Hyperbole and a Half
written by Allie Brosh
published by Touchstone (Simon & Schuster)
Why did I pick this book: It is the #1 ranked humor book on Goodreads and I love humor.
Did I enjoy this book: Not much.
I know I say this all the time but it’s really hard to write comedy. And humor is so highly subjective that I hesitate to be too critical of this book. I have a strong suspicion that I’m not the target audience for it. Her humor is more likely meant to appeal to a younger audience.
I know that f—k is the most popular word of the decade. Well, the second most popular word of the decade. It probably comes in just behind twerking. But once you’ve sailed past mile marker 35 or so, the f – bomb fails to detonate. It’s lost its edge. And simply using it doesn’t send a more seasoned reader into giggle fits. So when a joke starts with “For the love of f—k . . . “, for me it’s just not funny.
There are a lot of cartoons in the book. I don’t think they’re funny either. Cartoons make me want to put it in a children’s category. But then we have that word that begins with an f and ends in an uck to worry about. And it’s in every couple of paragraphs. It’s even written in cartoon words. So I’m not going to be suggesting it for story time at the local library any time soon.
There is one paragraph where a goose accidentally gets into the live-in couple’s home that made me laugh out loud a few times. I read it at the salon while sitting a chair with some sci-fi looking foil wrapped around my head. It now requires space-aged technology to cover the grey that crowds out the youthful hair that used to reside on my head. And that almost certainly confirms to me that I’m really not the target audience for this comedy.
Would I recommend it: I think this would be a great f-cking book to f-cking read while you’re f-cking twerking. But I can’t think of any other use for it.
Will I read it again: No.
About the book – from Goodreads: This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative–like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it–but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book:
Stories about things that happened to me
Stories about things that happened to other people because of me
Eight billion dollars*
Stories about dogs
The secret to eternal happiness*
*These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!