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

Allie Brosh, Author
Allie Brosh. Touchstone, $16.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-4516-6617-5
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Release date: 10/29/2013
Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-1-4767-6459-7
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4516-6618-2
Book - 978-1-4423-6938-2
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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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