Monday, January 4, 2021

Solutions and Other Problems: a very short review

What seems like an eternity ago, but was actually just 12 years ago, I was utterly enthralled by Allie Brosh's blog-turned-Internet-comic-strip-turned-(eventually)-book, Hyperbole and a Half.

I read it eagerly, re-read it even more eagerly, raved about it to colleagues, friends, family, went back months later to re-read parts even again. And when it became a book, read that, too.

I couldn't wait for her to write more.

Then: nothing.

Years passed, a decade passed, I had completely forgotten about her work when up popped a notice somewhere saying that I could order her new book: Solutions and Other Problems.

So, naturally, I did. And, just at the holidays, it arrived.

Putting aside at least half a dozen other books that were ahead of it on the stack, I flew through Solutions and Other Problems like someone possessed.

So, what can I tell you?

Firstly, this is a heavy book.

I mean literally it is heavy! It is over 500 pages, printed on beautiful heavy glossy paper, to highlight Brosh's continually fascinating artwork, and the book must weigh at least 3 pounds.

But also, and more importantly, this is a heavy book.

A quick survey of some of the topics covered by the stories in Solutions and Other Problems:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stalking
  • Loneliness
  • Self-image
  • Divorce
  • Death

Uh, yeah, really.

The thing is, I can't really think of anyone else who could pull this off like Brosh does. When I search for words to describe what she's done in her art, I come up with words like: clarity, honesty, truth, vision, insight.

This is probably not the sort of book to read on a dark, gray, rainy day.

Or maybe it is? After all, I did, and I loved it!

No comments:

Post a Comment