dogs--still manage to convey so many emotions with just their bulging donut eyes, a simple line of a mouth and stick-like arms.

Most of the book chronicles hilarious incidents in her life, told and illustrated with exaggerated flair. The two chapters devoted to her recent bout with depression are a little more downbeat, yet still imbued with a degree of humor. That being said, these chapters may cause some of you to reflect on the more bizarre behavior in her other stories and the likelihood of mental instability in the creative mind. But not for long, because you'll be too busy laughing.

The book includes many new stories, but also contains some of the most popular ones from her blog. (For those unfamiliar with the site, some of the "Best Of" are linked on the right-hand side of her blog. However, one of my personal favorites, Wolves, is not listed, so here it is.)

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

Hyperbole and a Half is one of the best-known blogs around today, and one of the funniest. Hyperbole and a Half, The Book is about 50% material that appears on the blog and about 50% original material. It is all written in the same style -- humorous essays liberally illustrated with very badly-done drawings. (Really bad. But they are also funny, so that's okay).

Obviously, you can go and read a lot of this book for free... which makes a review a bit redundant. So, yes, go read the blog, it is very good. In fact, some of the essays in the book include This is Why I'll Never be an Adult (source of the Clean All the Things meme), The Party, God of Cake, Dog, Dogs Don't Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving, Adventures in Depression, and Depression Part Two. You should read these whether you buy the book or not.

The new essays, by my count, include four about her childhood, two (quite excellent) stories about the dogs, four about negative personality traits, and one about a goose in the house. In general these are as good as what has been published on-line, although I found the ones about being a horrible person to be sub-par. As far as actual valuable (as opposed to comedic) content goes, her two classic essays on depression are excellent, but there is nothing new in this book that compares to them. This book is also entirely limited to writings about her life; there are no Alots or Pain Charts.

Well, obviously, if you like Hyperbole and a Half and you like books... you should get this. And if you are not entirely sold on the idea of reading on dead trees, e-book versions are available.

ISBN-10: 1451666179
ISBN-13: 978-1451666175

I anticipated the release of the Allie Brosh's first "Hyperbole and a Half" book with great anticipation. And it was a while of anticipation, too: it took around a month before a copy became available from the library. Hyperbole and a Half's popularity seems to have translated into a great demand for the first book.

I was already a fan of Hyperbole and a Half, had read all of the entries of the blog, and so I mostly knew what I was getting when I started reading the book. One of the questions someone might ask before deciding to purchase the book is whether it has material available beyond what is already readable online. In both quantity and quality, it does. In fact, the topics and themes of the book have probably gone a long way towards eclipsing what made Hyperbole and a Half originally popular.

At least for me, the original appeal of the blog was in its combination of funny stories and random musings. One of the most memorable was "The Alot", the creature that could be imagined in place of the word "Alot". Some of the other stories seemed like typical funny coming-of-age stories, and stories of the frustration of young adulthood. Then, after her initial burst of publicity, Brosh disappeared for a while, and returned with a long post about depression. Hyperbole and a Half, once the most funny reading on the internet, begin to be references as a serious way to explain what depression and other negative states felt like. Many of the other stories took on a new light: her tales on procrastination, which I at first took as a funny look at how hectic life can be, became more of a story about "a flawed coping mechanism" for dealing with a life that seems incomprehensible. This book, then, is much more of a serious biography of Brosh and her trying to manage a world, and a self, that seem unmanageable. There are still a few new funny stories, such as the one about the goose that invaded her house, but most of the new material is about serious introspection. The lack of "Alot" and other such amusements hasn't seemed to disappoint her fanbase, who are just as enthused as ever.

Another interesting point about the book for me, and one that I can't draw too many conclusions about, is that for what amounts to a memoir of a woman coping with depression, there are very few of the stereotypical aspects of female depression present in it. At least in popular culture, much female depression is centered around romantic relationships, or issues of body image. Refreshingly, neither one of these is mentioned except for in passing in this book. It could be that this is due to Brosh being different that the average woman her age, but it could also be that women have problems not related to men, or their appearance, and part of Brosh's popularity amongst her readers is that she has acknowledged that.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.