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

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Overview

Touching, absurd, and darkly comic, Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half showcases her unique voice, leaping wit, and her ability to capture complex emotions with deceptively simple illustrations.

FROM THE PUBLISHER:
Every time Allie Brosh posts something new on her hugely popular blog Hyperbole and a Half the internet rejoices.

This full-color, beautifully illustrated edition features more than fifty percent ...

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

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Overview

Touching, absurd, and darkly comic, Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half showcases her unique voice, leaping wit, and her ability to capture complex emotions with deceptively simple illustrations.

FROM THE PUBLISHER:
Every time Allie Brosh posts something new on her hugely popular blog Hyperbole and a Half the internet rejoices.

This full-color, beautifully illustrated edition features more than fifty percent new content, with ten never-before-seen essays and one wholly revised and expanded piece as well as classics from the website like, “The God of Cake,” “Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving,” and her astonishing, “Adventures in Depression,” and “Depression Part Two,” which have been hailed as some of the most insightful meditations on the disease ever written.

Brosh’s debut marks the launch of a major new American humorist who will surely make even the biggest scrooge or snob laugh. We dare you not to.

FROM THE AUTHOR:
This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative—like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it—but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book:

Pictures
Words
Stories about things that happened to me
Stories about things that happened to other people because of me
Eight billion dollars*
Stories about dogs
The secret to eternal happiness*

*These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/14/2013
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.)
New York Times - Dwight Garner
"My wife, who rarely reads a book published after 1910 and who is difficult to make laugh, wept with pleasure while reading these comic illustrated essays from Ms. Brosh, who runs a popular web comic and blog. I had to find out what the fuss was about. The subjects run from light (cakes, dogs) to dark (the author’s own severe depression), and they foreground offbeat feeling and real intellect. Ms. Brosh’s inquisitive mind won me over, too.”
Entertainment Weekly
"Will make you laugh until you sob, even when Brosh describes her struggle with depression."
Elizabeth Gilbert
"This is the BOOK OF THE YEAR."
io9.com
“Get this for the smart people who appreciate humor in your life, and they won't be disappointed."
People Pick) People (4 stars
Winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Humor Book of the Year A NPR Best Book of the Year A Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Memoirs "Imagine if David Sedaris could draw . . . Enchanting."
Philadelphia Inquirer
“I would gladly pay to sit in a room full of people reading this book, merely to share the laughter.”
Chicago Tribune
“In a culture that encourages people to carry mental illness as a secret burden . . . Brosh's bracing honesty is a gift.”
The Advocate (Baton Rouge)
“Brosh captures humanity at its simultaneous worst and best with a razor wit that allows us to laugh at even our darkest of selves.”
Marc Maron
“One of the best things I’ve ever read in my life.”
Time Out New York
“Anyone seeking an accessible look at someone suffering from depression or some really delightful dog drawings need search no further.”
Andrew Sullivan
“The whole blog is inspired.”
Cory Doctorow
"An Internet-era treasure, an unexpected wonder of the 21st century."
Jenny Lawson
"This book made me laugh, cry, and leak. It was honest, poignant, and ridiculously silly in all the best ways and I'm better for having read it. Plus, doggies!"
Michael Humphrey
“Here’s a rough analogy: David Sedaris sets out to write a graphic memoir, but decides to use the MS Paint application on his computer rather than hire an artist….[Brosh’s] naïve art plays brilliantly against dark comic themes.”
Whitney Matheson
“This site is chock full of childhood stories and random thoughts, all accompanied by hilarious drawings done by MS Paint . . . It’ll cost ya hours of your life as you laugh out loud while reading."
Cory Doctorow
“Once I started reading “Hyperbole and a Half,” I found myself unable to stopexcept to laugh uproariously.”
Andrew Sullivan
“The whole blog is inspired.”
Kirkus Reviews
2013-09-25
A quirky, humorous memoir/collection of illustrated essays. Brosh is a good example of how new literary forms are evolving. An immensely successful blogger, the author's Hyperbole and a Half earned her a 2011 Bloggies Award and also garnered a spot on PC World's "Funniest Sites on the Web." Suffice it to say, she has become something of an Internet sensation. However, as many readers know, web writing often does not translate well to a book (and vice versa). Brosh makes a solid first attempt to bridge this literary gap. Anyone who takes years' worth of blog posts and tries to pare them down into book form is facing a formidable task, whether the writing is any good or not (in this case, it is, though some essays are stronger than others). Blog followers don't usually binge read, but book readers do. That said, holding a book may leave some with a yearning for more cohesion. It does feel choppy in places, but the wit, hilarity and poignancy of the subject matter trump structural concerns. Brosh is a connoisseur of the human condition. In her typical self-deprecating and dramatic manner (hence the hyperbole reference), she tells personal stories that name things we can all relate to, including fear, love, depression and hope. Perhaps the most endearing thing about her writing is that she approaches her subject matter from a vulnerable, childlike place, complete with Paintbrush caricatures that have arguably already earned iconic status. Brosh's longtime fans and cult followers will be happy to learn that half of the material for this book is new and unpublished. The other half is comprised of Internet favorites, including "Simple Dog," "The God of Cake" and "Adventures in Depression." Part graphic novel, part confessional, overall delightful. An obvious choice for Hyperbole fans, but this will also appeal to fans of other oddball web presences like Homestar Runner and The Oatmeal.
Whitney Matheson
“This site is chock full of childhood stories and random thoughts, all accompanied by hilarious drawings done by MS Paint . . . It’ll cost ya hours of your life as you laugh out loud while reading."
Michael Humphrey
“Here’s a rough analogy: David Sedaris sets out to write a graphic memoir, but decides to use the MS Paint application on his computer rather than hire an artist….[Brosh’s] naïve art plays brilliantly against dark comic themes.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451666175
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 10/29/2013
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 797
  • Lexile: 1040L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Allie Brosh
Allie Brosh lives as a recluse in her bedroom in Bend, Oregon. In 2009, she thought, “I know what would be a good idea! Instead of becoming a scientist, I should write and draw things on the Internet!” This was a horrible idea for too many reasons to count, but the decision wasn't really based on logic. Things sort of spiraled from there. Brosh’s award-winning blog Hyperbole and a Half somehow became an award-winning blog, and, in 2013, Advertising Age named Brosh one of the fifty most influential creative figures in the world. Brosh has also given herself many prestigious awards, including “fanciest horse drawing" and “most likely to succeed.”
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 106 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(79)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(7)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 106 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 13, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Hyperbole and a Half is one of the very few successful examples of a blog to book transition!

    I’m usually weary of blog books because many contain a disproportionately large amount recycled content. And while I will admit there are reused posts in Hyperbole and a Half, there is a good balance of old favourites and new material, enough to keep it familiar but still interesting. I think what makes Brosh so popular is her self-depreciating humour and the blatant honesty behind it. She acknowledges the hard truths alongside the absurd, is completely upfront about her shortcomings and accepts who she is without ever apologizing for it. These are all traits that I really admire and I think it’s what makes her stories so relatable and, in turn, her blog so successful. There’s also a dark wisdom underlying her work, especially with regard to the segment on depression. Being that I am someone who’s struggled with depression in the past, I can especially appreciate what she’s done here. She takes a concept few truly understand and manages to bring some clarity to it. It’s hard for me to explain what she’s with adequate coherency so I urge you to read it for yourself and see. On top of it all, I can’t forget to mention the accompanying illustrations which are so simplistic in nature that they become effective. These cute yet crude drawings are surprisingly detailed and, even more surprisingly, they’re good. They are good because they are simple. They are simple as to not distract from the overall message. They help to add new layers of meaning and comedy to the story in a way that words otherwise can’t. They are the perfect complement to the directness and the occasional harshness of her storytelling. The combination of Brosh’s pictures and words bring about a whole host of feelings to the reader, from laughter to hope to sympathy and even sometimes sadness. She makes you, the reader, feel things. And isn’t that the point?

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2013

    I really wanted to like this book. I've heard how funny the blo

    I really wanted to like this book. I've heard how funny the blog is, and the book is on my teen daughter's wish list. I decided to read the on-line sample before buying it. The drawings are expressive and original; funny, too. The writing draws you in, but every time I found myself beginning to laugh and warm to the story, I got smacked in the face with an f-bomb. After the initial shock, I found the use of this same descriptive word every few pages repetitive, boring, and uninformative. If you don't believe me, try substituting "awesome" every place the f-word is. For so wonderfully creative an author, is it such a monumental task to think up adjectives which are not coarse, limiting, low-class expletives? Why so crude, Allie? Needless to add, I won't be buying.

    8 out of 36 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2013

    This is better than the three wolves T-shirt: The Movie: The Boo

    This is better than the three wolves T-shirt: The Movie: The Book: The Game.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2013

    Love her, love her stories, love her pictures.  She's so funny a

    Love her, love her stories, love her pictures.  She's so funny and original and I couldn't wait for this book to come in the mail yesterday.  Hope she gets the popularity and recognition she deserves!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2014

    Unlike some other reviewers, I was really happy about the recycl

    Unlike some other reviewers, I was really happy about the recycled content. I'm a longtime fan of the blog, and I love that I can now own most of my favorite stories from it in print. The new material is just as fantastic as the original web-based. There are some expletives used, but not -overused-, and none of the stories' material should cause discomfort (unless you happen to have had exceptionally bad experiences with geese, dogs, getting lost in the woods, or birthday cake). My grandmother read much of the book the night I got it, and absolutely loved it. Compare it to the average popular stand-up comedy act of today, and the writing is squeaky-clean. Overall, a long anticipated read, and well worth the money to have an exceptional piece of nostalgic/hilarious reading material and to support the lovely author.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2013

    I have to say that I'm really disappointed.  I understand that A

    I have to say that I'm really disappointed.  I understand that Allie was under contract to write a book, but dang.  Write a book then.  Don't just recycle your blog.  I love the blog.  I do.  But I can read that for free, and I feel like there should have been some disclosure about half of this being recycled.  (okay maybe it's not half, but it's a short as heck book, and a lot from the blog)

    I wish I hadn't purchased it.  But live and learn, I guess.  

    4 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2013

    sample

    read sample. loved it. it was hilarious and the randomness suited my everyday personality. will definetly buy this when i get more money. hey allie, i could really use that eight million dollars you promised ( yet joked about ). T E E H E E

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2013

    I have been an avid reader of Allie's blog for several years and

    I have been an avid reader of Allie's blog for several years and was very excited to purchase her book. I purchased it as a Nook book and was disappointed to receive the message, "oops! sorry, we could not open this ebook!" (Lack of capitalization Nook's, not mine.) Beware, any who might try to order digital copies!

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014

    Funniest Book I've Read in a Long Time

    I laughed out loud so many times reading this book. I don't know what's funnier -- the illustrations or the text. Allie is superb in constructing both. She's an absolute genius. This book is definitely along the lines of David Sedaris's work. I felt like when she's discussing something serious like her depression, she approaches it very similarly to Sedaris and his analysis of his OCD and tics. The situation is both heart warming and heart wrenching. Kudos to Allie. Please write and draw more. I'm eager for your next book. :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2013

    Okay...

    Maybe i should check out her blog instead. Found this collection of essays kind of amusing at times. Don't really like reading the details about someones depression though i understand their need to share it. I've never written a book though I've read many. This seemed less a novel and more comic strip. Enjoyed the drawings. Super quick read.

    2 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2014

    One of the best books I have ever read in my life!  I have bough

    One of the best books I have ever read in my life!  I have bought 4 copies for other people already and they all LOVED it.  Can't recommend it highly enough.  Changed my life!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2014

    Guys dont believe the people who say this is bad

    Just dont

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I'm not the target audience for this book . . .  Did I enjoy th

    I'm not the target audience for this book . . . 

    Did I enjoy this book: Not much.




    I know I say this all the time but it’s really hard to write comedy. And humor is so highly subjective that I hesitate to be too critical of this book. I have a strong suspicion that I’m not the target audience for it. Her humor is more likely meant to appeal to a younger audience.




    I know that f—k is the most popular word of the decade. Well, the second most popular word of the decade. It probably comes in just behind twerking. But once you’ve sailed past mile marker 35 or so, the f – bomb fails to detonate. It’s lost its edge. And simply using it doesn’t send a more seasoned reader into giggle fits. So when a joke starts with “For the love of f—k . . . “, for me it’s just not funny.




    There are a lot of cartoons in the book. I don’t think they’re funny either. Cartoons make me want to put it in a children’s category. But then we have that word that begins with an f and ends in an uck to worry about. And it’s in every couple of paragraphs. It’s even written in cartoon words. So I’m not going to be suggesting it for story time at the local library any time soon.




    There is one paragraph where a goose accidentally gets into the live-in couple’s home that made me laugh out loud a few times. I read it at the salon while sitting a chair with some sci-fi looking foil wrapped around my head. It now requires space-aged technology to cover the grey that crowds out the youthful hair that used to reside on my head.  And that almost certainly confirms to me that I’m really not the target audience for this comedy.




    Would I recommend it:  I think this would be a great f-cking book to f-cking read while you’re f-cking  twerking. But I can’t think of any other use for it.




    Will I read it again: No.




    As reviewed by Belinda at Every Free Chance Book Reviews. 

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2014

    I received this book as a gift over Christmas and right before t

    I received this book as a gift over Christmas and right before that I kept seeing ads and reviews for it in Entertainment Weekly and Publishers Weekly, and more. It's not what you'd expect at all, and that's what makes it fun. It's a book full of pictures - very similar to the images on the front cover. Basically, it's like a comic strip - with more narrative. Sometimes it's writing, other times it's pictures. Both things work together to tell Allie's stories. Her stories of childhood, of her dog, of depression, of sarcasm, etc. These stories -surprising to me- were not all funny, some were sad, some were really real. It was a very open glimpse into the life of Allie, and at that, kind of the life of many 20-somethings and 30-somethings I felt.




    I did start this book on the airplane and I was laughing pretty hard - it was a little weird for the guy next to me as he tried to sleep.




    I definitely recommend this book and I think it's a great gift for the quarter-lifer's in your life. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    I read the book before her blog

    And I thought it was hysterical.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    My daughter (who is 23 by the way) have spent the last 2 days la

    My daughter (who is 23 by the way) have spent the last 2 days laughing hysterically at the stories. The drawings were even better!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2013

    It was a great book, much thicker and more colorful than I would

    It was a great book, much thicker and more colorful than I would've expected. There was plenty of new material and some classics from the blog. And it's been number one on the San Francisco Bay Area nonfiction paperback list for weeks now!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2013

    Amazing

    I've followed hyperbole and a half for years, and most of her stories have me literally keeled over laughing historically! This is a must read. Check out the rest of her work at her blog!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2013

    LMAO

    Would have died of laughter if I had not turned off this nook and buried my head in my pillow. Which only cut off the air flow. Go figure. Or, as allie puts it, great job past self.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2014

    Only wish it was longer...

    I received this book as a gift, and wasn't sure I would like it. I ended up laughing out loud at it enough that all my coworkers in my immediate vicinity had to read it, too. Just bought a copy for my sister, too, who looked as confused as Idid when I received mine. Great wit and satire. Told from a child-like prospective.

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