Hyperbole and a Half

When my sister and I were kids, she wrote this hilarious story called Mr. Jaws, which was constructed on a type of MadLibs concept, but using song titles. I remember laughing until it hurt as I read it, then feeling totally jealous of her talent for crafting such hilarity.

I had the same feeling as I read the much anticipated Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. I had already enjoyed some of the material included in the book on Brosh’s website, but Simple Dog and Helper Dog travel well from interweb to book. Of course, God of Cake will always be one of the funniest things I have read. E.V.E.R.

Brosh has an uncanny talent for nailing feelings and emotions using what appear to be childishly crude drawings. She conveys disappointment, rage, and happiness with just a few well placed lines. The accompanying text tells stories that we can all relate to on some level.

The most powerful piece in the book, however, is Brosh’s description of her battle with depression. We are given a glimpse into the very real, very confusing, and wholly debilitating experience of suddenly finding yourself in the middle of a severe depression. Anyone who has grappled with depression can relate to what Brosh endured, and I am sure that pieces of her artwork and text are printed out and taped up on walls all over the world. My favorites are “Not today! I’ve got legs, motherfucker!” and “I wish to rent all these movies and purchase all of these Skittles!” Those two acts of defiance can rally me on my worst days.

I have to wonder if the tremendous attention Brosh has experienced through her website and now the publication of her book has contributed to her owns struggles. Suddenly discovering that there are legions of fans out there who totally get her work has got to be startling. She has been missed on the web, but has returned triumphantly with a new story about the power of a dinosaur costume, another true gem of childhood.

Hyperbole and a Half is an awesome book and everyone should buy it. It has alot of heart. 🙂