Sunday, November 24, 2013

It's Kind of a Funny Story by, Ned Vizzini


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. (Via

Pages: 444

Release Date: April 1st 2006

     It is pretty ironic that the title It's Kind of a Funny Story is actually not true. I understand that Craig could say it is a funny story at how he got to Six North, but really it is not. The story does involve comedy but I do not find smoking pot, attempting suicide and not eating in any way funny, those are serious issues that people like that should go to Six North.
     When I searched online to find the cover I came across movie posters for It's Kind of a Funny Story. At first I thought they might have been fan art but it turns out in 2010 they made a movie based off of It's Kind of a Funny Story. I watched the trailer for the movie and it seems like a decent movie, but not a good book to movie adaptation. With next weekend being Thanksgiving weekend and the beginning of hunting season, I will most likely watch the movie with how much school I have off (yes, that is right my school district lets us off for hunting season, that tells you something about where I live).
     It was interesting to see that Craig had different words for what he liked and disliked. Tentacles were bad things or things he did not want to do. On the other hand, Anchors were good things that he enjoyed doing. It was also interesting to see his Tentacles and Anchors change throughout the novel.
     The cover was brilliant. At first when Craig said he enjoyed drawing maps as a kid, I figured it was a map, end of story. But it is not just a map. In Six North he started to draw maps again, but not your normal street map. He started making head maps of fellow Six North patients. I am assuming that this head map on the cover is of Craig's head. Also, It's Kind of a Funny Story is split into 10 parts. Each of the 10 parts have their own piece in Craig's head map. It was a fantastic idea by whoever designed the cover art.
     Six North is an adult psychiatric ward on the sixth floor of the Argenon Hospital. Both teenagers and adult patients have to stay there due to renovations on the kids floor.
     At Six North, Craig meets many people. Almost none of them are normal, but in this book normal is over rated. Craig meets Noelle, Bobby, Muqtada, Jennifer/Charles, Humble, President Armelio and so many more odd characters. 
     For about the first 100-150 pages of the book it was very slow paced and I quit reading it for long periods of time because it did not interest me. Not until Craig got into the ER did the plot speed up and become more interesting. I  highly doubt I will reread this book because, frankly, I do not have the time to be mad at this book for the first 100-150 pages. In addition to losing my interest, those pages were extremely depressing.
     The message that Ned Vizzini seemed to be pointing at is that no matter how many issues or problems you have, there will be someone else that has it worse.
     Overall, It's Kind of a Funny Story was a decent book, I would only recommend this book if you are a very patient person, to wait the first 100-150 pages until the plot picks up. But the message of the story is reflective. If any of you readers have read this, what was your opinion of the book?

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