I love Bojack Horseman. It’s one of the best TV-series ever, it starts out good, it only gets better as the show progresses and it culminates in an amazing finale. It’s also one of the few shows where I looked up who wrote it.
I know, I should do that more often because every time I’ve done it, I’ve come across great new material to watch or read. In the case of the Bojack Horseman writers though, I mainly wanted to see if they’re ok, because some of the episodes are DEVASTATING and seldom have I seen depression understood so well in popular media.
Now, Raphael Bob-Waksberg seems to be doing fine (I’m not quite over how young he is, dear lord, he was 30 when the show started) and he has published a collection of short stories/experimental prose poetry about love under this quite fetching title.
They’re all truly rather great and heart-wrenching. The thing that surprised me, was that for some reason I did not expect to recognise the parts of Bojack in it that I did. I mean it’s all there, the slightly absurdist humour, the toxic behaviours, the self-loathing, the difficult sibling and general family relationships; in fact, the longest story bears quite a few similarities with the episode “Chickens”. However, the most recognisable thing in those stories were the moments of openness and vulnerability. The moments when Bojack opens up, faces what he does, tells it as he feels it, these powerful and deeply touching moments show up here as well and they’re gorgeous. They’re not always pretty, the title comes from one of my favourite stories and it’s not used in the way you’d expect for example (except that you kinda do, because it’s by the dude who came up with Bojack) but they’re always poignant and show a deep understanding of how easy it is to mess-up in the complexities of human relationships.
Is it fair of me to compare this book to the TV-series by the same guy? Maybe not, but the TV-show is what the author is best known for and the topics of that series feature heavily in the book as well, so, if you like Bojack Horseman, especially the more tender or emotionally vulnerable moments, you’ll very much enjoy this book as well.