This is the very long awaited sequel to Hyperbole and a Half, which Brosh published nearly a decade ago, and it is so good to hear from her again. I know I echo a lot of fans of her work when I saw my first interest in this book was foremost just wanting to see how she’s doing, and hoping she’s doing well.
I guess the problem is, as Brosh is often quick to point out herself, that as much as we want life to be like a movie, with a clear narrative and a win for the protagonist, that isn’t how life works. This book isn’t the “I am a published writer and therefore happy and fulfilled, living in a house with 10 stupid dogs.” She is doing okay, but that isn’t at all what the book is about. The book is about the intense struggles of the years between the last book and this one, and honestly, it’s a hard read.
It doesn’t have the quippy humour of the first book, which I took issue with it when I first read it. But honestly, having just gone back and read Hyperbole and a Half, I find I almost prefer this more serious version of storytelling. It just feels weird to read jokes meant to make light of a debilitating mental illness. It’s one thing if it was my condition I was making light of, but I am deeply uncomfortable being asked to laugh at someone else’s, even though obviously that’s angle. Obviously, for someone who more closely relates to what Brosh goes through, that point may be moot.
I guess my hope is that we just see more of Brosh out on the internet, experimenting with different means of expression the same way any other evolving creative should. And I wouldn’t be mad if she started posting on the blog again.