- Hardcover: 448 pages
- Publisher: Miramax; First Edition ~1st Printing edition (March 21, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786851961
- ISBN-13: 978-0786851966
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.4 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 630 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,409,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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It's Kind of a Funny Story: A Novel Hardcover – April 2, 2006
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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.
*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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Top customer reviews
I enjoyed this book because I myself suffered for many years with depression. I hid it from everyone even if they knew about it I tried to hide it and how I truly hurt. Reading that an author could depict that into a book to kind of show light on how it is to deal with this. And the options that there is to get help but also know that no matter what in the end there can be help for you. This is a must read for anyone no matter who you are! Whether you are dealing with these issues or know someone who is. Or are just wanting to read a good book! This is perfect!
The novel follows 15-year-old Craig: he is depressed and suicidal. He attends a prestigious school which he spent months and months studying and working towards however, since the day of his welcome letter, he's never been happy. The school is just stress and grades, he's struggling to keep his head above water and admits himself into the mental health ward. The synopsis sounds cringey, teenagery maybe even predictable but it's not. The title sums it up perfectly: 'It's Kind of a Funny Story' because it is. Never have I wanted to laugh at a character's cynical humour while wanting to cry over the bleakness of his life. I was emotionally invested and, more so, emotionally torn.
This book just did it for me and led me to read all his other books as well, they're so good. Definitely recommend reading this NOW
Craig has his own language to describe his depression. He refers to the conflicting obligations that are overwhelming and depressing him as 'tentacles', while the things that help him to empty his brain (his goal) are called 'anchors'.
I would like to think that someone who may be contemplating suicide would read it, follow in Craig's footsteps, and get help for themselves. If this book even increases that chance at all, it is valuable for that alone.
Why I did not give 5 stars? I didn't really love the book the way some people did, from a pure enjoyment of the story standpoint. I had no trouble putting it down. I'm glad I read it, but don't feel like I'm likely to read it again. This is rare for me because I am always desperate for something to read.
Most recent customer reviews
movie is also great!