It's Kind Of A Funny Story: A Novel

Paperback | May 1, 2007

byNed Vizzini

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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.

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From the Publisher

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, a...

Ned Vizzini began writing forTheNew York Pressat the age of fifteen. At nineteen, he had his first book published,Teen Angst? Naaah. Ned is also the author ofBe More Chill, the first young adult novel ever chosen as a Today Show Book Club pick, as well as one ofEntertainment Weekly'sTop Ten Books for 2004. Ned lives in Brooklyn, New Yo...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:464 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.93 inPublished:May 1, 2007Publisher:Miramax Books for KidsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:078685197X

ISBN - 13:9780786851973

Appropriate for ages: 12

Customer Reviews of It's Kind Of A Funny Story: A Novel


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Kind of Disappointed I really wanted to like this book but I just found it to be very slow. This is the first book I have ever come across where I enjoyed the movie more, the movie is one of my favorites and I watch it on a regular basis but for some reason I just was not satisfied with the book. I recommend reading it and watching it because both are very different. I do appreciate the book but it just wasn't for me.
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So fabulous! I absolutely loved this book and it was beautifully written. The subject matter is so often swept under the rug with a stigma that puts these disorders in a negative light,Vizzini does a wonderful job at showing the good and the bad at how these teens are effected and the events that follow them throughout their time.
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! Better than the movie! Must read!
Date published: 2016-11-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It was kind of a funny story Craig Gilner, an ambitious teenager is determined to get into the perfect school so he can have the perfect future. As soon as Craig gets accepted to his dream highschool the pressure becomes unbearable, he becomes consumed with pressure and stress he attempts to take his own life. Craig gets checked into the mental hospital where he meets three people who change his life. Craig learns many lessons from his friends in the hospital and falls in love. Craig finally understands where his anxiety truly comes from, how to overcome his anxiety and to deal with stressful situations in a healthy way. This novel is one of the best mental illnesses I have read. This story is relatable to many high school and university students as they become overwhelmed and have suicidal thoughts shown in recent studies. This novel shows the true depth of depression and suicide, as this topic is widely misconceived. When Craig initially checks into the hospital he believes nothing is wrong with him like many people who have mental illnesses but when he is in a controlled environment away from all the stigma he truly learns to heal. This novel also incorporates teenage love as Craig falls in love with another patient around his age in the psych ward named Noelle. Noelle was checked into the hospital after disfiguring her face with scissors because she didn’t want to be sexually abused or assaulted by anyone. Noelle as a character touches on the fear of many women around the world, in some countries more rather than others who wish not to be beautiful so men won’t violate them. This novel happens to touch many political issues seen in the media today while still being a teen fiction novel. Overall I very much enjoyed this novel and would recommend It’s Kind of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini to anyone.
Date published: 2016-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really Good I did watch the movie before reading this book but I thought both were equally as amazing. Some parts of the book I did feel were a little bit slow but it only lead to the essentially awesome parts.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Funny Story I read this book after watching the movie. I usually have a hard time reading a book after seeing the movie but this time was different. The book does not follow the exact line of the movie and is much more detailed about the main character's struggle. I think this is a very important book for teens to read or people struggling with mental health challenges themselves.
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from "It's Kind of a Funny Story" Book Review The book It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini has 444 pages and I think all of them are worth reading. The books Ned Vizzini has written or co-written before are Teen Angst? Naaah..., Be More Chill, It's Kind of a Funny Story, The Other Normals, House of Secrets and House of Secrets: Battle of the Beasts. Ned Vizzini was born on April 4th 1981 in Brooklyn, New York and he was was a young adult book author.He was struggling from depression in his early twenties and had to spend time in a psychiatric ward and he based a lot of his books on the illness. Ned spoke in schools and libraries around the world about mental health how writing can be good for mental health. He also had a writing workshop for teenagers and helped them publish their work to get noticed. He died on December 19th 2013 after committing suicide by jumping off of the roof of his parents apartment building. The book It’s Kind of a Funny Story is a comedy book based on Ned Vizzini’s 5 day experience in a psychiatric ward. The main character in the book is a boy named Craig Gilner that’s 15 years old and he suddenly became depressed when he entered an Executive Pre Professional High School. This is because he realized that he wasn’t good enough for the school and that he had a hard time keeping up with his classmates. He then feels that he wants to commit suicide because he can’t take anymore of the pressure that’s put on him. He creates a plan, but decides to call a suicide hotline instead. They tell him to check into the hospital and so he does and he ends up in a psychiatric ward. “I look at myself in the bathroom light. Yes, I’m okay. I’m okay because I have a plan and a solution. I’m going to kill myself. I’m going to do it tonight. This is such a farce, this whole thing. I thought I was better and I’m not better. I tried to get stable and I can’t get stable. I tried to turn the corner and there aren’t any corners; I can’t eat; I can’t sleep; I’m just wasting resources.” (pg. 126) “A man stands there, leaning on the banisters that line the hall even though there are no steps. The man is short and stocky; he has bugged-out eyes and a squashed face and an almost-but-not-quite hairlip. There’s fuzz coming out of his neck and a big swath of black hair on his little head. He looks at me with homeless-person eyes, like I just popped out of a manhole and offered him valuable paper clips from the moon. Oh my God, it hits. I’m in the mental ward.” (pg. 181) These are two good examples of the the author’s writing style. He understands what it’s like to have depression and what it feels like, so the character is really believable. The author also has very unique characters in the story that he describes very well on how they look and how they act. I really liked this book because it’s relatable to people who think they aren’t good enough at what they thought they were good at. It’s also relatable to people who have suffered or are still suffering from depression and are feeling suicidal. They way the author writes it seems like a teenager wrote it and the characters are really believable. It captures the way a teenager’s life is like and what they feel during that age. I recommend this book to young adults that like humor and realistic fiction because this book is both.
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Realy good!¡! This is such a good book. Great characters and great plot. Read this for english and this book mad me think. It showed how hard a teens life can be. Highly recommend...!!!
Date published: 2015-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Touching and Remarkable. Best Contemporary I've Read. Lately, I've been finding that I haven't been reading many 5 star rated novels, and that really just breaks my heart because I LOVE TO READ THOSE. I mean, who wants to read a 1 star rated novel? Ew, just ew, that's horrifying to even think about. It's Kind of a Funny Story was one of those books that I'll remember for the rest of my life. It just means so much to me because it was so good and portrayed a gorgeous message to all of the young people out there, such as myself.  First of all, God rest Ned Vizzini's soul. He was such a remarkable author, and I bet such an amazing person and inspiration to many, many young troubled or not, people out there. He is my inspiration after reading this book. I need to read his other books ASAP. This book was not what you thought it'd become. It's much more than that. Craig is one of my most favourite protagonists of all time, and I mean that sincerely. He was so chill and happy, just like Aaron mentioned, even though he was dealing with a lot. He relates to so many people out there. Craig will become your best friend throughout this novel, and you will feel like he's actually telling you his story, not that you're just reading an ordinary book about suicide. IT'S NOT LIKE THAT. I could cry, because this novel was written so deeply, and you just never want to put it down. It's probably one of the best contemporary novels I've ever read, right next to The Perks of Being A Wallflower, and that's a definite high ranking, especially for your hard judge over here. *snickers* Although the book took a while to get into, it was worth it and I was never bored. The concept is beautiful, and you will realize that you've never read a book like this before. It means so much to me, and guess what? You'll never want to push this book away.   RIP Ned Vizzini. Thank you for writing this amazing book. <3
Date published: 2014-04-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Story! It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini isn’t a funny story at all as one would expect from the title. Although I found it to be a sad book at times, it is also an important one as it deals with a very real topic – depression and suicide. One might think from reading that previous sentence that the book would be difficult to read given such a heavy topic that is not discussed nearly enough in our society. Instead, I found that it was the opposite. Although the main character, Craig, is hospitalized and going through quite a dark period, I found the story to be inspirational, as throughout the story one can see the light at the end of the tunnel and you know (or hope) that things will get better for Craig. Now, to lighten the mood, some “fun facts” that I believe would add to your reading experience. First off, in 2010, a more comical movie adaptation was made featuring Kier Gilchrist, Emma Roberts, and Zach Galifianakis. I have not yet had the chance to watch this film as I discovered it while writing this post but it will surely be on my “to watch” list. Another fact is that Ned Vizzini, the author of this novel, was hospitalized for depression in 2004. Not even a week after his release, this novel was written. It would be interesting to see if this novel would have still been written if he had not been hospitalized and struggled with depression or if the novel was inspired solely on his experience. I guess that is something we will never know. Although it dealt with a difficult topic, I enjoyed reading this novel as I found it to be a book that allows you to believe you can deal with anything. I would recommend this book to anyone who is dealing with a mental illness; either your own, or that of someone close to you. This will allow you to gain knowledge on how and where to get help, that you are not alone, and that things can and will get better.
Date published: 2014-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book I really enjoyed reading this book, when I got to the end I wasn't happy. I wish it could have been longer, cuz it was so good.
Date published: 2013-05-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from really good book I enjoyed this book because it showed the reality of what some teens go through. Ned didn't sugarcoat anything. The writing was good, but it was boring at some parts. Overall, great book! (The movie was also very good)
Date published: 2012-11-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A must-read for teens *May contain spoilers* I have to admit: I watched the movie before reading the book, so I wasn't really able to picture the characters in my head as anyone else but the actors while I was reading. But that doesn't even matter, because the story in the book itself surpassed the movie by miles (it was still a good movie, though). Craig's story wasn't your typical "good-hearted kid from the wrong side of the tracks" deal; he was normal. A little bit of an over-achiever, but who doesn't wish that for themselves sometimes, right? He grew up with a good, supportive family, got good grades, and hung out with this friends. To me, the book portrayed mental illness as something that could have been present in anyone. Because in reality, it can. I'm not saying everyone goes through exactly what Craig did, but there are a lot of people who may go through bouts of stress and anxiety to the point where they're on the verge of a downward spiral asking, "what's the point?". Someone can appear to be alright on the outside, but no one knows what's really going on except that person. I adored reading from Craig's point of view. The way his brain worked was so amazingly unique... brain maps? I loved that. He basically is in conflict with himself through the book, and I couldn't help but get into it and hope that Craig would find his happiness through this whole ordeal. The reader can see themselves in a part of Craig, whatever that part may be. I know I did, because of him working so hard in high school in hopes of landing a career that made him a lot of money as opposed to something he could really enjoy. That was me: working hard to become a pharmacist in high school (with a still-lingering dream to become a graphic designer instead), then finding out I didn't have the science chops during my first year of university, and what I really wanted to do was something art or arts related. I basically had this whole un-classy breakdown, dropped about half of my classes, and basically had to start all over. But I figured, what the hell, so what if I won't make as much money? I wouldn't be happy, it wouldn't be worth it. My first year of university was my kind of funny story. The other characters in the book were likeable; I don't think there were any that I disliked throughout the entire story. Sure, Aaron was a tool sometimes and I wanted Nia to sit herself in a corner and be quiet for about 1/3 of the book, but they all had their moments. My favorites were the friends that Craig met in the psychiatric ward. They were all so colourful and different in their own ways. At the same time, a lot of the other patients are going through things worse than Craig, and that kind of makes you re-evaluate and ask, "so then, is my life really that bad?" There seems to be this standard that comes with writing contemporary YA novels. There's sex, drugs, depression, love triangles... you all know what I mean. It's Kind of a Funny Story definitely fits the mold, but for a lot of YA authors, it requires some extensive research to write these kinds of novels. But with Ned Vizzini, he himself was clinically depressed as a teen and actually spent some time in a psychiatric hospital. There's a touch of authenticity that came through while I was reading because of this. As he described the settings and the different kinds of people in the hospital, I was able to picture it all, and it all fit. The book holds this quality that can only come from someone with first-hand experience. Vizzini can take these depressing situations and not turn around to make them funny in an obnoxious 'hey, that's offensive' way, but he finds in them a sense of humour made up of three parts witty charm, two parts complexity, and a sprinkling of adorable, which kind of says a lot since it's a book about a kid checking himself into a psychiatric hospital. I definitely recommend this book to, well, anyone. Teens in particular. It's a light, humorous read for something with this subject matter, and there are aspects in psychology that I found interesting. Maybe it'll make you think about the little things that you already have in your life that you might be taking for granted. Who knows, maybe you'll see a little bit of yourself in Craig, past or present.
Date published: 2012-09-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read it in 3 Days this book is awesome, especially for an individual who is struggling with anxiety and depression.
Date published: 2011-08-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good insight! I would recommend this to teens' parents because it gives great insight into how teens think and deal with common pressures and stresses. The characters are loveable and there are many funny parts. I am looking forward to the movie in Summer 2010!
Date published: 2009-11-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good insight! I would recommend this to teens' parents because it gives great insight into how teens think and deal with common pressures and stresses. The characters are loveable and there are many funny parts. I am looking forward to the movie in Summer 2010!
Date published: 2009-11-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Very entertaining I had to read this book for one of my classes in university. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it but it was quite humourous at times and got down to business when it came to talking about his 9/11 experience
Date published: 2009-09-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It's Kind of a Great Story Wow. I didn't expect this book to be as great as it was. I read Be More Chill and liked it a lot, so I read It's Kind of a Funny Story and like it a lot, too. It was sort of strange at how much I could relate to this book. The battle with depression, the pot-smoking friends, being in the psych ward at the hospital, etc. Overall a great book.
Date published: 2009-07-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! I love this book. It deals with serious subjects, but doesn't make you feel bad when reading it. Craig is one of the most interesting characters, and the people who surround him make it a great read. I highly highly suggest this book!
Date published: 2009-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Its kind of a funny story I really adore this book nothing brings out a teenagers life more then this book does. Reading this book I thought that out of all the things a teenager could go through no one ever realizes the down fall to a teenagers life and I thought "wow this book is really bringing the true meaning to a teenager." I think anyone who sees this book should really give it a chance because even though it looks like it's boring and doesn't have much to it, it does and I think that anyone would really like to figure the true stuff out so read this book, give it a chance and possibly you'll like the story line.
Date published: 2008-10-14