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Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things that Happened

by Allie Brosh

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4516-6617-5

A quirky, humorous memoir/collection of illustrated essays.

Brosh is a good example of how new literary forms are evolving. An immensely successful blogger, the author’s Hyperbole and a Half earned her a 2011 Bloggies Award and also garnered a spot on PC World’s “Funniest Sites on the Web.” Suffice it to say, she has become something of an Internet sensation. However, as many readers know, web writing often does not translate well to a book (and vice versa). Brosh makes a solid first attempt to bridge this literary gap. Anyone who takes years’ worth of blog posts and tries to pare them down into book form is facing a formidable task, whether the writing is any good or not (in this case, it is, though some essays are stronger than others). Blog followers don’t usually binge read, but book readers do. That said, holding a book may leave some with a yearning for more cohesion. It does feel choppy in places, but the wit, hilarity and poignancy of the subject matter trump structural concerns. Brosh is a connoisseur of the human condition. In her typical self-deprecating and dramatic manner (hence the hyperbole reference), she tells personal stories that name things we can all relate to, including fear, love, depression and hope. Perhaps the most endearing thing about her writing is that she approaches her subject matter from a vulnerable, childlike place, complete with Paintbrush caricatures that have arguably already earned iconic status. Brosh’s longtime fans and cult followers will be happy to learn that half of the material for this book is new and unpublished. The other half is comprised of Internet favorites, including “Simple Dog,” “The God of Cake” and “Adventures in Depression.”

Part graphic novel, part confessional, overall delightful. An obvious choice for Hyperbole fans, but this will also appeal to fans of other oddball web presences like Homestar Runner and The Oatmeal.