It’s Kind of a Funny Story Book Review
It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini is a book about a teen who tries to commit suicide and is put in a mental institution. This book was made into a movie in 2010 featuring Keir Gilchrist, Dana DeVestern, and Zach Galifianakis.
Craig, a teenager who just got into a prestigious school in New York City, feels overwhelmed with all his work. On top of that, his best friend Aaron is dating Craig’s crush, Nina. Craig begins to get depressed and uses drugs to feel better. The drugs do not have a lasting effect. After Craig tries to commit suicide, he calls the suicide hotline. He is told to check himself into a mental hospital. There, Craig meets Bobby who shows him around the hospital. He also meets Noelle, who is in the hospital for cutting herself. Later, he falls in love with her. Through art, Craig is able to rehabilitate himself.
Craig has to overcome a lot in this book. Throughout the entire book, Craig has to deal with an internal struggle. This book covers some serious and grim material. Therefore, it is good that Bobby is there for some comic relief. Sometimes, when you think the book may get too intense, Bobby is there to lighten the feel. It makes the book much easier to read. Some themes in this book are peer pressure and self-identity.
While Craig’s situation is an extreme one, I found some aspects of his experience relatable. I think anybody can react to feeling pressured like Craig was. Craig just let his feeling of being pressured take over him. This book has a very basic human aspect to the book. On the other hand, the setting and other characters in the book can often be hard to relate to. For most, a mental hospital is not a typical setting. It is not a place most of us experience. In addition to the mental hospital being a difficult place to picture, Craig’s experience in the mental hospital is an unusual to say the least. This makes the book less relatable.
While slow at times, this is still a decent book. Craig’s feelings, while maybe not coming in such intense forms, are pretty common. This helps make the book more enjoyable. Craig’s experience in the mental hospital, on the other hand, is something that not most people experience. However, on the down side, I found it hard to immerse myself in the book because of its pace. The funny aspect of the book made up a little bit for the pace.
I would recommend people read this book. If you enjoy reading this will probably be easier for you. For people who find themselves bored when they read, they also might get a little bored with this book. To those people I would also say continue reading because overall, this book is definitely worth it.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story Playlist
Love Buzz - Nirvana
Love Buzz is about being in love with someone. It exemplifies how Craig feels towards Aaron’s girlfriend, Nina. The song is also loud and intense. When someone listens to it, they can feel the frustration in Kurt Cobain’s voice.
Adam’s Song - Blink 182
This song is about a child who wants to commit suicide. He feels like he is under a lot of pressure. Adam’s Song is written in the form of a suicide note which can make listening to it unsettling and uncomfortable, but also fits with the book at points.
Jumper - Third Eye Blind
This song is about trying to get someone not to jump and commit suicide. It is analogous to the part of the book where Craig is talking to the person from the suicide hotline.
Me and My Friends - Red Hot Chili Peppers
In this song, Anthony Kiedis sings about all of his friends in his band. It is similar to Craig meeting new friends in the mental institution. Much like his friends in the mental hospital, this song is also a little strange.
Teenage Dirtbag - Wheatus
This song is about a guy who likes a girl. This fits with how Craig feels towards the end. In addition, the love interest’s name in the song is Noelle just like in the book.
Always Look On The Broad Side of Life - Monty Python
After some time in the mental hospital, Craig starts to feel better. This song exemplifies that to some extent. It is a cheerful tune even though the lyrics are kind of grim. It is also a funny song to show that the book has some funny parts.