I opened Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh for the first time while waiting for my son to be released from his piano lesson. Two minutes later, tears running down my face, shaking with silent, uncontrollable laughter, I was praying that my son and his teacher wouldn’t emerge from the studio to find me in convulsions. Despite the potential social awkwardness, despite my son’s impending mortification—I couldn’t stop reading. Brosh is just that painfully hilarious.
Fortunately, the uncontrollable laughing-out-loud did wear off after ten minutes, to be replaced with slightly more repressible chuckles and the ability to wipe my eyes, blow my nose, and take a short break from the book. Thank goodness—but I think I love her! Her totally idiosyncratic point of view, her peculiar stick figures, her ability to express the bizarre thought-processes of a completely unsocialized five-year-old or a brain-cell-challenged canine are awe-inspiring. And she has this incredible ability to describe unusual, socially unacceptable and therefore usually swept-under-the-rug emotional realities.
Hyperbole and Half is a collection of biographical illustrated stories which won the Goodreads Readers’ Choice Award for Best Humor of 2013. The subject matter ranges from light (eating Grandpa’s whole birthday cake) to heavy (struggling with depression,) but in each case, Brosh’s voice is distinctive, throwing a dark zany glow on every situation. Oh, and there are quite a few f-bombs. This is not a cartoon book for the kiddies, although mature older kids could certainly appreciate the absurd black humor.
Get on our holds list, and if you can’t wait, check out Brosh’s blog, http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/.