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Book Review: Hyperbole and a Half – Allie Brosh

Donna Brown1 comment631 views
Fragmentary Thoughts
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About Hyperbole and a Half
Hyperbole and a HalfThis is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative–like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it–but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book:

  • Pictures
  • Words
  • Stories about things that happened to me
  • Stories about things that happened to other people because of me
  • Eight billion dollars*
  • Stories about dogs
  • The secret to eternal happiness*

*These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!

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When I first discovered Hyperbole and a Half, I had been going through a little bit of a dark time. I found the Adventures in Depression post and the blog was like a huge mug of hot chocolate and some hot apple pie on a cold day. It was so comforting, warming and kicked a huge dent in my loneliness.

Somebody, somewhere, understood. More than that, this person was immensely talented and they had a unique and incredible way to illustrate (in both the literal and figurative senses) things that were incredibly hard to explain.

I wasn’t remotely surprised to find, when spending more time on Hyperbole and a Half, that it was full of amazing things. Funny things, inspiring things, heartwarming things. And I wasn’t remotely surprised to find the book Hyperbole and a Half was the paper equivalent of a giant ball pool, made of marshmallows and filled with Skittles. It’s a hug in book form, full of warmth and goodness but also wry humour, a healthy dose of fun-poking and wonderful wonderful illustrations.

Like The Oatmeal, Hyperbole and a Half is spreading colour and inspiration in a world that can seem unbearably heavy and drab at times. Buy this as a gift. Who for? Anyone. Everyone. Buy it and make a new friend purposefully to give them this book. Buy it and leave it as a Random Act of Kindness. Buy it for yourself. Buy it for your dog!

You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy Hyperbole and a Half and a vanilla latte and – for a winter’s afternoon – that’s just about close enough.

Verdict: 5/5

Source: reviewer’s own copy

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Donna Brown

Avid reader/audiobook listener, fan of podcasts, prone to the odd Netflix binge. Mum to six crazy and incredible rescue cats. Occasional writer of short stories and poetry.

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