I think I’ve mentioned the blog Hyperbole and a Half a few times over the years, and it is certainly very popular – it gets millions of views, even though it has slowed down a great deal over the past couple of years, as its author (Allie Brosh) has dealt with depression. (She has written movingly and rather brilliantly about depression here.) But generally it is an extremely light-hearted and irreverent blog, detailing Allie’s life through naive MS Paint pictures and snarky, self-deprecating humour. I love it.
And its success means that Brosh was asked to write a book – which my brother Colin kindly gave me for my birthday. It’s about half new content and half things which have appeared on her blog before (including my favourite, the story about trying to train her very stupid dog.)
Brosh’s drawings are deliberately made to look amateur, but I think she must actually be quite talented at drawing – it’s the sort of amateur which needs a professional.
I prefer her stories when they are stories – quite a few are more general reflections on her personality, or things of that ilk. My favourites are those which do just narrate something which happened – getting lost in the woods as a child, wanting to go to a party despite being recovering from a general anaesthetic, moving house with two anxious dogs – because these reveal as much about her personality without losing a narrative momentum.
It’s not very similar to all the other books I review on Stuck-in-a-Book – it’s not even similar to the odd graphic novel I occasionally read – but it is very funny, occasionally incredibly insightful (when she chooses to be in that mood), and a brilliant dip-in-and-out-of book.