Another memoir dealing with childhood trauma, depression and loss with a gigantic sense of humour…
Genre: Graphic Novel, Memoir, Non Fiction,
No. of pages: 519
Allie Brosh returns with a new collection of comedic, autobiographical, and illustrated essays.
Solutions and Other Problems includes humorous stories from Allie Brosh’s childhood; the adventures of her very bad animals; merciless dissection of her own character flaws; incisive essays on grief, loneliness, and powerlessness; as well as reflections on the absurdity of modern life.
This full-color, beautifully illustrated edition features all-new material with more than 1,600 pieces of art.
Where ‘Hyperbole and a Half’ had me in tears of joy and sadness and brilliantly juxtaposed serious issues about mental health and loss with the random stupidity and innocence of youth; ‘Solutions and Other Problems’ tried to follow this roadmap, but just didn’t hit the turns right. I didn’t really laugh that much, and while the more serious topics were sobering, they didn’t drag the emotion out of me like the debut… maybe I’m now dead inside?
The artwork is splendidly artistic and simple at the same time as being hugely expressive to convey emotion and subtext. Brosh’s skills as an artist are amazing. So too are her talents to craft comic strips and tell story snippets. It was highly entertaining… there was just something about the collation of everything that didn’t sell it for me like ‘Hyperbole and a Half.’ There was something missing too – that intensity. But knowing what the author was going through in her personal life white creating this graphic novel, I’m not surprised. In fact I’m immensely impressed that not only did she get out of bed in the morning, but that she managed to craft another illustrated memoir at all. It is a true testament to her strength, even if she never feels that strength on some days.
I am in awe of her talent.
I got the hardback copy which has thick paper stock and the pages have a reflective satiny feel. All this quality makes the book heavy. I seriously wondered if I needed to hit the gym so I could finish reading this thing.
As this is a collection of essays in aspect, and a mix of topics, there is not really any storyline, or plot, so you can do little to predict what is going on. You just have to strap in for a ride and expect the unexpected. And it’s commonly crazy unexpected… emphasis on crazy (and just to be clear that is on a slur on mental illness, merely commentary at the randomness of it all. Hmmm maybe a better world would be chaos. Yes! The chaos of it all!)
I would still recommend this book. It is an entertaining read, you could get this completed in one sitting, or take your time as each story/chapter as it isn’t all that long, and you can choose where to stop and not worry as bout forgetting where you are, or what came before, because everything is fairly self-encapsulated.
I just hope we don’t have to wait another 7 years to see something published from Allie Brosh again.
Overall feeling: Chaotic good.
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