Reed Books: Hyperbole and a Half


Jess Reed, Staff Writer

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh combines crude comic strips and paragraphs of writing to create not only funny stories, but to increase the effect of Brosh’s points on the reader overall.

Throughout the novel, Brosh tells a collection of real stories throughout her life, not in chronological order. She often explains anecdotes from her childhood, like getting lost in the woods with her family, or stories from adult life, like when a goose broke into her house (there’s photographic evidence). While most of these are surface level funny stories, she also touches on deeper aspects of her life, like her struggle with mental health. She is open about the fact that she dealt with depression for years, and relates this issue to the reader with comics and drawings. In the beginning of one of the sections about depression, Brosh explains that the sadness she felt in her depressive episodes was “purposeless”, which drove her to feel angry at herself for those feelings. However, she doesn’t hit the readers over the head with such a dark topic; instead, she puts the thought out there in a comedic light, so that readers who may have never struggled with mental health can still sympathize and understand what she is saying.

For many authors who want to write an unconventional book, the line between “interesting” and “bad” can be hard to find. However, Brosh easily balances on it, and creates an interesting blend of humor and gravity in both her writing and drawings.