Thursday, May 9, 2013

Notes from the Psych Ward

How can a story about a suicide attempt and time spent in the psychiatric for said suicide attempt be funny? Easy--if that story is told by Ned Vizzini. It's Kind of a Funny Story details what happens to perfectionist teen Craig Gilner after he is accepted into the (ultra-prestigious and very challenging) school of his dreams, the Executive Pre-Professional High School. At first, life is just peachy. Then Craig finds out the hard way he just can't keep up with the demands of school and life in general. Thus, Craig begins a downward spiral of depression and self-destructive behavior. After a near suicide attempt, Craig finds himself in the mental hospital. And it ends up being the best thing that ever happened to him. How can this be?'ve got to read the book to find out.

Inspired in part by the author's time in the psych ward in 2004, It's Kind of a Funny Story is just that, albeit not in the obvious, in-your-face way The Three Stooges or flatulence jokes are funny. There's dark humor here. And entertaining, often awkward situations. And a cast of characters so unique they couldn't be found anywhere BUT the psych ward. This book has definitely found its way onto the short list of "The Most Unique Books I've Ever Read...and Am So Glad I Did!" --AJB

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