Top critical review
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An authentic tale
on 24 August 2014
I have had It’s Kind Of A Funny Story on my radar for a little while now. I’m always fascinated to read books that tackle mental illness. I was particularly intrigued to read this book, because it was inspired by Ned Vizzini’s experiences of being hospitalised for depression. I read this book with some sadness, because in December of last year, Ned Vizzini committed suicide. Depression is a terrible illness and I still don’t think it’s really understood by those that haven’t had it or those that haven’t known someone suffering.
I think one of the reasons why this book has been so successful is that it feels incredibly authentic. From drawing on his own experience, Ned Vizzini has created a very real outlook on depression. It’s not all doom and gloom though, as mentioned in the synopsis, there are some humorous elements within the story.
It’s Kind Of A Funny Story centres around 15 year old Craig. Craig has felt so much pressure in his life and it’s all spiralling out of control. He has pressure from all sides including his family, his friends and his school that he worked so hard to get into. Craig gets to the point where he is considering suicide. He calls a helpline who encourage him to admit himself to hospital. Craig is admitted to a psychiatric ward where he meets some interesting characters and claws his way out of his depression. I thought it was important that the author showed that it wasn’t easy for Craig. Depression isn’t something that a person can easily ‘cure’.
This book really does take the reader on a journey through the highs and lows of depression, with an author that really understood what it felt like.