It's Kind of a Funny Story
Author: Ned Vizzini
Genre: Young Adult
Date Published: April 1st 2006
Like many smart, ambitious New York City teenagers, Craig Gilner seeks entry into Manhattans most prestigious school, Executive Pre-Professional High School. With single-minded determination, he works night and day to ace the entrance exam and gets in. Thats when everything starts to unravel. Once Craig starts his new school, he realizes hes just one of many brilliant kids, and he isnt even brilliant, hes average. As Craig starts getting so-so grades, he sees his once-perfect future crumbling away. He begins to have trouble eating, sleeping, and thinkingthats when he tells his parents hes depressed. He goes on medication and talks to therapists, but things keep getting worse, until one night Craig feels so low that he seriously considers suicide.But instead, Craig calls a hotline. The counselor tells him to get to the nearest hospital, and before he knows it, hes signed, sealed, and delivered into one of Brooklyns finest psychiatric units.Craigs new roommate is an Egyptian schoolteacher who refuses to get out of bed. His neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, and a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors.But somehow in this motley crew, Craig finds real friends and kindred spirits who give him strength. This is a remarkably moving and authentic picture of the physicality, the despair, and even the hilarity, of depression.
The beginning of It’s Kind of a Funny Story was iffy for me. I wasn’t sure if it was my cup of tea per se, and I even contemplated stamping a DNF on it. I’m so glad I continued, because soon after I completely fell for this book and Ned Vizzini’s quirky writing.
Craig Gilner is a smart 15 year old with a lot on his mind. He is consumed with making good grades, and being excellent at the things he does that it starts to infect his everyday life. Things become too much to deal with like grades, school and girls. The pressure and anxiety soon overcome him so much that he is seriously thinking about suicide. The majority of the story takes place at an adult psychiatric unit, as Craig is the main character the other patients become the supporting cast. There are some really great funny moments, as well endearing ones taking place in the unit. Honestly I can’t give the synopsis it’s due justice.
I think there is a little of Craig in everyone, and that’s why you become so engaged while reading It’s Kind of a Funny Story. Seriously, he’s an awesome character with real life worries and thoughts. He loves peeing because it’s such a simple thing. You need to pee, so you get up and do it. It needs no thought or planning. You got to love a protagonist that makes you see urinating in a whole different light.
Ned Vizzini is a really great writer. His writing is real, and cool. I totally would love to drink a cup of coffee with him. I’m glad I stuck with it. Highly recommended!
I was happy to find out that it was made into a movie. It should be out on DVD soon.