Monday, February 9, 2015

"When am I going to not be a nobody?"

It's Kind Of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
"It's a real day outside"
Sometimes it seem that the world wants you to read a certain book.

My talented friend Tom, for one, has been going on and on about It's Kind of a Funny Story (2010) starring formerly fat funnyman Zach Galifianakis. 

(Sorry bro, still haven't watched it, but I really want to finish Breaking Bad first!)

On top of that, the book was also on Her Nose In a Book's Books For Fans of John Green blog post (which you might remember from such books as The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, Winter Town and Where Things Come Back) and BuzzFeed's 51 Books that Prove Reading Can Change Your Life listicle (The Catcher in the Rye, The Last Continent, The Hunger Games series, the Harry Potter series and The Book Thief).

Needless to say, I simply couldn't pass on It's Kind of a Funny Story (2006) any longer. And I'm surely glad that I finally picked it up!

The skinny

New York teenager Craig Gilner has it all figured out: he's going to ace his way into Manhattan's prestigious Executive Pre-Professional High School, get a job, get married, get a house, and generally succeed at life. Once he gets in, though, the pressure becomes unbearable, and Craig soon stops eating and sleeping. With a bunch of worries eating at him and no light at the end of the tunnel, he decides to kill himself one night. As a result Craig ends up in a mental hospital, where he is finally able to confront his anxieties and find inner happiness.

The review

Writer Ned Vizzini, who struggled with severe depression and committed suicide at age 32, did a great job of shedding light on pressure in today's society and the crippling effects that come with it. This paragraph in particular really struck a chord:

I'm young, but I'm already screwing up my life. I'm smart but not enough - just smart enough to have problems. Not smart enough to get good grades. Not smart enough to have a girlfriend. Girls think I'm weird. I don't like to spend money. Every time I spend it, I feel as if I'm being raped. [...] I haven't done enough with my life. I don't play sports. [...] I'm not involved in any social causes. [...] There's so much more for me to be doing. I should be a success and I'm not and other people - younger people - are. Younger people than me are on TV and getting paid and winning scholarships and getting their lives in order. I'm still a nobody. When am I going to not be a nobody?

Vizzini's honest and humorous writing will quickly have you hooked. As he perfectly captures the feelings and thoughts of depression, the thought-provoking story of Craig Gilner will assuredly impact you. Clinical depression is a serious topic, but It's Kind of a Funny Story proves that even serious topics can be handled in a sweet and serious manner. I can't wait to watch the movie!

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