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It's Kind of a Funny Story [Kindle Edition]

Ned Vizzini
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (423 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.


Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-When Craig Gilner is accepted into New York City's elite Executive Pre-Professional High School, he believes his life is starting on the right path. After school begins, Craig finds that his life is spiraling out of control from the pressures, and he begins to contemplate suicide. Rather than actually jump off of the Brooklyn Bridge, Craig checks himself into the local hospital. In the five days he spends in psychiatric care, Craig connects with some of the other patients and learns who his true friends are, how to re-center himself, and that the only expectations he truly needs to meet are his own. With a cast of interesting characters and a very forthright teen perspective, Vizzini has penned a poignant and sometimes humorous tale (Miramax, 2006) about navigating adolescence. Narrator Robert Fass matches Craig's desolate moods and factual nature very well. Due to some upfront discussion of recreational drug use and sexual activities, this title is most suitable for more mature teens.-Jessica Miller, West Springfield Public Library, MAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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

Product Details

  • File Size: 1664 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Disney Hyperion; Mti edition (September 24, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0044KLQNC
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,569 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
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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44 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now I Understand Mental Health June 16, 2011
By Ecila
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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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
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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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Are Your Tentacles? 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I especially liked it after he goes to the hospital
I think this story will stay with me forever. I especially liked it after he goes to the hospital. The way he interacted with the other patients was extremely inspiring.
Published 1 day ago by YAsuperfan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It's an awesome book that some teenagers can relate to, it's a very well written book.
Published 3 days ago by Maleha Larry
5.0 out of 5 stars amazingly awesome
Amazing book! Shows you the real world and what really happens out there.
Published 3 days ago by Jillian St John
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Anti climactic. The end had a scene that I found to be creepy.
Published 9 days ago by Karen
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile read. Glad I read it, not likely to read again.
I gave this book four stars because I felt like it helped me to better understand people that I care about who have struggled with severe depression or anxiety. Read more
Published 9 days ago by katydid
5.0 out of 5 stars this book itself has its funny parts and it's sad ones but overall...
This book came in a new condition. The shipping was fast. also, this book itself has its funny parts and it's sad ones but overall it's one of my favorites
Published 12 days ago by Jason
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect
I've read this book over four times. Its my favorite. Ned is really amazing.
Published 17 days ago by Lacee tyler
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My friend loved this.
Published 23 days ago by Laura
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great
Published 25 days ago by Sharon Krueger
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is beautiful!
I really loved this book! One of the most beautiful and moving books I have ever read! For me it's right up there with "Looking for Alaska", except I might have liked this book... Read more
Published 27 days ago by cameron
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Books like "It's Kind of a Funny Story"?
Well, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a good one if you liked the story of Craig with his high school friends.

Veronika Decides to Die is very different in that it is not young adult, but it has a similar story. It is about a young woman who actually tries (and almost succeeds) in committing... Read More
Jul 2, 2012 by Jane Doe |  See all 2 posts
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