15.7.15

It's Kind of a Funny Story - Ned Vizzini // A Review



I really enjoyed reading this novel

Craig Gilner is a teenager from New York city, who one night decides to commit suicide by throwing himself from the Brooklyn Bridge. He is bright, academic, has a loving home, and a mismatched group of friends, but he is far from happy. His friends call it 'Craig-ing out', he says that he is fine, but in reality it is a different story - he doesn't really know what's wrong. He doesn't really know what's right either.

It took me a while to read this book. One: because I find it so hard to concentrate on anything for more than three seconds at the moment, and two: because although it is written in a light hearted manner, it made me think. It made me think a lot. What would I do if I were in that situation? I would be lying if I said the thought of suicide hadn't crossed my mind - in fact, we would all be lying if we said the thought of suicide hasn't crossed our minds. But thinking about it, and actually acting upon it, are two separate issues.

The novel opens up by giving the reader some backstory, as to who Craig is, and why he feels the way he feels. We become privy to his meetings with his doctor, conversations with his friends, and the thoughts inside his head, right up until the moment, he doesn't commit suicide. He instead calls a suicide hotline, and checks himself into his local hospital. It is at the hospital where the story really comes alive. Vizzini's vivid description allows the reader to see what the hospital is really like, from the people he meets (and lends shirts to) to the food he finally manages to eat in the cafeteria.

It was interesting to read about a mental hospital/psych ward, that isn't written about in a negative light. Craig actually finds help, and clarification during his time there, he puts his life and his problems into perspective, and comes out with rational answers for the problems he has been battling. It's so refreshing to read a YA novel about mental health, with a positive outcome!

It really is, kind of a funny story.

Should you read it? Most definitely!
You can buy the book, here!

The author, Ned Vizzini wrote this novel in the space of five days after he spent some time in the psych ward of  Brooklyn Methodist hospital and it has been said that the novel is based around his own experiences there. Sadly, although Craig, the novel's main protagonist sought the help of his local suicide hotline and got the help he needed before he had the chance to act upon his thoughts, Vizzini did not. It was reported on December 19th 2013, that he had committed suicide. His work within his local community will not go unmissed, as he frequently visited schools to talk about the importance of writing and mental health.


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