Thursday, April 10, 2014

Shelf Life [adult]

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other things that Happened by Allie Brosh

Yet another book based on an award-winning blog, Hyperbole and a Half is everything the title describes, wrapped up in a hilariously deranged little package of kindergarten-like drawings mashed up with the angst-driven musings of a twenty-something millennial.  Not surprisingly, the musings on her 2, 5, 7 and 13 year-old selves are likely to induce fits of helpless laughter in their familiarity. Surprisingly, her musings on her struggles with depression are uncomfortably candid. The intentionally child-like (yet amazingly emotive) drawings and the fact that these chapters are interspersed with the adventures of simple-dog and helper-dog (read: dumb-dog and dumber-dog) actually make the stark message of depression stand out like a beacon. However the guilty-pleasure derived from reading the other chapters – well-intentioned mom getting kids lost in the wilderness, the sheer illogical kiddie challenge of being as obnoxious as possible, the absurd adventure of being attacked by a goose in one’s own living room – these are pure enjoyment, either from an “it’s funny because it’s true” perspective, or “thank gawd there’s someone more messed up than I am” angle. If there’s one criticism I can give this book is that Ms. Brosh left out one her best-known characters, the Alot. But luckily the A lot can be found in perpetuity on the blog itself, hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.ca. For those who still prefer the weight and heft of the printed page, reserve your copy of Hyperbole and a Half at spl.blibliocommons.ca and enjoy a lot, and even learn a bit.

This review was published in the Stratford Gazette on April 10. Written by Robyn Godfrey, Librarian.

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