It's Kind Of A Funny Story

It's Kind Of A Funny Story

Paperback - 2007
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Like many ambitious New York City teenagers, Craig Gilner sees entry into Manhattan's Executive Pre-Professional High School as the ticket to his future. Determined to succeed at life-which means getting into the right high school to get into the right college to get the right job-Craig studies night and day to ace the entrance exam, and does. That's when things start to get crazy.

At his new school, Craig realizes that he isn't brilliant compared to the other kids; he's just average, and maybe not even that. He soon sees his once-perfect future crumbling away. The stress becomes unbearable and Craig stops eating and sleeping-until, one night, he nearly kills himself.

Craig's suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, isolated from the crushing pressures of school and friends, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.

Ned Vizzini, who himself spent time in a psychiatric hospital, has created a remarkably moving tale about the sometimes unexpected road to happiness. For a novel about depression, it's definitely a funny story.
Publisher: New York : Hyperion, 2007
ISBN: 9780786851973
078685197X

Opinion

From Library Staff

Facing overwhelming pressures at school, a Brooklyn teen experiences growing anxiety and depression until admitting himself into a psychiatric hospital... for adults.

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CRRL_CraigGraziano Jun 25, 2015

The book manages to illuminate a real modern issue of the amount of pressure that smart, hardworking teenagers put on themselves in order to feel validated. Rather than shove his message in the reader’s face, he balances it with subtle humor and a realistic teenage character. Craig sometimes fall... Read More »


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GCPL_Teen Jun 27, 2017

While I found it difficult to relate to or empathize with the main character, I am sure many would enjoy this novel. The protagonist, Craig, struggles to get into a competitive academic high school and then finds himself overwhelmed by pressure to succeed. A male protagonist can be hard to find in YA fiction, so some boys may identify with Craig and the challenges he faces.

JCLEmilyD Feb 09, 2017

Well I'll tell you I didn't think this was very funny at all. I get it, it's a story about depression
and it's suppose to have humorous overtones to make it well.. less depressing. But the humor did not float my boat, I thought it was just sad and WAY too long! It took 400 pages to get to the conclusion I got to at page 50. Meh.

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starkitty35
Sep 14, 2016

Book was meh. 2.5/5. Like most YA stories, it's quirky and tries to get "in with the kids" but really misses a lot. The author writes based on his experience in a psychiatric hospital in 2004 - 2005, but my experiences (I was hospitalized in 2008, 2009, and 2011) were a hell of a lot different, so it seems like a lot of wishful thinking (i.e. you are not allowed to touch other patients contrary to the story, have your door closed, definitely can't smoke in a hospital, etc.).
And like most things -- books may have happy endings but the author himself commit suicide in 2013. Guess that's why I was interested in reading it -- wanted to 'pick his brain' -- but it turned out to be not so interesting. Oh well.

Chapel_Hill_KatieJ Aug 16, 2016

Now this a sad, depressing book, but also very insightful. Craig’s voice clearly states how he’s feeling, why he feels that way, how everyone around him is worried, and how he can’t just snap out of it. As he opens up to those around him, he starts to realize a lot of the people in his life are struggling too. My only complaint about this novel is that it’s a book about a very serious topic, but then somehow becomes a book about getting a girl. At times it reads like an updated version of The Bell Jar, and I mean that in a good way.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 02, 2016

I have read what I believe is my first YA novel.
It's Kind of a Funny Story was an easy read. Like 444 pages in 4 days easy. It was entertaining and provided some insight into how one teen viewed being institutionalized. I liked it, but it's not the kind of book I'd like to find myself reading often.
There was so much potential lost here. Wonderful idea. Great characters. Vivid setting. And yet, nothing gelled in the way I have come to expect from great books. It was largely fluff--a straight-forward telling of "my five days in the looney bin and how I got there"
In the complete spectrum of books, four stars is too high for this one. Taking it for what it is, however, and considering its intended audience, I think my rating is appropriate.

bhunt78 Feb 23, 2016

This book helped me deal with a dark time in my life. It is very easy to relate to Craig for someone dealing with depression or suicide. It also deals with the stress that school and social life has on young people. I would recommend this book to anyone. It is categorized as youth fiction, but it is suitable to anyone in a tough situation.

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Blue_Crow_2
Jan 13, 2016

It's Kind of a Funny Story is a novel everyone should read. It describes mental illness in a clear, natural voice. Craig never whined; he was completely relatable, and his emotions were so real it was as if they reached out of the novel, grabbed me by my heart, and pulled me in. Because his voice was so true, I spent a day or two in a funk because I felt what he was feeling; so I wouldn't recommend this depressed or mentally ill people unless they're sure that they're in a good place.

Honestly, this book has me so full of emotions that I can barely express. I don't even know what to say. Perhaps I was able to relate to Craig so strongly because I've experienced the exact same high-pressure environment of school and college, but I think that anyone who has ever experienced stress will be able to relate. I love that this novel was about what Craig feels. Although how he feels is affected by other people and outside events, Vizzini never loses focus on Craig's mind, and how this is a story of Craig's journey through illness and recovery.

It's Kind of a Funny Story really moved me, and I highly, highly recommend it.

v
VV12
Oct 27, 2015

I really enjoyed the first part of this book. The exposition leading up to Craig’s stay in the hospital is heartfelt and believable. I was a little disappointed with the turn the book took when he enters the psychiatric ward. In the course of about a week, his mental health improves by leaps and bounds and it doesn’t come off nearly as believably as the beginning of the book. That said, it was still entertaining and uplifting.

However my biggest issue with this book is the offensive portrayal of the transgender character. Her role is minor, but even in her short amount of page time she is treated terribly by both the characters and the narrative (she is referred to as “he” and sometimes “it” or “that”) and presented in a way that is outdated for the time this book was written. I mention this not to slander the author but to warn anyone who might be upset by these scenes as I was.

PimaLib_WilliamB Oct 08, 2015

Heartfelt and heartbreaking, a fictionalized account of Ned's stay at a mental hospital while suffering from suicidal thoughts and depression is honest, humorous, and sad all at once. The only problem with this book is it's hard to put down and stop reading.

w
wendyvoid
Jul 01, 2015

A very interesting and heart-breaking book.

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Age

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VV12
Sep 04, 2015

VV12 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

vv1 Feb 23, 2015

vv1 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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MAYA KENNEDY
Feb 07, 2015

MAYA KENNEDY thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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FirePit
Nov 29, 2013

FirePit thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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BlueBee1560
May 02, 2013

BlueBee1560 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

bookgeek101 Feb 26, 2013

bookgeek101 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Notices

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bookgeek101 Feb 26, 2013

Sexual Content: Sexual refernces, but they aren't thouroughly explained. Some sexual situations, but they are very minor.

bookgeek101 Feb 26, 2013

Coarse Language: Swearing throughout.

bookgeek101 Feb 26, 2013

Frightening or Intense Scenes: The whole book can be kind of depressing. In the institute, soem people tried to commite suicide, and that is why they are in the hospital.

bookgeek101 Feb 26, 2013

Violence: In the hospital, some people will fight with others.

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wendyvoid
Jul 01, 2015

“People are screwed up in this world. I'd rather be with someone screwed up and open about it than somebody perfect and ready to explode.”

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BlueBee1560
May 02, 2013

"It'll come to ya!"

Ambiii Jun 13, 2012

'Do you like music?' 'Do you like breating?'

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