Emphasis On: Hyperbole and a Half

Since starting Emphatic Hands, I have tried to find a way to write about things I like in brief. That rarely works out. “Emphasis On” – shut up, I needed a title – is short reviews of books, music, films or television. Last time, I talked about Elizabeth von Arnim’s novel The Enchanted April. This time, I’m talking about Allie Brosh’s book Hyperbole and a Half.

As I’ve surely mentioned previously, I’m currently serving as a trial juror. If you’ve ever done this, I’m sure you know that there’s a lot – A LOT – of downtime. And of course it’s exceedingly difficult to connect to the internet anywhere in the court house, so I’m using most of my time in the jury room to read. It’s kind of hard to concentrate with a bunch of other people sitting in the room with you, anxiously waiting for someone to give you directions, so I’ve been reading comics and graphic novels. They don’t take as long to read and when I finish them, I feel I’ve accomplished something.

I spent last Friday reading Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half, which is based on her blog of the same name. I have been a fan of hers for a few years now. (I’m sure many of you will recognize her art and words even if you don’t know who she is.) She writes and illustrates (in the style of MS Paint) stories and personal essays on a variety of subjects, including her dogs, her childhood, and depression. The book includes a few previously published pieces, but there is a bunch of original stuff in there as well. Her stories – even the two about depression – are hilarious. Like, I couldn’t stop myself from laughing out loud in a very, very quiet room several times. I guess the only people I would tell not to read this book are people who are very serious/hate funny things and people who don’t like dogs. I am not a dog-hater, but I would say I like her stuff about her dogs the least. I dunno what that says about me. I mean, I still liked the stuff about dogs, it’s just like…dogs do not factor into my adult life in any way, except for when I go to my parents house and see our family dog, who is awesome and is the only dog I actively like.

Anyway, I recommend this book. Go out and buy it! Or at least catch up on the blog if you’ve never read it.

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