Author: Ned Vizzini
Star Rating: 4/5
Date Read: October 22nd to 23rd, 2013
This was one of the rare occasions where I’ve seen the movie before I read the book. I didn’t even know there was a book, or even the movie, until my friend and I were digging through her DVD collection and found one we’d never seen. I enjoyed the movie and that caused me to go out and find the book.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story is about the things that people in the real world don’t want to acknowledge. So many people don’t want to know how you’re feeling the pressure building on you until it takes over your whole life, don’t want to know when the answer to ‘how are you?’ is ‘good’ and it shouldn’t be. Unfortunately, Craig’s depression isn’t so rare, just not talked about much and treated even less.
The most important thing in this novel came at the end, when after being in hospital for five days Craig acknowledges that he’s ‘not cured’. But being in hospital, meeting the other patients all dealing with their own demons, showed him how, even at fifteen, he had to make some serious changes in his life. And it was all up to him. Sure, the drugs they gave him helped, but he was on those before and without them, he just relapsed. At Six North, Craig learned how to deal with his condition and then he learned what it meant to be alive. To live, live, live.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story managed to be funny, sensitive and insightful without be condescending or insulting. I identified with Craig (does that say something about me?) but mostly I felt along for the ride, a ride I really enjoyed. This is one of those books where I want to know what happened to the characters after I’ve turned the last page, but something tells me they’re going to be okay. Not great, and maybe not straight away, but they’ll be okay