By Allie Brosh
Available now from Touchstone (Simon & Schuster)
I, like most internet denizens, am a huge fan of the blog Hyperbole and a Half. The first time someone linked me to one of the entries I thought that Allie Brosh might be stalking me and recording my life, since it hit so very close to home. When she announced that she had a book coming out, I paid attention.
Now, it's finally here! Let me tell you: it is worth paying money for.
Many blogs have resulted in a book deal, but sometimes they lose something in the transition to print. Brosh is as hilarious, authentic, and insightful as ever in her memoir. Some of the most popular internet pieces are in the book (not "Alot"), often with more material. But even more of HYPERBOLE AND A HALF is completely new, never-before-seen stuff. And it is good. It is staying-up-late-and-waking-up-other-people-with-your-laughter good.
HYPERBOLE AND A HALF isn't perfect. It helps to be familiar with Brosh's blog, because sometimes things get introduced without much explanation. For instance, her boyfriend Duncan starts appearing in chapters quite a bit before he gets named. However, part of Brosh's charm has always been that she isn't too slick, her art well balanced and proportioned yet clearly done with MS Paint. Another part is her honesty, which was very important when she started writing about depression.
Much of the new material does deal with Brosh's depression (as well as her dogs). She makes you feel what living with depression with is like, and she does it while making you bust a gut with laughter. At the same time, there are bits that will tempt the waterworks. particularly if you know someone with or have depression yourself.
If you're wondering why you should buy something you can get for free, then know that there is a ton of new material. Know that you're supporting Brosh and allowing her to spend more time creating. If you're unfamiliar with Brosh, then buy this book and be prepared to fall in love. Then go forth and buy a copy for everyone on your holiday shopping list. Get two copies for the dog lovers.