Hyperbole and a Half is a part-autobiography, part-graphic novel written by Allie Brosh from the wonderful blog of the same name. It had been on my list of books to read for quite a while but I didn’t feel like reading it on my Kindle because of all the illustrations involved. With this in mind, I added it to my Christmas wish list and I was happy to find it under the tree on the 25th!
Hyperbole and a Half is a book about Allie, her battle with depression and being a fully functioning adult. It includes extracts from the blog as well as many extra stories about pretending to love hot sauce, hunting down a stray goose and the horrors of moving with two weird dogs that have more issues than you can count.
What I thought
I’m not quite sure how I heard about Hyperbole and A Half in the first place, but my curiosity was piqued when I heard a recommendation stating that the contents brought a refreshing (and very funny) take to the discussion on depression. In the end, maybe 15% of the book deals with that topic whereas the rest is about Allie’s relatable everyday life.
In a word: this book is hilarious. It had me positively crying with laughter. The author’s dry wit, sarcasm and unflattering self-portraits make for a mess of stories that are ridiculous but realistic at the same time. I was particularly happy to finally read the context for the drawing that turned into this very popular meme:
This Paint drawing comes from the chapter on dealing with the boring parts of being an adult: folding laundry in a timely manner, answering emails and doing grocery shopping. Allie speaks of a time in her life when that becomes too much to handle as she slips into a depression that nobody around her seems to understand. I was intrigued by how she felt when she stopped having feelings. Her illustrations shed light on how people react when faced with someone who is actually able to admit that they are depressed. It was enlightening and somewhat sad but the author also managed to turn the difficult dialogues with friends and family into an amusing read.
I don’t often love books as much as I loved this one: it is making me laugh even just thinking of it! Let’s just say that I highly recommend this book if you like to laugh! If you’re unsure that this brand of humour will suit you, take a look at the Hyperbole and a Half blog: I’m ready to bet you’ll be cracking up in seconds!