Title: It’s Kind of a Funny Story
Author: Ned Vizzini
Genre: Contemporary, Mental health
First Publication: 2007
Major Characters: Aaron, Nia, Craig Gilner, Noelle
Setting Place: New York City, New York (United States)
Theme: Happiness, Social Norms and Pressure, Communication, Romance and Relationships
Narrator: First Person from Craig Gilner’s point of view
Book Summary: It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
Ambitious New York City teenager Craig Gilner is determined to succeed at life – which means getting into the right high school to get into the right job. But once Craig aces his way into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School, the pressure becomes unbearable. He 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, 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.
Book Review: It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
In It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini, the narrator, Craig Gilner, is fifteen and he is attending a Brooklyn high school for high-achieving kids who are aiming for Harvard. His mother is an artist who designs postcards, and his father is in health insurance. He has a younger sister, Sarah, and a best friend, Aaron. He wishes Aaron’s girlfriend Nia was his girlfriend, but he knows things are what they are.
Craig cannot stop worrying about the future. He feels he is dumb at the high school despite his good grades. The other kids barely seem to study to keep up scores of 98, but he needs to study four hours a night to keep up grades at the level of 93. Because he feels constant depression, he has been seeing a psychiatrist and he is on medication. Recently, he stopped the medication and the old issues have resurfaced. The stomach pains and his obsessive thoughts about the future have returned.
“I didn’t want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.”
Craig is in trouble and he knows it. He decides to admit himself into a psychiatric hospital. It turns out to be a good thing. While in the hospital, he meets people he finds to be interesting and he likes them. But will his parents and friends understand?
It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini is a wonderfully sensitive and gentle novel about a teen thinking about suicide, and how he learns to control his depression. The novel is great read for teens and their parents. It is based on Ned Vizzini’s own experiences with clinical depression. However, the author killed himself at age 32.
“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.”
It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini is such a nice book dealing with an issue about mental health many have suffered from.. I think more teenagers should read this; anyone with suicidal thoughts or anyone who thinks he/she suffers or has suffered from depression.
There is much you can do to solve the problem, just work on it yourself; talk to people, think happy thoughts, and as they say “do more of what makes you happy“. There is always a solution, there is nothing such as a dead end, so go ahead work on it because whatever the circumstance you can brave the storm.