Reviews for Hyperbole and a Half : Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened


Kirkus Reviews 2013 October #2
A quirky, humorous memoir/collection of illustrated essays. Brosh is a good example of how new literary forms are evolving. An immensely successful blogger, the author's Hyperbole and a Half earned her a 2011 Bloggies Award and also garnered a spot on PC World's "Funniest Sites on the Web." Suffice it to say, she has become something of an Internet sensation. However, as many readers know, web writing often does not translate well to a book (and vice versa). Brosh makes a solid first attempt to bridge this literary gap. Anyone who takes years' worth of blog posts and tries to pare them down into book form is facing a formidable task, whether the writing is any good or not (in this case, it is, though some essays are stronger than others). Blog followers don't usually binge read, but book readers do. That said, holding a book may leave some with a yearning for more cohesion. It does feel choppy in places, but the wit, hilarity and poignancy of the subject matter trump structural concerns. Brosh is a connoisseur of the human condition. In her typical self-deprecating and dramatic manner (hence the hyperbole reference), she tells personal stories that name things we can all relate to, including fear, love, depression and hope. Perhaps the most endearing thing about her writing is that she approaches her subject matter from a vulnerable, childlike place, complete with Paintbrush caricatures that have arguably already earned iconic status. Brosh's longtime fans and cult followers will be happy to learn that half of the material for this book is new and unpublished. The other half is comprised of Internet favorites, including "Simple Dog," "The God of Cake" and "Adventures in Depression." Part graphic novel, part confessional, overall delightful. An obvious choice for Hyperbole fans, but this will also appeal to fans of other oddball web presences like Homestar Runner and The Oatmeal. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 October #2

Autobiographical cartoonist Allie Brosh impresses with this confessional collection of essays, adapted in part from her popular blog of the same name. Most pieces deal with Brosh's struggle with depression, an experience rarely expressed so clearly and specifically in other media as it is here. Even those unfamiliar with trials of such a condition will find this humorous depiction enlightening. The writer frequently details her relationship with two dogs, each as dysfunctional as herself, whom she must take care of while tending to her own serious mental issues. Brosh's specificity is what gives her observations universality, and in her inimitable, hilarious style, she arrives at some real truths about human nature, including the inclination to share our lives with dogs in this way. Brosh is an evocative writer who bares her foibles and shortcomings, from childhood to her present life, with a lack of vanity and a sense of catharsis that is palpable. When words are insufficient, her deceptively simple line drawings add additional depth on almost every page, to create a reading experience that adds up to even more than the sum of the parts. (Nov.)

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Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

Autobiographical cartoonist Allie Brosh impresses with this confessional collection of essays, adapted in part from her popular blog of the same name. Most pieces deal with Brosh's struggle with depression, an experience rarely expressed so clearly and specifically in other media as it is here. Even those unfamiliar with trials of such a condition will find this humorous depiction enlightening. The writer frequently details her relationship with two dogs, each as dysfunctional as herself, whom she must take care of while tending to her own serious mental issues. Brosh's specificity is what gives her observations universality, and in her inimitable, hilarious style, she arrives at some real truths about human nature, including the inclination to share our lives with dogs in this way. Brosh is an evocative writer who bares her foibles and shortcomings, from childhood to her present life, with a lack of vanity and a sense of catharsis that is palpable. When words are insufficient, her deceptively simple line drawings add additional depth on almost every page, to create a reading experience that adds up to even more than the sum of the parts. (Nov.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

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