‘Who the fuck does this goose think it is? It thinks it can waltz into my home, bite everyone, and then proceed to claim ownership of my couch and DVD player?’
If you didn’t find that funny, then, no, don’t check your pulse, check where you are on The Better Pain Scale, because you must be at 11 or higher to not care about the brilliantly surreal humour of Allie Brosh.
Brosh’s hugely popular blog Hyperbole and a Half is a wonderful mix of words and shitty computer paintings that creates a portal through which you can experience the Narnia of her life.
Yes, Narnia. Because it’s fun, magical, but there is also some seriously dark shit lurking in that winter.
The blog is essentially a memoir, but the sort of memoir that would make studying memoirs fun (sorry Henry Thoreau). It is also crammed with surreal deviations, frustrations at the irrationality of humanity, speculations about dogs, and with ‘Clean all the things!’ is also a Meme Machine.
Like many web creators before her, Brosh has released a book, Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things that Happened. The book is half old favourites and half new material. Brosh has been struggling with depression for a while now, so new material was not to be sniffed at. And to be honest, there was very little about the book that made me want to sniff (except to sniff back tears when reading some of the sadder chapters).
I admit the phrase ‘half old favourites’ made me sceptical, but when I was crying with laughter at a forgotten story about her ordeal at the hands of a goose, I knew it was the right decision.
The book hasn’t just been slapped together either- there has been some thought put into the presentation of her work, (such as different coloured pages for different stories- WORTH THE PRICE ALONE!!) and it makes rediscovering the stories even more fun and exciting.
The book is incredibly easy to read (another strike against Thoreau, I’m afraid) and I raced through it in a few days (I would have finished sooner, but you know, sleeping and eating had to be done). I’d been looking forward to the book for awhile, and not only did it not disappoint, but it led me back into the website’s archives to seek out all the favourites which weren’t included.
This is emotive, colourful writing from the Leonardo of Paintbrush. It will make you want to run around the Parp. Alot.