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It's Kind of a Funny Story

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Book Overview

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... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

22 ratings


This book is the perfect story about acceptance when you feel there is none left. The story is very well written and is sadly too relatable. Ned Vizzini writes about a boy's struggle with suicidal thoughts and work through acceptance ein the strangest of places. My mother is a therapist and has recommended this book for clients, and it helps. I will never stop recommending It's Kind of a Funny Story.

Mental Health

This book made me feel so understood with my mental health (specifically depression and thoughts of suicide). This book not only made me feel like others could understand the struggle of this kind of internal conflict, but also made me realize the light that is at the end of the tunnel on the road to recovery. Very inspiring read.




This book came to me exactly when I needed it and is the only book Ive ever reread. Rest In Peace Ned vizzini.



Love It

I read this book my freshman year and didn’t think i would relate to it, but now that I am junior I understand how Craig felt. This book has taught me a lot and I loved it so much! Would definitely recommend reading.

Realistic view of depression

It was a great book; some comedic relief to help the dark motifs that are very present. It explained mental health without glorifying it or exaggerating it. All in all would recommend

loved it!

Amazing book <3

why you should read this book right now

I absolutely adore this book. It's perfect for teenagers to be able to talk about their mental health and even become aware of it. I wish I would have gotten the chance to read this when I was younger and struggling mentally. I 10/10 loved this book.

Must read

This book brings a new perspective on how getting better is a processes and will only work if you make internal efforts


Lighthearted and easy read with just enough to keep me going.


Very good

What An Amazing Book

So, I will admit at first I was confused on where it was going and what was going to happen. I feared that it would be a book that dragged on about a subject when it should really be only two pages, but this book doesn't drag on in my opinion. I enjoyed ever second of it and it seemed to grab my attention more and more as the story went on. It is a great read for (almost) all ages! (of course I wouldn't give it to my 8 year old dogs because 1. she will chew on it, 2. she is too young and 3. she can't read, but another other age dog, cat or human (not excluding other animals) should read it!)


This is one of the best books I have ever read. It showed me a lot about depression in the least intense way possible.

Loved it

Great book for adolescents gives the view of mental illness to the reader in a whole new way.

This book is awesome

I read this book when I was put in a hospital for a suicide attempt and it really helped me to feel understood and understanding about what happened to me. Anyone who reads this may be one step closer to understanding someone who has mental illnesses

Understanding is key

Book that touches anyone who has been in that situation

A Memorable Novel On Clinical Depression Which Will Interest Adults Too

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. It's the start of an engrossing - and as I have noted before, an occasionally hilarious - journey through the hospital's adult mental ward, where he soon encounters recovering drug addicts and people with multiple personality disorders. Craig does his best trying to retain his sanity while dealing with his fellow patients, the hospital's staff of superb doctors, nurses and other medical attendants, his family, and his small circle of high school buddies. You will find yourself smiling, perhaps laughing, as you read Craig's encounters, which will, of course, end on a triumphant note. Having established himself as one of our finest writers of adolescent fiction, I am truly looking forward to the time when Ned Vizzini joins the ranks of our best adult fiction writers too.

The best one yet...

I've read Ned Vizzini's two previous books, Teen Angst? Naaah... and Be More Chill, and they were both hilarious. It's Kind of a Funny Story is also funny (heh), occasionally to the point where I was laughing out loud. It also hits on a different level though, and Craig's recovery is one of the most life-affirming things I've ever read. I can't say if this will apply to other people or not, but when Craig talks about his "Cycling" and the "Tentacles" it was one of those YES!!! moments. It was like "I know what this feels like", and it was just very nice to read about that, and to know that I'm not alone in having it. If nothing else, read the book for the ending. While it's still directed towards Craig, it's also kind of a message for everyone who's ever battled against suicidal feelings.

Courtesy of Teens Read Too

Ned Vizzini has a distinct advantage over other authors who write about teen depression, attempted suicide, and the ins and outs of psychiatry--as a teen he was clinically depressed and even spent time in a psychiatric hospital. That experience has allowed Mr. Vizzini to bring to life the kinds of situations that were once largely absent in teen fiction; that of the fact that not all teens are happy, spontaneous, happy-go-lucky youths. For Craig Gilner, gaining acceptance into the elite Executive Pre-Professional High School in Manhattan is not the end of his problems, but only the beginning. All the studying, the cramming, the all-nighters he pulled to get high marks in his old high school and ace his entrance exam now seem mediocre, at best, at his new school. Craig realizes quite early on that he's not brilliant, he's not at the top of his class--he is, in fact, average. For a guy who worked as hard as Craig did, with such obsessive determination, this is a blow not just to his ego, but to his very soul. Craig soon finds himself unable to eat, unable to sleep, unable to find joy in just about everything. As he realizes he's clinically depressed, he tells his shrink--excuse me, psychiatrist--that his only joy in life comes from peeing. Yes, peeing. You go in, you get it done, you accomplish what you set out to do, and you're finished. It's pretty sad that going to the bathroom seems to be the highlight of his day (he even manages to stretch each trip out to about five minutes), but it's also the truth. Dr. Minerva, for $120/hour, is attempting to help Craig figure out exactly why he's depressed and how to overcome it. But Craig no longer thrives on a life of complexity; for him, life is a nightmare. And as his depression leads to thoughts of suicide, he's not even surprised to find that there's an 800 number he can call. And after taking the plunge and calling 1-800-SUICIDE Craig hikes over to the local emergency room at the hospital, where he meets Dr. Mahmoud (who is not a terrorist). From there, Craig is checked into a psychiatric hospital, and he meets a motley crew of patients who, amazingly enough, become better friends to him than the ones he had before he went in ever were. For Craig, being in the hospital might just save not only his life, but his sanity and his will to keep on keeping on. IT'S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY is a great read. Filled with issues that plague a large number of teens today, the author has managed to take sensitive topics and deal with them in a humorous way that never seems disrespectful. A very enjoyable, thought-provoking read.

An important book and a great read!

This is one of those rare books that compels you to skip class or call in sick to work in order to read it in a single sitting! Depression isn't a funny subject, but Ned Vizzini's book is at times hilarious -- the protagonist, Craig Gilner, is a kid struggling to succeed in an elite high school, despite the fact that he is surrounded by brilliant overachievers. As the social and school responsibilities pile up, he begins to buckle under the pressure. His depression worsens and he hops from one expensive therapist to the next in hopes of finding "The Shift", an almost magical moment when his depression will lift and life will be back to normal. The meat of the book takes place in a psychiatric hospital, a setting that would tempt almost any writer to run to Cliche-town, but all of the characters Craig encounters are surprisingly raw, real, and vulnerable. By the end, you can't help but feel attached to everyone. No 'suspension of disbelief' is required when you read this book; you'll be entering a world every bit as real as your own. But mainly, it's one of the most entertaining books I've ever read!

It's Kind of...well...Most Definitely an Amazing Book

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.

It's Kind of a Funny Story Mentions in Our Blog

It's Kind of a Funny Story in 13 Books to Read If You Liked 13 Reasons Why
13 Books to Read If You Liked 13 Reasons Why
Published by Devin B. • April 13, 2017
On March 31 Netflix launched their 13-episode television adaptation of Jay Asher’s hit young adult novel Thirteen Reasons Why. Whether you’re a fan of the book, the show, or both, we’ve found 13 books you’re sure to love.
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