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Solutions and Other Problems

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For the first time in seven years, Allie Brosh—beloved author and artist of the extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller Hyperbole and a Half—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 For the first time in seven years, Allie Brosh—beloved author and artist of the extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller Hyperbole and a Half—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. Solutions and Other Problems marks the return of a beloved American humorist who has “the observational skills of a scientist, the creativity of an artist, and the wit of a comedian” (Bill Gates). “Imagine if David Sedaris could draw….Enchanting.” —People “One of the best things I’ve ever read in my life.” —Marc Maron “Will make you laugh until you sob, even when Brosh describes her struggle with depression.” —Entertainment Weekly “I would gladly pay to sit in a room full of people reading this book, merely to share the laughter.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer “In a culture that encourages people to carry mental illness as a secret burden….Brosh’s bracing honesty is a gift.” —Chicago Tribune


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For the first time in seven years, Allie Brosh—beloved author and artist of the extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller Hyperbole and a Half—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 For the first time in seven years, Allie Brosh—beloved author and artist of the extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller Hyperbole and a Half—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. Solutions and Other Problems marks the return of a beloved American humorist who has “the observational skills of a scientist, the creativity of an artist, and the wit of a comedian” (Bill Gates). “Imagine if David Sedaris could draw….Enchanting.” —People “One of the best things I’ve ever read in my life.” —Marc Maron “Will make you laugh until you sob, even when Brosh describes her struggle with depression.” —Entertainment Weekly “I would gladly pay to sit in a room full of people reading this book, merely to share the laughter.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer “In a culture that encourages people to carry mental illness as a secret burden….Brosh’s bracing honesty is a gift.” —Chicago Tribune

30 review for Solutions and Other Problems

  1. 4 out of 5

    karen

    NOW AVAILABLE!!!! FINALLLLYYYYY!!! Sometimes all you can really do is keep moving and hope you end up somewhere that makes sense. no spoilers, but since everyone wants to know—was this book worth waiting more than five years for? YES. DON’T BE A DUMMY, OF COURSE IT WAS!! it is bigger, funnier, sadder and—for those of you hoping—it does have more dumb dogs: and one diabolically clever dog. and a cat. i’m not going to post too many pictures, because you all deserve your own individual voyages of di NOW AVAILABLE!!!! FINALLLLYYYYY!!! Sometimes all you can really do is keep moving and hope you end up somewhere that makes sense. no spoilers, but since everyone wants to know—was this book worth waiting more than five years for? YES. DON’T BE A DUMMY, OF COURSE IT WAS!! it is bigger, funnier, sadder and—for those of you hoping—it does have more dumb dogs: and one diabolically clever dog. and a cat. i’m not going to post too many pictures, because you all deserve your own individual voyages of discovery, but FYI: the pictures i AM posting are from my ARC, which is in black-and-white—the finished book will be in full color. i honestly don’t know how i was lucky enough to score an ARC of this, but it was exactly what i needed to get me thru another day of this dumpster fire of a year. and, in a gift that keeps giving—there are some pages in the ARC where the words are missing or smeared in a “content TK” sort of way, which means that, come september, there will still be new material for me. because i already want more. although allie brosh is infinitely more talented than i will ever be—what she’s able to convey with just posture in her cartoons is exquisite—there’s so much of that RELATABLE CONTENT the kids are always talking about. in fact, there were times i actually felt like she was speaking directly…to me but even when she wasn’t breaking that fourth wall, i felt both a kinship with her and an urge to comfort her and tell her how seen and heard and appreciated she is. i mean, i’m not a big enough liar to tell her that “everything’s gonna be all right” (or, even, as she promises her sardine-friend: it will be better very soon), but it is a fact that what she creates and puts out into the world is helping people she'll never even meet, and i hope that there are artists or writers out there that inspire or comfort her in the same way. because, as she says, no one should have to feel like a pointless little weirdo alone. and she’s here for all of us, in her/our grief and loneliness, anxiety and self-scrutiny, in how we approach all of life’s difficulties, great and small. i know it’s a stupid thing to say, and it usually makes me cringe when other people say it about confessional-creators, but i’m saying it anyway—this is a brave book. it’s hard to make yourself vulnerable, and i love her for doing it. even in the book's darkest moments, there's a filament of humor running through it, which to me suggests a remarkable capacity for resilience, and i hope she never loses sight of that. so much of this book made me laugh with joy—the dandelion story, the car stereo story, the story about the dog and the carrots, the resolution to the poop mystery, dear god, every word of the story about her childhood neighbor, richard—witnessing the very BIRTH of social awkwardness. and this i love these things. i love them in a way that defies all logic or proportion. HELLO! I AM A BALLOON DO YOU WANT TO BUY A CAR? had me laughing so hard my stomach hurt, leaving me completely unprepared for the emotional evisceration of the fish video: I LOVE YOU! destroyed. it is an emotional roller coaster, full of googly eyes, goofy syntax, and hard-earned wisdom: If you can’t win, start playing a different game and score just as many points. even especially if it's just about humiliating some noisy-ass bird. the wait is not long now! *********************************** oh, honey. review to come. *********************************** pay no mind to my hi-gloss sheen. that's just what happens from wearing a mask for nine hours in nyfc summerheat awfulness. and am also possibly sweaty with joy? anyway, off to drink a cocktail and read this book! *********************************** you guys. you guys. confirmation that this exists and a copy is heading my way. *********************************** i'm pretty sure it's ILLEGAL to push the pub date back ANOTHER SIX MONTHS!!! come to my blog!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Lawson

    Hysterical. Sad. Poignant. Worth the wait.

  3. 4 out of 5

    MLE

    How am I just hearing about this? Not until next year... How am I just hearing about this? Not until next year...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Katiemaye

    I really don't understand why people are getting upset about the publish date. I consider her first book one that changed my life. It made me laugh, cry and gave me a better understanding of myself dealing with depression and anxiety. I am just so thankful that she has another one in the works and would happily wait years to experience another one of her pieces. Be patient my friends. I have no doubt that it will be worth the wait.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tucker (TuckerTheReader)

    I'm leaving this unrated (for now) because I feel conflicted. As you may or may not know, I leave books unrated when I feel that no rating properly reflects my feelings. This book started out amazingly. I was so, so excited to read more of Allie Brosh's work as Hyperbole and a Half is one of my all time favorite books and I have reread it so many times. My body was literally quivering with excitement and joy. The first couple stories were hilarious as in made me literally laugh out loud hilarious I'm leaving this unrated (for now) because I feel conflicted. As you may or may not know, I leave books unrated when I feel that no rating properly reflects my feelings. This book started out amazingly. I was so, so excited to read more of Allie Brosh's work as Hyperbole and a Half is one of my all time favorite books and I have reread it so many times. My body was literally quivering with excitement and joy. The first couple stories were hilarious as in made me literally laugh out loud hilarious but then I hit a bump. There was a section were Allie talks about the rough experiences she had that delayed this book for so long. Don't get me wrong. I think that her stories are inspirational and should be shared but, for some reason, at that time, reading her heartbreaking experiences... just broke me. It started out with my tearing up and I was like "yeah, this is normal. it's a sad story." But then my brain was like GUESS WHAT ITS TIME FOR AN EXISTENTIAL CRISIS. Don't worry. I'm fine now but there must have been some subconscious tension or anxiety or something that was just waiting for a catalyst to explode. Anywho, my very dramatic point is that, after that point, I kind of just numbly stumbled through the rest of the book so I didn't enjoy it. That's not the book's fault. It's my brain's fault. At some point, I'll reread this and hopefully enjoy it more. Overall, I highly recommend this book and her first book! Happy reading! | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ilana

    Oct 13/20 — Decided this on needed to be a purchase as opposed to a library borrow. Have the ebook. Probably the right time for it would be... now. Considering I’m raving in the streets lately #FuckDARVO, #StopGaslighting #WakeUp woke is hate.... man. Yeah. Some grounding hilarity from a fellow feeler of too fucking much is most welcome. I need you Allie. I mean I need whatever you’ve cooked up from your personal toolbox. ! I’m so glad you pulled through with this one. I fucking know the effort Oct 13/20 — Decided this on needed to be a purchase as opposed to a library borrow. Have the ebook. Probably the right time for it would be... now. Considering I’m raving in the streets lately #FuckDARVO, #StopGaslighting #WakeUp woke is hate.... man. Yeah. Some grounding hilarity from a fellow feeler of too fucking much is most welcome. I need you Allie. I mean I need whatever you’ve cooked up from your personal toolbox. ! I’m so glad you pulled through with this one. I fucking know the effort it takes to pull it all together and get something out there they’ll recognize. Smh. Gah. We crazies are the sanest in this mess and that’s what makes us crazy. Fix the fucking mess you all wanna ignore so you can watch tv, eat your junk and processed food and anyone of any age can watch the most unimaginable degradations to human beings done in the name of porn. Of women, men, boys, girls and babies. But yeah. All’s well with me. This is about me. Now let’s see what Allie was processing. Lol. Crazies helping the world get healthier eh? ——— Sometime in 2019? A Plea for Compassion When I saw this "new" title by Allie Brosh, I didn't know anything about it and just thought "gotta get my hands on that title!". I thought I'd borrow it from the library and obviously hit a wall. Not listed. When I saw Amazon's listed publication date was 2050, I started investigating a little. Now I’ve read the following update provided by a kind Goodreads member https://gazettereview.com/2015/07/wha..., it's looking like this book may never get published. Then again, there's a small chance it might be... some day in this century. Maybe. But probably not. Or the stars may align the right way for Allie and it will after all. Or not. And if not, that's really okay. Sometimes I find sharing my own experience is helpful to illustrate a point: I struggle with bipolar and anxiety disorders which seems to be mostly expressed with constant depression and still plenty of anxiety attacks now I'm medicated, and chronic pain to top it all off, and I get it, I really get it; that feeling like there's no point to anything and even if you've got talent and have "done things" before, not being up to using it and wanting to do other things to get better. Even if by "other things" you mostly just focus on keeping on breathing and eating and sleeping and watching Netflix and NOT killing yourself on those days when you badly want to make the suffering just stop. You want to do things, you set out to do things, and then... there's just no point to doing those things because they just end up making you feel bad, because self-criticism and nopointoanything-ism. And on top of it all, if you're a perfectionist, if you are going to do a thing, it's gotta be AMAZING, or at least more than just okay, so there's doubly no point to doing a thing, because you're in no place to be producing anything good when you're feeling empty & worthless to begin with. And it really doesn't make any difference how many people are telling you how good and full of talent you are. In fact the more people tell you how good you are, the more that awful thing in your head grows and and grows and convinces you they're all LYING and really, you're a sack of shit and an impostor and totally WORTHLESS, besides which there’s just no point because they’ll always expect more more more and it’s never enough. Anyway, this isn't about me (or maybe it is, a little [make that a whole fuxking lot, editing from the future in Oct 2020 I’m finding this all crass & self-promoting when that wasn’t my intent at all] It's about the nature of depression and the fact that Allie was incredibly courageous when she reached out to the whole world with such open candor about a painful reality she’s had to live with every day for many years of her life, and did truly amazing work with Hyperbole and a Half, which touched countless lives via the book itself, and all the times her relatable illustration made the rounds on the net, and made people feel less alone and less freakish, or whatever. Considering all that, knowing she had the intention of putting out a second book but with repeated changes to the publication date, was obviously struggling in some way that should be obvious to anyone who’d been even a little familiar with the first book,—even without having read the update for which I provided the link above—it's unfair to place expectations or any sort or pressure on her anymore, and it saddens me to see all those, admittedly old reviews—with people complaining about having to wait. Some are kind and express sympathy, while others just seem to callously think they’re buying just any product and expect speedy delivery, not thinking for a moment what the message these books is about. And that what made “Hyperbole” so damn funny and poignant was that the author could only write about it like that because of living with a form of intractable mental illness that resists treatment, which is a reality for about a third of us genetically predisposed severely mentally ill. All this to say that to put expectations such as deadlines and promotions for holiday gifting and public eagerness for more more more... that alone can only be hell to live with for someone constantly shadowed by the black dog of depression and anxiety, which are reasons enough not to deliver as expected. All the more so when life throws extra wrenches at someone struggling to hold things together. All I can say, what we should ALL say, is “Be well Allie, and thank you for sharing what you did, that was plenty enough and then some. And if you ever feel up to sharing more, then great. And if you don't feel up to sharing anything else, then great also because what you did share was tremendous and means a lot to me and I always enjoy seeing your panels again. Here's hoping you have more good days than bad ones. Sending lotsa love, and thanks for the laughs & the tears of recognition. ❤️” #MentalHealthMatters

  7. 5 out of 5

    [Name Redacted]

    So apparently in the last three years: --Her sister committed suicide. --Her marriage ended (she now lives in Denver, he now lives in Seattle). --She had a cancer scare. --She required major surgery. --She has redirected her efforts into public speaking and abandoned her blog. --This book has been canceled by the publisher. So...DANG. UPDATE: It's been three more years, and since then she has...disappeared. No new posts. No new book (it was canceled, finally) and no-one has heard anything from her. We So apparently in the last three years: --Her sister committed suicide. --Her marriage ended (she now lives in Denver, he now lives in Seattle). --She had a cancer scare. --She required major surgery. --She has redirected her efforts into public speaking and abandoned her blog. --This book has been canceled by the publisher. So...DANG. UPDATE: It's been three more years, and since then she has...disappeared. No new posts. No new book (it was canceled, finally) and no-one has heard anything from her. We can only hope she's just moved on to something she cares about. UPDATE 2: Supposedly this is coming out (with a completely different cover) in September of 2020. I've pre-ordered it yet again. But I remain skeptical.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell

    OMGGGG IT FINALLY HAS A RELEASE DATE YAAAAAASS 2020 BITCHES Not gonna lie, the first book made me feel really, really seen during a period of depression, so I am super super excited for this follow-up because I want to be SEEN again :D I want a copy of this so badly T_T

  9. 4 out of 5

    Paige

    I would wait a thousand years for this book because I know it'll be great, take your time Allie Brosh

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Gail

    Something good is finally happening in 2020! Seriously though, Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened, and especially "all my fish are dead" literally changed my life. ------------------------ Amazon just emailed me. There is no longer an expected release date. In happier news, here's a corgi butt. Something good is finally happening in 2020! Seriously though, Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened, and especially "all my fish are dead" literally changed my life. ------------------------ Amazon just emailed me. There is no longer an expected release date. In happier news, here's a corgi butt.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

    This was worth the wait (~5 years!, not complaining, you just need to know how much of a wait it's worth) - and I'm so, so happy that finally there is something that 2020 cannot ruin. Tempting fate? Maybe. Sorry Allie Brosh. But at the very bare minimum I can't be forced in any way to un-read this book. As per usual with Allie Brosh and the mix of drawn and written storytelling that makes up her previous book and blog Hyperbole and a Half, there are pieces of this that are actual-laugh-out-loud f This was worth the wait (~5 years!, not complaining, you just need to know how much of a wait it's worth) - and I'm so, so happy that finally there is something that 2020 cannot ruin. Tempting fate? Maybe. Sorry Allie Brosh. But at the very bare minimum I can't be forced in any way to un-read this book. As per usual with Allie Brosh and the mix of drawn and written storytelling that makes up her previous book and blog Hyperbole and a Half, there are pieces of this that are actual-laugh-out-loud funny, pieces that made me cry, and pieces that make me go "huh, I never did see it from that angle before". If you haven't read any of her work before - lucky you, to start, because you get to experience it all for the first time. I envy you alot. If you have read her work before - this is all new, but a comparable experience, if a little deeper, a little more touching - there's been a lot of life between here and there and there's no way around how that kind of thing affects a person. I think it's enriched it all; I hope you feel the same. Still absolutely one of my "get onto the escape rocket in case of meteor" books and authors.

  12. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    This is finally ACTUALLY happening. I've been waiting so damn long for this and I'm so emotional right now. Allie Brosh is literally a huge part of why I'm still on this planet today. If you'll all excuse me, I'm going to go sob for a while. 😭💖 This is finally ACTUALLY happening. I've been waiting so damn long for this and I'm so emotional right now. Allie Brosh is literally a huge part of why I'm still on this planet today. If you'll all excuse me, I'm going to go sob for a while. 😭💖

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I had this long conversation with a friend of mine today about the need we all seem to have for answers. We call it different things but it all sort of boils down to this weird, innate need to understand what in the hell we're meant to be doing here. We, as a species, really can't seem to bear the idea that there isn't some grand plan in place that would explain the casual suffering, the loneliness, the soul destroying pain we all suffer through. We do not under any circumstances want to confron I had this long conversation with a friend of mine today about the need we all seem to have for answers. We call it different things but it all sort of boils down to this weird, innate need to understand what in the hell we're meant to be doing here. We, as a species, really can't seem to bear the idea that there isn't some grand plan in place that would explain the casual suffering, the loneliness, the soul destroying pain we all suffer through. We do not under any circumstances want to confront the idea that some guy can just wander into a school and kill children because he felt like it, there has to be a plan, some purpose to it. There has to be a reason. But the weird thing is realizing that there is no point is bizarrely comforting once you get around to accepting it. Allie Brosh has been fucking around looking for that deceptively simple truth for awhile now. She did it first with her brilliant, self deprecating blog "Hyperbole and a Half" which eventually became a book of the same name and she kept right on doing it when she abruptly vanished from the internet (and everywhere else) just as her book hit the NY Times best seller list and everyone wanted to be her friend. I was one of those fans who saw so much of my own journey in hers. She put a face (a very, very funny and relatable face) on something that we still aren't comfortable talking about (mental health) and her insecurities, fears and adorable awkward fumbling through life made it literally impossible not to totally fall in love with her. So me and about a billion other people were pretty damn worried when she vanished almost seven years ago just when her second book was announced. Of course she didn't really vanish. She got smacked around by a whole bunch of bullshit, much of which she gets into in the brilliant follow up to "Hyperbole and a Half" which took me approximately two hours to read, and which I refuse to spoil for you except to say I wouldn't have blamed her in the slightest if she never wrote another word or drew another bug eyed girl with a yellow pigtail. Honestly I'm a little surprised there isn't a chapter in there called "I wonder if I pissed off God?" or "Well at least I haven't actually died yet." As much as I snort laughed my way through this book I was also struck by the depth of feeling and wisdom Brosh conveys with her stories. There's plenty of fantastically weird childhood memories and an especially insane and uncomfortable odyssey with the family pets horrifying called "The Poop Mystery" but they're interspersed with bold face, hard staring right into the truly terrible tragedies she's been dealing with these last few years. This girl has seem some shit and its changed her. I can all but guarantee she'd be the last person to call herself wise, as most truly wise people are wont to do, but I don't know what else to call it. She's been knocked around and bruised by grief and the daily grind of surviving really shitty stuff and its clearly shaped who she is now as a writer and artist. For lack of a better, kinder way to say it, suffering and living through that suffering has made her better at what she does. Her art work feels and looks richer. Her goofy looking self is more fully realized, brighter and tainted with deeper shadows at the same time. I'm reluctant to say it feels like she cares more but it does seem like she has much more to say and show us. Its as if she trusts more in her own craft. The same holds true for her writing. The frantic energy has been replaced by a stronger, steadier self assurance that even if she still has no idea what the hell is going on, she's okay with that. Its like she feels more important, or maybe more relevant to the world. Not because she's some brilliant philosopher dying to share her genius with us, but because she's arrived at that place within herself where she finally gets that its okay to have no idea what's going on, that it doesn't make life less worth living or her less worthy of being happy or at least content with her own. Its still worth moving forward even if you have no earthly idea where you're going to end up. There's a frantic sort of aimlessness to "Hyperbole and a Half" that's delightful and funny but also a little formless. You have to spend time with it to see beyond the goofy stories about dumb dogs and cake. I always feel a little panicked when I finish reading it. Not so with this book. No lie, my abs literally ache from laughing while I read it but I'm also hanging on to the sad stuff too and it makes the jokes and goofy stories and goddamn weird ass things that girl did as a child even funnier and more delightful. Allie Brosh is a truly beautiful utter weirdo and a goddamn gift to all of us. Go read her book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    I hope you will allow me to tell a little story here. Some years back, I was going through a bad time with my mental health. It’s been, what feels like a lifelong struggle, but this was a particularly rough period. I had been in the hospital and was then moved to a sort of group home to recover more. One of the counselors there had two stories by Allie Brosh printed out and we read them as part of a group activity. They were about depression and were real and sad and funny. I felt seen. Like som I hope you will allow me to tell a little story here. Some years back, I was going through a bad time with my mental health. It’s been, what feels like a lifelong struggle, but this was a particularly rough period. I had been in the hospital and was then moved to a sort of group home to recover more. One of the counselors there had two stories by Allie Brosh printed out and we read them as part of a group activity. They were about depression and were real and sad and funny. I felt seen. Like someone had peeked inside my head and put my thoughts into words and pictures. It was wonderful. There’s still somehow such a stigma around mental health and it was refreshing to see someone put themselves out there for the world to see. Raw and exposed. Vulnerable. I later went on to read her whole first book and loved all of it. Most were just funny stories but there were other dark ones too. She has a gift, like I said in an update as I read this, of alternating between the dark and the light. Making you want to cry one minute and laugh the next. The perfect blend. Few authors can do this. And all in tiny comic strips. I’m happy to say that this second collection was no different. It’s been a long time since her first book and when you read this, you find out why. A lot has happened to her since then. And because of that she has again crafted a mix of stories that make you laugh and smile and ones that make you cry. The ones about her sister were especially touching. She makes you feel it’s ok to be weird and ok to struggle. She tells you that it’s important to be kind to yourself. And don’t forget to laugh.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    When considering what to write in this review, I had a lot of thoughts floating around in my head akin to, “a book doesn’t HAVE to funny to be good, you just made a pre-assumption the author is funny,” “it’s not up to you to decide how someone gets to describe their experiences,” etc. Which are both true. But they also obscured the fact that, at the end of the day, I didn’t enjoy Solutions and Other Problems very much. I wanted to. Oh, how I wanted to. Like every other person and their mother on When considering what to write in this review, I had a lot of thoughts floating around in my head akin to, “a book doesn’t HAVE to funny to be good, you just made a pre-assumption the author is funny,” “it’s not up to you to decide how someone gets to describe their experiences,” etc. Which are both true. But they also obscured the fact that, at the end of the day, I didn’t enjoy Solutions and Other Problems very much. I wanted to. Oh, how I wanted to. Like every other person and their mother on this page right now, I loved the Hyperbole and a Half blog. I still google “allie brosh pain scale” anytime I want to rip out my sides laughing. I enjoyed her first book (didn’t love, but enjoyed). I wondered where she had gone and was thus delighted to see when this emerged from pre-order. In short, I had a lot of stake in the game. But, although I tried, reading this book just wasn’t fun. First, it isn’t funny. Senses of humor are of course somewhat subjective and I know other reviewers already hard-core disagree with me, but in over 500 pages I chuckled maybe 4 or 5 times and, of the 25 stories, would classify only one (“Cat”) as funny; even then, not to the level of her previous work. Which, on its own, is completely fine. This style of book doesn’t have to be funny. Just because I historically place Allie Brosh’s writing in the “comedy’ bucket doesn’t mean she has to continue that way. Her work can evolve and her style translated to much more series topics. Except reading these comics didn’t feel like someone who was intentionally using her style to share said serious topics. It felt like someone who was still very much in the middle of being incredible sad and lonely and possibly self-destructive vomited her misery out into this public format in a “HA HA LOOK AT ME ISN’T MY PATHETICNESS FUNNY?” kind of way that left me as a reader deeply cringing. I’m drawn back to her famous comic, Adventures in Depresison, where she first shared her struggle with depression. The comic ends leaving the reader thinking she’s ok – but after two years of utter silence, we got part 2, which revealed she had been about to hit rock bottom and hadn’t known it. To me, this book feels like that: like the writer is portraying what are supposed to be funny clever stories, but they’re covering up something much sadder. I want to clarify that I am absolutely 100% not passing judgment or making assumptions about Allie Brosh or her mental health. Rather, I am describing the sentiment I – the reader – was left with. (Writing this has also made me realize I do think she was trying to be funny; it just didn’t land.) Structurally, this book didn’t work very well either. Allie has previously commented on her blog FAQ how much time she spends considering story structure, and that she’ll often pull a comic if the underlying skeleton isn’t sufficient. That self-editing didn’t happen here. I particularly recall the story where she talked about a fight she had with her ex-husband, Duncan, that climaxes in a squabble about bananas. I think the story was supposed to be talking about how ridiculous arguments are at the end of the relationship, but the comic itself so completely failed to have a beginning, middle, and end that it instead it just came off as a random series of interactions that (once again) left me cringing and uncomfortable (and not in a reflective way). Quite a few of the comics had that wandering randomness: ok…here are some thoughts and things that happened…moving on to the next one. I found myself skimming the pictures to skip to the text because, in the majority of cases, the pictures didn’t add much to the storytelling. They were just there. The nuance of observation that has previously marked Allie’s work has slipped into the humor of randomness: “ha ha isn’t this arbitrary ha ha.” Finally (and this is going to sound odd considering how much I’ve been complaining about her book being all dark and unfunny) but at times the book would have benefited from going more into the sad shit happening in her life. She would insert it into comics like she wanted to talk about it, but then it would never come up again. It was that socially awkward moment where someone is just waiting to be asked about Topic X, but no one asks them so instead they keep dropping cryptic hints. I would not have finished this book if it hadn’t been written by Allie Brosh. If the manuscript had been submitted to a publisher by a complete unknown, I think a good editor would have said, “This is a brilliant idea. Take another year to emotionally process all this content, and then come back and try again.” It breaks my heart, but after reading this I really just hope that Allie has found real-life support and community, that terrible awful things stop happening to her, and also that I don’t ever need to re-read Solutions and Other Problems. (Three stars because I can’t emotionally put it in the same category as my 2-star books – if nothing else, it’s a huge amount of work and creativity.)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Olive Fellows (abookolive)

    Check out my review on booktube: https://youtu.be/Ni5Ew74Hknk Check out my review on booktube: https://youtu.be/Ni5Ew74Hknk

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bree Cheese

    I want this ALOT. I want this ALOT.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    She has leaned into it. All of it. I have been on an existential journey. I read this whole thing last night after I got home from work. My one complaint about it that I have right now is that hardcover is the wrong format for this book. My wrists hurt! It's so heavy! I mean, it's a beautiful book, but at points genuinely physically hard to read. I imagine if I had some sort of tablet or color Kindle that would be ideal. If you have arthritis or other hand/arm related mobility issues I feel this She has leaned into it. All of it. I have been on an existential journey. I read this whole thing last night after I got home from work. My one complaint about it that I have right now is that hardcover is the wrong format for this book. My wrists hurt! It's so heavy! I mean, it's a beautiful book, but at points genuinely physically hard to read. I imagine if I had some sort of tablet or color Kindle that would be ideal. If you have arthritis or other hand/arm related mobility issues I feel this is a good thing to know. But aside from that, this book is a work of art. I loved her first book, but it was a bit more disjointed than this one. This one, if you look hard enough, feels more united. There are 25 chapters, and though not all of them share subject matter, there is an overarching voice, and they all come together to paint a picture of Allie's state of mind, how she's changed, and what the meaning of it all is. (view spoiler)[Mostly the answer is nothing means anything, and everything is absurd. (hide spoiler)] [image error] The image I identified with the most. Y'all have lived through 2020 with me, so when you read the book I feel like you will agree with me on this. I mentioned above that I went on an existential journey reading this, and I wasn't (ha) being hyperbolic. That is a literal thing that is happening in this book. Brosh has been through a tough seven years, and though she's stated in one of a couple of interviews she's given promoting this book that the wait between books was just how long it took her to write it, I'm pretty sure this would be an entirely different book without the several life-changing experiences she went through (and which she talks about in the book, in a section labeled "The Serious Part"). That's not to say this is a bleak book. Even when she's contemplating her mortality and the meaning of life, she still retains her humor. There are also some gut bustingly funny chapters in here that of course veer towards the absurd, but in a more joyful way. My favorite was "The Poop Mystery." I was honestly laughing so hard at the end of it I started crying. (Don't click this link unless you've read it. You're welcome if you have.) It's also clear from some of the panels that her artistic style has evolved and matured a lot over the last several years. Some of the panels are beautiful, and some of them are so lovingly and absurdly rendered you can't help but laugh even without the context of what's going on. As far as I'm concerned, she can take a decade to write the next book if she wants to, though I hope it comes much sooner than that. A+ would read again. (Will be reading several chapters again tonight when I get home.)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shay

    I really hate to say this (and I see I'm going to be in the overwhelming minority here) but I didn't care for this book nearly as much as the first one. I got halfway through before realizing most of the stories felt "meh". Made it 3/4ths of the way through before putting it down yesterday. And I honestly had no interest in finishing it but did for the sake of review. Every. Single. Story in the first book is either hilarious or sad & hilarious. Most of the stories in this one are "okay" and for I really hate to say this (and I see I'm going to be in the overwhelming minority here) but I didn't care for this book nearly as much as the first one. I got halfway through before realizing most of the stories felt "meh". Made it 3/4ths of the way through before putting it down yesterday. And I honestly had no interest in finishing it but did for the sake of review. Every. Single. Story in the first book is either hilarious or sad & hilarious. Most of the stories in this one are "okay" and forgettable. The funniest thing to me was Duncan's face in the banana story. I've reread the originals (and her blog exclusives) many times. I don't think I'll reread this one at all. She also seems to be using more "lol it's funny because it's random" type humor. I'm honestly sorry to be saying this because I loved her blog and first book but this just doesn't do it for me. Still glad I pre-ordered because her prior work has given me countless laughs and poignant moments.

  20. 4 out of 5

    abby

    This book arrived at my doorstep and I almost couldn’t believe it. It’s real? Like, for real real? Because, like other lovers of the hilarious graphic memoir “Hyperbole and a Half,” I had abandoned any hope of a sophmore book years ago. But then I discovered “Solutions and Other Problems” the day before publication and 24 hours later was chuckling along once again with Allie Brosh, in awe that this moment had come. I’d forgotten how much I’d missed her work. I don’t think this book was as good as This book arrived at my doorstep and I almost couldn’t believe it. It’s real? Like, for real real? Because, like other lovers of the hilarious graphic memoir “Hyperbole and a Half,” I had abandoned any hope of a sophmore book years ago. But then I discovered “Solutions and Other Problems” the day before publication and 24 hours later was chuckling along once again with Allie Brosh, in awe that this moment had come. I’d forgotten how much I’d missed her work. I don’t think this book was as good as “Hyperbole and a Half.” Specifically, I didn’t find it as humorous (and I’m exempting the parts that are not supposed to be funny— Brosh has been through some stuff). But there is still excellent material here that her fans will enjoy. I will never not love tales from her weird-kid childhood. You will also learn about how life is pointless, and you will feel oddly comforted by it. Brosh is an incredibly likable personality— you can’t help but root for her and that pink blob girl with the yellow horn.

  21. 4 out of 5

    April (Aprilius Maximus)

    "Sometimes all you can really do is keep moving and hope you end up somewhere that makes sense." representation: mental health (depression) [trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers] ★★★★ I've been waiting for this book for 5 years (!!!!!) ever since I read her first book Hyperbole and a Half and I'm sad to say that this one did disappoint, but only a little bit! I found a couple of the stories quite absurd and they didn't really make sense and I'm certai "Sometimes all you can really do is keep moving and hope you end up somewhere that makes sense." representation: mental health (depression) [trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers] ★★★★ I've been waiting for this book for 5 years (!!!!!) ever since I read her first book Hyperbole and a Half and I'm sad to say that this one did disappoint, but only a little bit! I found a couple of the stories quite absurd and they didn't really make sense and I'm certain she wrote them while high lmao but there were a couple of definite laugh out loud moments! My favourites were Dandelions and The Ultimate Plan. Hilarious. trigger warnings: cancer scare, loss of loved one (suicide), divorce, death of a pet, vivid descriptions of being high, depression.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Florencia

    For heaven's sake. What sort of evil mind is behind this cruel joke? Now I know there's a new book by Allie and I can't taste the sweet elixir of her unapologetic humor until October 25, 2016 September 7, 2017? Preposterous. Outrageous. I need to talk to your supervisor. I want to make a formal complaint. Dec 19, 2015 Edited Nov 20, 2016

  23. 4 out of 5

    Melissa McShane

    I was so surprised by how enormous this book is by comparison to Allie Brosh's first book. My daughter had preordered it, and while I knew it was coming out soon, I hadn't paid any more attention to it than that. It's beautiful, and worth the price. I found this more poignant than funny, which is also something I didn't expect. Brosh has been through a lot in the seven years since Hyperbole and a Half was released, and those things have naturally left their mark. So there's a lot of introspection I was so surprised by how enormous this book is by comparison to Allie Brosh's first book. My daughter had preordered it, and while I knew it was coming out soon, I hadn't paid any more attention to it than that. It's beautiful, and worth the price. I found this more poignant than funny, which is also something I didn't expect. Brosh has been through a lot in the seven years since Hyperbole and a Half was released, and those things have naturally left their mark. So there's a lot of introspection here amid the humor. I didn't love it, hence the four stars, but I liked it a lot and was really impressed by the author's sincerity. I look forward to many more books by her.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ronyell

    GIMME, GIMME, GIMMIE, GIMMIE!!!! I JUST CAN'T FREAKING WAIT!!!! GIMME, GIMME, GIMMIE, GIMMIE!!!! I JUST CAN'T FREAKING WAIT!!!!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    OMFG I JUST REALIZED THIS FINALLY HAS A RELEASE DATE & I HAVE TEARS IN MY EYES! SO PROUD OF BROSH! I know how it feels to suffer from debilitating anxiety & depression and of her struggles in finish this book because of it & life getting in the way in the worst ways... AND I’M SO SO SO HAPPY FOR HER! and for me! Because it comes out THIS MONTH! WOOOO! OMFG I JUST REALIZED THIS FINALLY HAS A RELEASE DATE & I HAVE TEARS IN MY EYES! SO PROUD OF BROSH! I know how it feels to suffer from debilitating anxiety & depression and of her struggles in finish this book because of it & life getting in the way in the worst ways... AND I’M SO SO SO HAPPY FOR HER! and for me! Because it comes out THIS MONTH! WOOOO!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Holstrom

    I read Hyperbole and a Half at a time when I didn’t know I was depressed, but I found the comics ~relatable~ and funny. Now, I am fully aware, and Allie Brosh has crushed my heart to pieces again. Solutions and Other Problems is so potent. It is, at times, the view inside my own brain. But also not. Brosh had a lot of terrible life experiences in the years between her first book and this one, out in September. She lays it all bare, alongside some fun comics about being a weird kid and having I read Hyperbole and a Half at a time when I didn’t know I was depressed, but I found the comics ~relatable~ and funny. Now, I am fully aware, and Allie Brosh has crushed my heart to pieces again. Solutions and Other Problems is so potent. It is, at times, the view inside my own brain. But also not. Brosh had a lot of terrible life experiences in the years between her first book and this one, out in September. She lays it all bare, alongside some fun comics about being a weird kid and having dumb dogs. But the devastation is present through all 500+ pages. From The Best Comics We Read in July-September 2020 at Book Riot.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Vegan

    I read a Kindle e-edition borrowed from the library due to the continuing pandemic and my branch library is not one of the branches that has opened for borrowing paper books. I’ve been waiting for this second book for year. I loved the first book by this author/illustrator, Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened. (I have gone to her blog and also thoroughly enjoyed it.) This book wasn’t exactly what I’d been expecting which w I read a Kindle e-edition borrowed from the library due to the continuing pandemic and my branch library is not one of the branches that has opened for borrowing paper books. I’ve been waiting for this second book for year. I loved the first book by this author/illustrator, Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened. (I have gone to her blog and also thoroughly enjoyed it.) This book wasn’t exactly what I’d been expecting which was autobiographical, mostly hilarious, sometimes poignant cartoon stories. T This book was a lot more autobiographical stories, illustrated with cartoons and overall was a lot less amusing. There were some star funny stories, but there was more sadness than humor. Tragic stuff. That would have been fine with me as I enjoy that sort of narrative, even though I was reading it along with a heavy content children’s novel and expected to go to this book for some comic relief, which is did not provide. That’s not the reason I’m not giving this book 5 stars though and why I only liked it and did not love it. I found it to be full of filler, a lot of filler, in places one drawing after another with very little text for them. The book was uneven as there were parts where I laughed out loud and parts where I felt emotionally involved, though the latter not as much as I would have expected. I think it was because what information there was superficial. Yes, that is Allie Brosh’s right but I wanted and needed more. I wanted a lot more about her sister and I wanted more about her too. As far as being uneven, it didn’t help that for me the book started out fairly strong but its last parts were weak. I do love this line: “Having to be personally responsible for maintaining justice in the world is distressing. It makes it seem like maybe there’s something wrong at the Universal Fairness and Balance Department. Like maybe the higher-ups have lost control and they need help.” While I feel a bit disappointed, especially given the extremely long wait, I’m glad I read this and I will read/view anything else by this author/illustrator. I guess for this collection I needed either more humor or more depth and details for the serious stories. I did like it though.

  28. 4 out of 5

    b.andherbooks

    I've been waiting for this book for so long, and I don't think it could have come at a more perfect (or needed) time. Allie Brosh opened my eyes with Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened so many years ago, and while this tome is definitely tinged with more darkness, it a worthy successor. Now that I'm a mother to two of my own impetuous children who, while not probably quite on the "Richard" level of creepy, definitely give I've been waiting for this book for so long, and I don't think it could have come at a more perfect (or needed) time. Allie Brosh opened my eyes with Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened so many years ago, and while this tome is definitely tinged with more darkness, it a worthy successor. Now that I'm a mother to two of my own impetuous children who, while not probably quite on the "Richard" level of creepy, definitely give me a run for my money and sanity a lot of the days. Seeing an adult unpack their childhood in this way really helps me be a better parent to them. We'll all be okay I hope. I'm so glad I bought this for my keeper shelf. I'll be returning to it often.

  29. 5 out of 5

    thefourthvine

    I think it's safe to say a lot has happened to Allie Brosh in the seven years everyone I know spent going, "Man, I just hope Allie Brosh is doing well, wherever she is." And this book really peels back the layers on that -- there are funny chapters and heartrending chapters and chapters that talk about truly awful things in small, simple sentences that sit there in your head like a rock. Basically, this book is a testament to the power of keeping on, even when things are awful, and also on being I think it's safe to say a lot has happened to Allie Brosh in the seven years everyone I know spent going, "Man, I just hope Allie Brosh is doing well, wherever she is." And this book really peels back the layers on that -- there are funny chapters and heartrending chapters and chapters that talk about truly awful things in small, simple sentences that sit there in your head like a rock. Basically, this book is a testament to the power of keeping on, even when things are awful, and also on being yourself, no matter how weird and unlikable and unnecessary you find yourself to be. (Yes, it is #relatable.) It's also an oddly -- since it was written over the course of seven years -- relevant book for this year, 2020, in the way it talks about loneliness and rarely leaving your house. I guess you could say Brosh has been in lockdown a lot longer than the rest of us. I read this in one sitting. I can't say I enjoyed every chapter, largely because this book made me feel things and I very much prefer not feeling things, but I'm glad I read it. Note: If you need content warnings, uh, talk to someone who has read this book. It has a bundle of upsetting content in it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    Five years ago, I was given a pre-order of this for my birthday, because of course I was looking forward to another Brosh book like anything. I am sorry that life got so very much in the author's way, although I think we're all painfully aware of how that can happen. If just about the only good thing to come out of 2020 is the new releases, still that's a lot of good. I am eager to dive in, but I am waiting until Saturday morning when I can look forward to lots of reading time unimpeded by work Five years ago, I was given a pre-order of this for my birthday, because of course I was looking forward to another Brosh book like anything. I am sorry that life got so very much in the author's way, although I think we're all painfully aware of how that can happen. If just about the only good thing to come out of 2020 is the new releases, still that's a lot of good. I am eager to dive in, but I am waiting until Saturday morning when I can look forward to lots of reading time unimpeded by work and sleep and such. *** It's heartbreaking because it's true. It's also funny, although not at all in a laugh-out-loud sort of way. Everything is tinged with sadness and pain, so more like Depression and less like The God of Cake. As a reader it was worth waiting five years for. As a human being I wish no one had to go through even half of what Brosh has been through.

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