Title: It’s Kind of a Funny Story
Author: Ned Vizzini
I rented the movie version of this story from Netflix because it looked humorous and I totally dig Zach Galifianakis. However, I was left feeling like the movie was pretty fractured as parts of it just didn’t make sense. When I discovered it was based on a book, I thought I should read it to see if it cleared up some of the confusion.
After finishing the novel, I have to say I enjoyed it WAY more than the movie. The story is of Craig Gilner, a overachieving student who just got in to a prestigious high school but is suddenly overwhelmed with the pressures of academia. His thoughts spin out of control going from not having more than a 93% average to how that translates to how he won’t get in to a good college and subsequently won’t get a good job and won’t be able to take care of his family and so forth.
I have a friend like this who I like to refer to as my “A to Zer” There’s no B through Y. She goes from one idea to the worst case scenario. I, too, have had moments in my life that so I can certainly relate.
In his despair, Craig is convinced that the only viable option is to kill himself. However, he is wise enough to call the suicide hotline which prompts him to go to the nearest hospital for help. It’s there he’s admitted to the adult wing of the psych ward so he can address his problems. He spends the next five days as a patient there, dealing with people who are severely more mentally unstable than he is.
Craig’s story is one that I think many kids today can relate to. I think there is an incredible amount of pressure on them to do well and instead of that starting in high school, it is being moved to when they are even younger which adds to their pressure.
The book is definitely better than the movie in that you get a good idea of how Craig got to be where he is and how he handles life. He ultimately finds that the pressures of his current trajectory are too much for him and he decides to follow his new-found passion. Not a bad lesson for us all – follow our hearts.
note: I’m playing catch up here, so expect to be inundated with some reviews.