Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Monday, April 07, 2014

Hyperbole and a Half: a Relatively Recent Book by Allie Brosh NOW WITH AN IMAGE

Folks, it occurs to me, articles with an image get much better results social media-wise than articles without one. Accordingly, I'm republishing this piece but with an image added. Knowing that famous photographers and publishing houses are frequently loathe to lend their copyrighted images to hard-hitting, no-compromising think-piece criticisms such as the one you may be about to read, I commissioned an artist. Otherwise, the post is just as it was.

This book is droll. Droll, I tell you. For those of you who don't know what "droll" entails, without looking it up let me say I believe it means humorous in an off-kilter, oddball sort of way.

Author Brosh has long-ago delighted legions of online fans with her web-log (also called Hyperbole and a Half), an award-winning episodic amusement featuring purposely-crude drawings that illustrate the hilarious and often hapless author's lack thereof, her adventures, or her probing insights. These insights are primarily directed inward: her own scathing self-diagnosis, equal parts ruthless and grandiose; a scrutiny that is as much funhouse-mirror as microscope and that scans from a very young age to her current still fairly young age. The book collects several of these previously published web issues together with much new material of similar quality. It should not fail to please fans.

For those who are not fans, especially for those who have never heard of Brosh, the book serves as an introduction to a peculiar sort of raconteur, one of indisputably unusual talent. Brosh is young, blonde, and gawky in an appealing sort of way, but her chief attraction is her mind, and her ability to mine its rich veins of delirium-flecked memory to confront the reader with rude vistas equal parts disturbing and absurd. Some of the episodes she presents, we enjoy out of sheer fascination with how far Brosh strays over paths outré, bizarre, grotesque and arabesque, beyond anything one's own mind could have produced or recognized as common to the experience of humanity. Yet in some cases, a shock and thrill will proceed from our realization that we, too, have felt so, we too have thought such - yet surely never would we have related things precisely thus!

The shock is one of recognition: we, too, are freaks in our own way. With this awareness, perhaps we soothe and humor ourselves to believe that we, like Brosh, may have experiences within us worth the adulation of a multitude, awards from various internet authorities, and a book deal. This is pure escapism on our part.

Hyperbole and a Half, the book, is highly recommended by many - a fact which I wholly confirm and endorse. This review has been understatement, minus one-fourth.


1 comment:

dogimo said...

That doesn't look a damn thing like her!

I'm not paying that guy.