Monday, July 21, 2014

Book Review: "Hyperbole and a Half" by Allie Brosh

"Hyperbole and a Half" by Allie Brosh
First published in 2013
Graphic novel
371 pages
My rating: 3.5 out of 5

(image source)

I was a little disappointed in "Hyperbole and a Half," a memoir in graphic novel form written by a popular blogger. I'd heard such good things about it and maybe my expectations were too high, but I just didn't find it to be that funny or captivating.

The label of graphic novel is a little misleading for this book; I'd describe it more as some anecdotes with digital illustrations scattered throughout. Sadly, I didn't really love the drawings... they didn't add much to the stories for me.

As for the writing, a few of Brosh's narratives are pretty cute. I liked the tales about the simple dog and the helper dog (their low-IQ pooch and the dog they adopted to be its friend), and the story of the goose getting into the house, but many of the rest didn't have much of a point to them. They weren't that funny and there was no real moral to the story. And then there were the randomly-mixed-in chapters on depression and anxiety, which were obviously not funny at all.

I definitely didn't hate "Hyperbole and a Half." It was good reading for my breaks at work when I felt like something light and easy, and Brosh's stories are mildly entertaining -- some even pretty funny. But overall the book lacked substance and organization; it felt like a bunch of random stories cobbled together. I gave it an extra half-point in my rating because there were so many stories about dogs, and I do love dogs.

For a better, funnier, somewhat similar read by a different blogger, check out Jenny Lawson's memoir, "Let's Pretend This Never Happened."

*This fulfills the Graphic Novel category for the Reading Outside the Box Challenge.

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