September 21, 2020 3:20 AM   Subscribe

Richard is a sample chapter from Allie Brosh's new book "Solutions and Other Problems" announced (previously).
posted by TheophileEscargot (47 comments total) 58 users marked this as a favorite
It's like when Jordan returned from his retirement!. Allie is back, better than ever. This is the best way to start a Monday morning, thank you!
posted by jeremias at 3:49 AM on September 21 [2 favorites]

Allie Brosh is a god-damned treasure. I don't know of anything online that has made me weep with laughter as often as "Hyperbole-and-a-half"
posted by Paladin1138 at 4:18 AM on September 21 [8 favorites]

Poor Richard!
posted by bowtiesarecool at 4:25 AM on September 21 [11 favorites]

This is so very good. Thanks for posting.
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:27 AM on September 21

Thank you.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:31 AM on September 21

Poor Richard's cat!
posted by jeather at 4:37 AM on September 21 [17 favorites]

Given the above comments, I kind of hope that she stole his Almanack as well.
posted by Johnny Assay at 4:58 AM on September 21 [20 favorites]

God, I missed her voice more than I knew. She's like a millennial Bill Watterson. I love how expressionistically she drew herself in this. Like a goblin-snake creature.
posted by es_de_bah at 5:30 AM on September 21 [17 favorites]

I’m really feeling the parent’s side of this. And also remembering some terrible things I did as a kid as I learned the power of consequences and navigating the social space.
posted by amanda at 5:53 AM on September 21 [1 favorite]

See also "The Poop Mystery" in The New Yorker.
posted by Captain_Science at 5:57 AM on September 21 [22 favorites]

I like the way she captured that phase in early childhood where some things are really confusing in a particular way because of gaps in knowledge and experience. I remember some of my own experience (highlight: not intuiting that there was not a headstone for each deceased family member of mine in every cemetery--there were a handful of deaths when I was two) but hadn't seen it captured so well.
posted by needs more cowbell at 5:58 AM on September 21 [6 favorites]

That story about the home-invasion goose in the Hyperbole and a Half book is one of the funniest things I've ever read. Glad she's back!
posted by orrnyereg at 6:48 AM on September 21

Every member of Allie's family looks like a bug-eyed fancy goldfish, and I love it.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:50 AM on September 21 [4 favorites]

When my kid figures out the word "park" she'll probably say "parp".
posted by madcaptenor at 6:53 AM on September 21 [7 favorites]

Poor Richard indeed. Without knowing anything about him, this must have been surreal if not terrifying.
posted by doctornemo at 6:58 AM on September 21 [4 favorites]

Buzzfeed also has a new interview with her that gets into her creative process, where she's been for the past 7 years, future plans, etc.
posted by pie ninja at 7:30 AM on September 21 [17 favorites]

I expected that Richard would turn out to be sort of a Boo Radley character. And lo, Allie turned out to be a sort of reverse Boo Radley. The anti-Radley.
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:33 AM on September 21 [4 favorites]

You never expect that your amiable and enthusiastic child could possibly be a part-time monster. Unless, of course, you have had a child. Or been one. Or taught children. Or in any way interacted with them. I may have to buy this book.
posted by Peach at 7:46 AM on September 21 [14 favorites]

Am I the only one who took way too long to realize her discovery that Richard lived next door happened in her childhood and not, say, six months ago?
posted by meinvt at 7:58 AM on September 21

Well, that was strange. I was afraid it was going to take a turn towards horror but instead it went in an entirely different direction.
posted by tommasz at 8:20 AM on September 21 [1 favorite]

she even included the kid-level smudges on the window.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 8:33 AM on September 21 [4 favorites]

I was afraid it was going to take a turn towards horror - it's close. Think of the implicit accusation leveled at Richard. And for us cat lovers, the poor kitty's confinement.
posted by doctornemo at 8:36 AM on September 21 [7 favorites]

Other than reference books and and cookbooks, I kept a total of about 10 hard copy books when I moved because I do almost all my recreational reading in an ereader now. Hyperbole and a Half is one of them. I am very excited to get this new book.

I thought I had preordered it but I can't find any record of that in my email, so I have preordered it again. If I end up with two copies then I guess I will have one copy to lend to people assuming a future in which I ever see people again.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:09 AM on September 21 [1 favorite]

My grandma usually supervised me while my parents were at work. She'd drink screwdrivers and do the crossword

My grandmother did this too, except she would also being smoking cigarettes.
posted by waving at 9:23 AM on September 21 [4 favorites]

posted by supermedusa at 9:30 AM on September 21

Yeah, as much as I love her, this excerpt is kind of a horrible case of misunderstanding and turns me off from wanting the book.
posted by Melismata at 9:36 AM on September 21 [2 favorites]

Allie doesn't really shy away from the potential horribleness of the situation. Time and lack of horrible outcomes gives her the space to treat it as funny, but like most of her work, there's an edge of genuine tragedy lurking not very far under the surface.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:50 AM on September 21 [18 favorites]

Oh thank you for posting, I wasn't the only truly clueless and weird little kid.
posted by winesong at 9:55 AM on September 21

She says she was three, and three-year-olds are weird little things who tell you stuff like "Someday I'll get to see YOUR skeleton, Mommy, when you're dead!" and then give you a happy smile. They don't really know from "appropriate."

She was perhaps more enterprising and creative in her weirdness than some, and most importantly, still has memories of it.
posted by emjaybee at 10:31 AM on September 21 [3 favorites]

She's obviously a very private person, but her storytelling is also incredibly personal. I wonder how she balances that? I find myself wanting to know a lot about her (in a way that I don't want to know about a lot of other celebrities) because she's sort of cracked open the door to her life and I'm trying to squeeze in to see more (if you want to picture me, as drawn by Allie, with one shoulder and half my head through a door, arm waiving wildly about, then that's probably better than I deserve).
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 10:58 AM on September 21 [1 favorite]

I'm going to her virtual book tour this week! So excited.
posted by Ruki at 12:28 PM on September 21 [3 favorites]

I loved this and am so excited to get the new book! (!!!!) But some of her stories are so perfect it makes me wonder how much is real memory, and how much is Sedaris-style "well, it could have been true" set pieces.
posted by Mchelly at 1:21 PM on September 21 [4 favorites]

I definitely recommend reading the Buzzfeed interview that pie ninja linked above if you're either worried about whether she's giving too much of herself, or whether the Richard story implies the whole book's going to be terrifyingly unsettling.

The answer is that she seems to be in a good place after some pretty big struggles, and she's happily anonymous online.
posted by ambrosen at 1:57 PM on September 21 [6 favorites]

so excited about this, I love her work.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:12 PM on September 21

Put me in the "deeply unsettled, this felt like a horror story to me" camp. I think it was compelling and well done, but my stomach still hurts from reading it.
posted by rednikki at 3:04 PM on September 21 [2 favorites]

TheophileEscargot, thank you for this post -- I'd forgotten the publication date!

Melismata and rednikki, the excerpt is not for me, either, but I remain excited about the book. Reading about Brost's good health and her career plans, in that Buzzfeed News interview pie ninja -- thanks! -- linked, was also a lift on a crummy Monday:

AB: I think blogs probably gave us a crude model for how to talk about our lives in smaller pieces. Before that, it was like, "write an autobiography, or get the hell out." [...]

BN: Do you plan to write a third book? Will you re-activate the blog?

AB: I do (unofficially) plan to write a third book, but who knows how long it'll take. Hopefully not as long. I have a lot of material for it already. As far as reactivating the blog full-time, definitely not. Writing books feels much more natural to me. This is the format I was meant for. It fits me, and it fits how I want to live. There's so much more I can do in terms of storytelling, and I naturally have more healthy expectations for myself while writing a book.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:06 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]

I did not know how much I needed this. Double happy because apparently I pre-ordered this and can inhale the rest tomorrow night.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 5:28 PM on September 21

Brosh added details (and cute baby pictures) at the first link, after the chapter. UPDATE: You guys have been asking about what happened after the story ended—did my parents apologize to Richard? What did they say? What happened with the cat?
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:49 PM on September 21 [15 favorites]

I did a presentation at work a couple years ago that included the meme "something something ALL THE THINGS!" and then I made a point to explain that the meme came from a woman named Allie Brosh and her struggle with depression. No one on the all-guy team said anything but I'd felt compelled to give credit where credit is due.

Gonna buy this book.
posted by bendy at 11:49 PM on September 21 [4 favorites]

The lesson I have taken from the Richard chapter and the horse poop story in the New Yorker is that dog (and cat) doors are portals to Narnia or the ninth circle of hell or both.
posted by spamandkimchi at 8:44 AM on September 22 [3 favorites]

This book's release is very good news and makes me think 🌈maybe everything isn't hopeless bullshit🌈.
posted by Tehhund at 12:28 PM on September 22 [3 favorites]

The book came today! It is an actual hardcover and I’m so ridiculously excited to dive into her stories.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 1:45 PM on September 22 [3 favorites]

The book came today! It is an actual hardcover and I’m so ridiculously excited to dive into her stories.

I also buy Allie Brosh's books in dead-tree format, and yes, it arrived today ( after a long pre-order ) and I'm looking forward to digging in.
posted by mikelieman at 1:57 PM on September 22

I have mine and am halfway through. It is terrific. I think it is a good idea to quote particularly favorite bits, so here is one:

If I find a dead deer, I don't have to fight a bear for it. I don't even have to eat it if I don't want to.
posted by JHarris at 12:07 AM on September 25

My pre-ordered copy is scheduled to arrive tomorrow! I'm very excited and wish I weren't in meetings all day so I could instead gobble it up immediately after rescuing it from the mailbox.
posted by paisley sheep at 12:31 AM on September 25 [1 favorite]

"What doing, mouse? Tricks? Fancy business?"
posted by JHarris at 11:04 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]

Just finished the book and it's good. But it seemed to me quite a bit darker than the first one. If you're looking for something light and fun to take your mind of terrible things, might not be the first choice.

Fanfare here.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:21 AM on October 13 [2 favorites]

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