Friday, January 3, 2014

Hyperbole and a Half

Hyperbole and a Half
Allie Brosh
Published: Simon and Schuster, November 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 369
Genre: Humor
Source: own book

I bought this book last month because I kept running into reviews expounding on how funny it was and how much the reviewers laughed out loud. I was seriously in need of some laughter so I don't know if this made my hopes too high or what, but I kept thinking that most of this stuff was half a hyperbole at best.  Most of the stories just read as life, so I don't know if most people have much more normal (?) of a life than I or the people I know, if I am still humor impaired from work, or what, but only a couple of the essays made me laugh or even amused me. I already know, or have lived, weirder stories then this and almost everything in the book seemed so self-absorbed it was hard for me to really relate.

Everyone I know has dumb dog/weird animal stories, like off the top of my head  ...  the dog that, after hours of peaceful coexistence, suddenly decided that the ceiling fan was a threat and starting hopping around in circles on her back legs, barking furiously at the fan ... which was funny at first, but when the dog showed no signs of stopping after several minutes it started to get rather worrisome. Yes, the easy answer might have been to turn off the fan - but we were working in that room, it was summer and really hot. Turning off the fan completely might have made the dog feel she had won, but the humans in the room would have been seriously miserable. (Turning it off and then back on surreptitiously didn't work.) And the dog didn't listen to reassurance on this topic. She clearly thought she knew better than we did when it came to random, sudden threats from rogue ceiling fans. And, well ... I don't know, but the last dog essay was too much of a punching down kind of thing for me to think funny.  I think the only story that really made me laugh was Dinosaur (the Goose Story).  

I know that this is material from a popular website, so it is probably my fault for not visiting the website first. I wish I had check it out of the library or borrowed it. For me this is a meh - not bad, but not really funny for me either.  I am lousy at Likert scale style rating systems but I suppose in the spirit of reviewing I should work something graphic up.  I lieu of one - I will give this book a *** for now.

Ha! I have one now!

Update: I realized that I didn't talk at all about the depression thing - and I can completely understand how the author's ability to describe the experience of depression to people who don't get it can be extremely helpful. I appreciated those stories.  My issue is with the book as a whole and all these reviews exclaiming thinks like - these essays are so funny that I fell over laughing - which I just don't get. Nothing in the book was that funny to me.

Update 2: Okay - I visited the website and read a few more. Nope - not working for me.  I liked the Alot, but the fish story was just kinda awful. Sorry - not getting it.

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