Friday, December 27, 2013

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened (book) by Allie Brosh

I went to my friend's apartment to go take care of her cat while she was gone and discovered that she'd left me a copy of Hyperbole and a Half to borrow. It was a bribe to make sure I'd give her cat a few hours of company (I'm not sure her cat likes me, but, after five years, I think she now tolerates me), and it worked.

What can I say about this? I can't remember when I started reading the Hyperbole and a Half blog, but I do remember that I read a huge chunk of it on the first day I discovered it. I loved it, and, like so many other Hyperbole and a Half fans, worried about Brosh (Allie? Brosh feels weird, but Allie feels too informal...) when she posted about her depression and went on hiatus for a while. I was thrilled when she eventually posted again and when the book came out.

It's been a while since I read through the entire blog, so I'm not sure which of the entries in this book were new and which weren't. I recognized some old favorites, like the story of the simple dog and how moving nearly broke both the simple dog and the helper dog's minds. The animal stories were among my favorites, although I also enjoyed Allie Brosh's tales of her childhood.

My least favorite chapters were the ones in which Brosh wrote as though she were talking to her younger self or to her dogs. The humor felt a bit more forced in those chapters, although the dog chapter still had moments that made me laugh.

All in all, I enjoyed this. I probably loved the drawings the most. The facial expressions and body language (on both people and dogs) were wonderful and hilarious. I do think the stories and drawings work better in blog form, however – needing to scroll down means that “what happens next” is a bit more of a surprise, while, in book form, having the next page right there blunts the full impact a little.

Sorry for the short read-alikes list. I am lazy. Although, if you'd like me to list a few funny sites you should check out, I could totally do that.

  • When You Are Engulfed in Flames (book) by David Sedaris – You could really just pick up any of his books – I only listed this particular one because it was the last one I read. Like Brosh, Sedaris writes memoir-style humor (without the funny pictures). Also like Brosh, he sometimes covers more serious topics. I've written about this and several of Sedaris' other books.
  • How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You (book) by Matthew Inman – I haven't read this, but I probably need to. If you need funny pictures with your funny words, you might want to give this a shot. Check out The Oatmeal first, to see if the humor works for you.

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