Back when I reviewed Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half in 2014 I asserted then that she was one of the most honest writers and humorists that you were likely to come across on your bookstore shelves. Her follow up, Solutions and Other Problems supports my earlier claim and is so much better, more thoughtful than its predecessor. Each chapter contains the kind of introspection that will make you think “yup, I know that feeling”. This one isn’t as funny as Hyperbole but that matches what Brosh’s lived experience was. Although, there’s a chapter about an argument that made me laugh so hard I couldn’t breathe. I hope I’m not the only one who reacted that way, because my god was it incisive and hysterical at the same time.
Brosh has famously been absent from the internet (at least publicly) since 2013. Solutions and Other Problems chronicles the whys and hows of that, without feeling as though we’ve been given too much access. We do get a view into her life, and more specifically her worldview, and all that’s changed and evolved since last we saw her. In some ways reading this felt like sitting down with a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time and just having an in-depth rambly conversation for a few hours to get caught up, to hear their best stories, and to get back on the same page once more. And it was a lovely to do so. When I first sat to write this review I thought I’d talk more in depth about it, but as I’ve been writing I’ve decided in fact to not – to let you experience the surprises and turns and insights of this conversation for yourself. Because you absolutely should, at your earliest convenience.
Bingo Square: Shelfie