We’re actually late to the “Hyperbole and a Half” party. We only discovered the wonder that is Allie Brosh last week, when we stumbled upon her book at National Book Store while searching for the complete collection of Manix Abrera comic books.
But Allie has been producing magic on the Internet since 2009, when she decided to procrastinate by writing instead of studying for her physics exam. Soon, she had legions of fans. Soon, her deliberately crude cartoons had become memes. Soon, she had become such a huge hit that she was able to live off of her blog’s merchandise store earnings.
We didn’t know any of that when we started reading her book “Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened.” What we knew was that Allie was hilarious, that we were snickering as we read “The Simple Dog” and full-on chortling as we moved on to “The God of Cake.”
We felt like grabbing everyone we knew by the collar and saying, “You. Need. To. Read. This. Book.”
Everyone has stupid stories from their childhood. Everyone has stupid stories from their adulthood. But not everyone has the gift to turn the silliness, the craziness, the madness into pure knee-slapping laugh-out-loud entertainment. Allie Brosh does.
A few pages into the book, I described “Hyperbole and a Half” as “Diary of a Wimpy Kid for adults, Diary of a Wimpy Kid with cursing, Diary of a Wimpy Kid but better.” But “Hyperbole and a Half” is more than that. It’s not all fun and laughter.
Allie’s chapters on dealing with depression have been so spot-on that psychologists consider it “one of the best contemporary portraits of the condition.” Some universities have used them for teaching, and some medical professionals have found them useful when dealing with their patients.
We tried to read “Hyperbole and a Half” as slowly as we could but we kept wanting more so we ended up finishing the book in just a little over a day.
And because we wanted a bigger dose of Allie’s humor, we’ve been digging through her blog archives (http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/) like we were two-year-old Allie and her blog was face cream.
Now, whenever I see stick figure Allie with her ponytail-shark fin hybrid sticking out of her head, I feel a little tremor of joy.
If you’ve never heard of Allie Brosh before, read this book. If you’ve been a fan of her blog (and you think we’re lame for only discovering her now), read this book; it has 50-percent new material. If you like dogs, hate geese, love cake, need to laugh, are dealing with or want to understand depression, read this book. Read this book.
Allie Brosh’s “Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened” is available at National Book Store.