Book Review: Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened @alliebrosh

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Allie Brosh has changed the internet, and all for the better. Her blog, Hyperbole and A Half, is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to internet humour. By combining acerbic wit and wonderfully ‘amateur’ MS Paint drawings, Brosh has created some of the best comedy on the internet.

If you’ve ever seen the “All the Things!” meme, you’ve been impacted by Allie’s work.

I’ve been keeping tabs on the blog since I first found out about it a couple of years ago. There was a time when Allie updated regularly; after a while, there was a big stretch of time when she didn’t. The reason for the gap in posts is that she was struggling against depression – and when she did update, she posted what is one of the best ways that people can understand what it’s like for those with depression. Her “Adventures in Depression” and “Depression Part 2” make for seriously compelling reading. That’s the beauty of her writing – it details intensely personal struggles intermixed with sweet humour and a real zaniness to which practically everyone can relate. Once you add in the professional amateurism of her drawings, its difficult to start reading her work without finishing ALL the posts.

The same is true for the book. I was reticent to start reading it at 1am last night, because I knew that it was something I wouldn’t be able to put down before I finished the entire thing. Of course, I was right – I read the entire book before going to sleep. As it’s a mixture of some previously published work and never-before-seen stories, I figured that I would have a leg up on finishing it because I’d read some of it before. I ended up re-reading the stories I’d read before, so that was entirely not the case! It was well worth it, because even in the work I’d seen before there were some moments when I was struggling not to laugh out loud and wake my wife. In fact, I had to get up and get out of bed at one point because I was laughing so hard that I really thought that despite the Tempurpedic mattress’ inability to transfer kinetic energy that she might wake up terrified there was an earthquake.

I really can’t recommend this book enough. Buy it, and make Allie Brosh deservedly rich!

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