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It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned…

It's Kind of a Funny Story (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Ned Vizzini

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2,1211033,090 (4)46
Title:It's Kind of a Funny Story
Authors:Ned Vizzini
Info:Disney-Hyperion (2007), Paperback, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:ya lit, depression, suicide, high school, psychiatric hospital, humor, coming of age, psychiatric institutions, ned vizzini

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It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini (2006)


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Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
The thing is, there's a lot about this book that I liked very much. How it's a probably fairly accurate depiction of what depression can be like, but also playfully told, beautifully written, enjoyable. That's a huge thing to do.

But then. Half of the book is crappy romance, and/or Craig demonstrating what a really, really male male protagonist he is.

And, worse, this oh so sweet story features the worst bit of "casual" transphobia I've read in a long time now. You remember Jennifer/Charles? Now, we don't even learn if they are gender fluid, female or actually (as everybody seems to think) male with a thing for dressing up as a woman. That's because they're nothing more than a prop to tell us how very, very crazy that place is. Disgusting, but ok, hardly surprising. But then there's this really long thing about their adam's apple being hidden by their shirt.

And, surprise surprise, when Craig gets to make out with Noelle he kisses her neck and notices how there is no adam's apple. Yeah? Ok? People notice stuff about people? But no, he goes on to think how that's because she's a real girl. Ouch! No, not ok.

No, maybe it's incidental and not linked to Jennifer/Charles at all. But remember how in the beginning, Craig is thinking about depression being speech without verbs, only nouns, and in the end he's all about LIVING ALL THESE VERBS? Yeah, maybe not that incidental. Ned Vizzini wrote beautifully even when he wrote intolerable, hateful bullshit.

Or maybe it's ok because HEY, REALISM, but then again it is heavily implied that Craig gets better because he gets a girlfriend. Love can cure everything, love gets the verbs back into your life, whatever. And this is so obviously cliché and not how brains work for most people that a slightly less cissexist than average protagonist really doesn't seem that far off by comparison.

What a pity, but for me all that really turned It's Kind of a Funny Story from a great book into an annoying waste of time. ( )
  kthxy | May 6, 2016 |
This book's been on my radar for the longest time (I love a good mental health novel) and HOORAY, it was so worth the wait! First of all, let me say that it's quite refreshing to read one of these stories from the perspective of an average guy; not a painfully innocent or shy boy, or a kooky girl, but a regular, testosterone-driven, vaguely worldly fifteen year-old who likes video games, pot and jerking off. Craig's description of his five days in a mental hospital, which he checks himself into after a long battle with depression and a night of suicidal crisis - is not only pithy, warm and very realistic (it is drawn from Vizzini's own experiences), it is also, as the title suggest, really kind of funny. It's filled with wonderful characters and it's possibly the most relatable mental health novel I've read yet; I've scrawled so many notes and hearts and stars in the margin to mark passages to go back to next time I need to feel that I'm not alone and that other people have had the same weird thoughts as I'm having. I also watched the movie adaptation, which is quite faithful to the book and put a big smile on my face by the time the credits rolled. Highly recommended! ( )
  elliepotten | Apr 1, 2016 |
If you enjoyed the Perks of Being A Wallflower, It's kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini is the perfect book for you. Though the basis of the novel is a sad story of a boy who struggles with depression, it embraces so many topics and ideas and motifs that shine through the novel. It proves that theres strength in numbers and that every cloud has a silver lining. I extremely enjoyed this book and all of its ups and downs and I can easily say that it is one of the best books i've ever read. ( )
  pdenatale17 | Mar 31, 2016 |
I don't know if this is due to the book being aimed at young adults or not, but although I enjoyed this novel, it felt as if it made the experience of mental illness too easy. In the story, the main character is struggling emotionally, checks himself into a mental health clinic, and by the end of his short time there, he is happy again. I felt like this minimized the pain of mental illness and the often long-term, ongoing struggle that many people experience.

With that said, however, the characters that Vizzini introduces in this story are entertaining, the story is well-written and altogether enjoyable.
( )
  magerber | Feb 22, 2016 |
Let me start by saying I saw the movie before reading. And I loved it! That means that I started reading this book expecting certain feelings to come forth as it did when watching the movie and unfortunatly it didn't come. I liked the book, I even saw some aspect of myself in it that I thought I alone did it, but it's not as profound as I took it for. ( )
  Glaucialm | Feb 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
"Insightful and utterly authentic...this is an important book."
added by Awesomeness1 | editThe New York Times Book Review
"A book about depression that's not the least bit depressing."
added by Awesomeness1 | editTeen Vogue
"Funny...[Vizzini] supplies personal insights and a clever, self-deprecating tone that make the book and entertaining read."
added by Awesomeness1 | editThe Washingston Post
"The wise, witty narrator and sensitive handling of a hot topic should win over older teens- and their parents"
added by Awesomeness1 | editPeople Magazine
"It's terrific: funny, incisive, disarming."
added by Awesomeness1 | editNew York Magazine
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To my mom. You knew you'd get one sooner or later, and seeing as they're so hard to do, I figured we'd better make it sooner. I love you.
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It's so hard to talk when you want to kill yourself.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 078685197X, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:28 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A humorous account of a New York City teenager's battle with depression and his time spent in a psychiatric hospital.

(summary from another edition)

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