Cover image for It's kind of a funny story
Title:
It's kind of a funny story

It is kind of a funny story
Variant Title:
It is kind of a funny story
Author:
Vizzini, Ned, 1981-2013
ISBN:
9780786851973
Personal Author:
Edition:
1st Hyperion Pbks. ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Miramax Books, 2007, c2006.
Physical Description:
444 p. ; 21 cm.
Series Title:
It's kind of a funny story
Abstract:
A humorous account of a New York City teenager's battle with depression and his time spent in a psychiatric hospital.
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Book V00003816971 YA FIC VIZZINI, N.
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Summary

Summary


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.


Author Notes

Ned Vizzin was born in New York City on April 4, 1981. He began writing professionally as a teenager. He wrote essays and articles for the New York Press, the New York Times, and other publications. His first book, Teen Angst? Naaah...: A Quasi Autobiography, was published in 2000. His other books include Be More Chill, House of Secrets co-written with film director Chris Columbus, and It's Kind of a Funny Story, which was adapted as a feature film in 2010 starring Zack Galifianakis. His television writing credits include MTV's Teen Wolf, and the NBC drama Believe. He committed suicide on December 19, 2013 at the age of 32.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist 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 2006 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Vizzini "clearly has not lost his knack for conveying the textures of teenage life," in this book about a boy's slip into mental instability, wrote PW in a starred review. Ages 13-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.