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It's Kind of a Funny Story: A Novel Hardcover – April 2, 2006


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Hardcover, April 2, 2006
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Miramax; First Edition edition (April 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786851961
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786851966
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (335 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #733,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up-When 15-year-old Craig Gilner is accepted by a prestigious Manhattan high school, the pressure becomes taxing, and he finds himself battling depression. Partying and drugs don't help. As his illness intensifies, he is aided by his supportive family and perceptive therapist. A prescription for Zoloft improves things, until Craig decides that he is better and stops taking it. In a revitalized state of depression, he calls a suicide-prevention hotline and then checks into a hospital, where the only space available is in the adult psychiatric wing. There, he receives the help he needs, discovers his hidden artistic talents, and connects with the quirky patients who have plenty of problems of their own, including Noelle, a girl his own age. Craig's well-paced narrative, carefully and insightfully detailing his confusing slide and his desperate efforts to get well, is filled with humor and pathos. His thoughts reveal a sensitive teen unsure about sex, friendships, himself, and his future. An almost unbelievable amount of self-realization, including his first two romantic encounters, occurs in the whirlwind five-day hospital stay. However, the book ends on a note of hope, despite Craig's unwise anticipation of a relationship with Noelle. This novel will appeal to readers drawn to Brent Runyon's The Burn Journals (Knopf, 2004), which is another powerful but more extreme look at a likable teen returning from the brink of suicide.-Diane P. Tuccillo, City of Mesa Library, AZ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 9-12. When Craig Gilner gets into Manhattan's exclusive Executive Pre-Professional High School, it's the culmination of a year of intense focus and grinding hard work. Now he has to actually attend the school with other equally high-performing students. Oops. And so the unraveling begins, with a depressed Craig spending more time smoking dope and throwing up than studying. Although medication helps his depression, he decides to stop taking it. Soon after, he makes another decision: to commit suicide. A call to a suicide hotline gets him into a psychiatric hospital, where he is finally able to face his demons. Readers must suspend their disbelief big time for this to work. Because the teen psych ward is undergoing renovations, Craig is put in with adults, which provides the narrative with an eccentric cast of characters rather than just similarly screwed-up teens. And in his five days in the hospital, Craig manages to cure his eating disorder, find a girlfriend, realize he wants to be an artist, and solve many of his co-residents' problems, including locating Egyptian music for his roommate, who won't get out of bed. What could he do if he wasn't depressed! But what's terrific about the book is Craig's voice--intimate, real, funny, ironic, and one kids will come closer to hear. Many readers will be familiar with the drugs, the sexual experimentation, the language, and, yes, the depression--or they'll know someone who is. This book offers hope in a package that readers will find enticing, and that's the gift it offers. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

Before I read this book, I bought it for a friend as a birthday gift.
Ecila
Stories like this can make you think about many aspects of your life, and how you relate to what Craig was going through, and eventually made through.
Nicolas
"It is kind of a funny story" written by Ned Vizzini is very interesting novel.
Arina Kocherga

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 54 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
When I moved back to New York City a decade ago, I was drawn immediately to the pages of the free alternative weekly "The New York Press". Why? Back then it had a terrific stable of eloquent columnists, ranging from Jonathan Ames and Melissa de la Cruz to fellow Brunonian Amy Sohn. But I thought the most remarkable person writing for them was a young high school student, Ned Vizzini, who would soon become a fellow alumnus of our prestigious New York City public high school, Stuyvesant High School, which is of course best known for its Nobel Prize-winning alumni, other distinguished scientists, doctors, engineers and lawyers, legendary Hollywood movie stars like James Cagney and Tim Robbins, and a certain former member of its faculty, one bestselling memoirist by the name of Frank McCourt. Although I haven't been following his subsequent career as diligently as I should, I was quite impressed back then with Vizzini's crisp, clear prose, and fine ear for clever dialogue. All of these are amply present in his latest novel for adolescent kids, "Its Kind Of A Funny Story", which I think will interest many adults too.

Vizzini offers an eloquent, memorable fictional description of teenage clinical depression in his latest novel; one which is the most honest, and truly - on occasion - humorous accounts I have come across. It is also one firmly rooted in reality, since he had suffered from clinical depression too, shortly before writing this novel. Craig Gilner is a new student at a prestigious New York City high school which is a fictionalized, business-oriented version of Stuyvesant. One night he begins thinking of suicide, and ultimately checks himself into the emergency room of his Brooklyn neighborhood hospital.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Ecila on June 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
Before I read this book, I bought it for a friend as a birthday gift. About two, three years later, I finally decide to pick it up and read it myself. It was about October when I started and I finished it sometime before December. There was one line in the book that really changed my life. It was Craig was first checked into the hospital and when he's having a discussion with Humble. Humble says something along the lines of how he's afraid of living and not dying. When I read that I really understood what it's like to have a mental health disorder.

The way this book was written can resemble a memoir because Vizzini wrote this book after he was released from a hospital himself. And that's what makes it more realistic for the reader. As a young adult myself who is still in school, active in various extra curriculars, and dealing with relationships, this book is very relatable and shockingly real. This book is a great read for that reason. If you know someone who has a mental health disorder, whether it be depression, DID, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder, you would greatly benefit from this book because you take the time to step inside their mind.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If anyone compares Ned Vizzini to Ken Kesey, don't listen to them. He's different because I said so. And because he is. In so many good ways.

His third book, IT'S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY, takes its readers on an honest (and, in the end, refreshing) plunge into Craig Gilner's teenage depression and resurfaces in world that, five days later, feels real for the first time. He looks like your everyday modern kid until he sneaks out in the middle of the night and admits himself into a mental hospital. Why would he do that? If you asked him, he'd tell you it's because of all the Tentacles. Too many Tentacles and not enough Anchors. The stresses of life are wrapping him so tightly that he's not sure he can handle it. Even if he wants to.

The thing about Tentacles (Yes, it's spelled correctly) is he'd cut them off if he could, but if he did, he'd end up a failure. That's how life is right? He studies his brains out to ace the entrance exam and get into Executive Pre-Professional High School, so he's obligated or something to the best student he can, right? It seems so simple. Study hard. Read 3 newspapers a day. Respond to email. Answer phone calls. Sound normal. Look normal. Basically, do what everyone wants, when they want, and he'll make it in life. They'll see him as a success.

The problem is that Craig wants to end it all. As much as he loves that beating heart of his and his family and his friends and chilling with Aaron and hoping for something more with Nia, he wants to die. It's the only way he can think to stop the Cycling in his brain. He keeps waiting for The Shift to happen, but it feels eight continents away--In other words, Impossible.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Brian H. on March 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Ned Vizzini, cult author who has been relatively successful although not blown up yet, was depressed. In December of 2005 he had suicidal thoughts and went into his local hospital's recovery program. He was there five days, and it took him a month to write this novel afterwards.

The main character, Craig, is starting to feel the pressures of life. Recently accepted into the most prestigious high school, things start building up, however instead of dealing with them he just keeps stacking his problems in the corner. While he's fallen into some shady friendships and into some pretty heavy pot use, his grades slip and he realizes he's not perfect. The thoughts nearly drive him to suicide, but thank God, he checks into his local hospital instead.

This story aside from some setup, mainly are the chronicles of Craig Gilner's 5 day stay. As he forms friendships with some of the patients he meets a girl, which leads to the development of one of the best and most touching romances I've read in a story since I read Feed about four years ago.

Through depression this narrative shows that there are reasons to live, and should help many teens through rough times. Although it's sad Ned Vizzini had to suffer through those times, it was now for the better since he has written this wonderful work which we can all learn from.

I expect this book to explode on the YA media, even though there are some adult themes (drugs, sex, language, etc.) it's nothing worse than you run into during the average day of life.

Although the book is about 440 pages long, you would never know it. I read this book in a day and a half, and I plan to read it several more times. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Whether you're depressed or not, young or old, that doesn't matter, because this book is about something we all have in common: life.
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