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Looking for Alaska | [John Green]

Looking for Alaska

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words - and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another.

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Publisher's Summary

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words - and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A stunning debut, it marks John Green's arrival as an important new voice in contemporary fiction.

(P)2006 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (2171 )
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4.2 (1872 )
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Story
4.3 (1855 )
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Performance
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  •  
    FanB14 05-24-12
    FanB14 05-24-12

    Short, Simple, No Spoilers

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5013
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    7
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    "Humorous YA for Adults"
    Where does Looking for Alaska rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the YA realm, this is one of my top 7 favorites.


    What did you like best about this story?

    John Greene's sense of humor is delightfully sarcastic. The characters were well written and I felt like I was at the school, in the barn, at the basketball games, etc. with them.


    Have you listened to any of Jeff Woodman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. I enjoy Jeff's performances. I didn't "love" his Alaska voice, but it didn't detract from the story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I didn't cry, but found it humorous and marginally sad at the end. Alaska was a little too self-absorbed and I didn't care as much about her charcacter's sudden ending.


    Any additional comments?

    I wouldn't want my younger daughter to read this due to the continuous drinking, smoking, and mischief. However, I enjoyed it as an adult.

    70 of 77 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tricia Elkridge, MD, United States 04-30-12
    Tricia Elkridge, MD, United States 04-30-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
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    25
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    "Simply Amazing."

    The first Green book I listened to was "The Fault In Our Stars" and I was skeptic that any other of his books could come close to its brilliance.

    Fortunately, I was wrong.

    Looking for Alaska is billed as Young Adult fiction, but like so many YA novels, it easily transcends other genres. The book follows the life of Miles (aka "Pudge") as he seeks "The Great Perhaps" in a southern boarding school. There he meets Alaska Young and he falls for her quickly. The books follows the trials and tribulations of Life for teenagers, but it goes deeper and examines The Big Questions.

    The narrator does a fantastic job with all of the voices -- Pudge, the deep voiced Colonel, Romanian Lara, and throaty Alaska.

    This book does not disappoint! My only gripe is the length -- I wish it was longer !

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hannah 02-22-10
    Hannah 02-22-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    4
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    "John Green rocks my socks."

    This is an amazing book and the audio version is very well done. It is more than just a young adult's novel. I would recommend it to people of most any age.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RaisinNut PA, USA 10-14-12
    RaisinNut PA, USA 10-14-12 Member Since 2011

    Making the world better one review at a time.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Decidedly adult content..."

    This is the story of Miles, a young man who moves into a boarding school in Alabama where he meets beautiful, brilliant, but deeply troubled Alaska Young. It is the story of Miles' friendship with Alaska from beginning to end.

    Looking for Alaska is a coming of age story with decidedly adult content - drinking, smoking, sex, love, friendship and death. John Green creates an interesting cast of young characters and catapults them into very adult situations. He is not afraid to make his young characters face death in all of its complexity.

    Parts of the book are humorous, parts are heartbreaking. At times the book seems to move a little slowly, and you can tune out then tune back in to find you really haven't missed much. The narrator does an excellent job with the male characters, but his rendition of Alaska leaves a bit to be desired. Frankly, he makes her sound at times like an empty-headed redneck.

    Overall this book carries a message of hope. It reminds us of people who have impacted our lives profoundly, leaving deep imprints upon our hearts. It also foreshadows a certain peace in death, suggesting that where we are going may be more beautiful than where we are.

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie Hillsborough, NC, United States 08-26-09
    Leslie Hillsborough, NC, United States 08-26-09 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    338
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    "Great Story! Great Narrator!"

    Even though this is a YA book, once again, I feel like this is more of an adult book. I know that the characters are in High School, but their expericences are mature. So, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone younger than 16.
    That said, this is an excellent story. John Green makes his characters become so real. You feel a deep connection to them. Narrator, Jeff Woodman, once again, makes a great story even better, making him by far my favorite.
    You will love this story!

    18 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 08-31-12
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 08-31-12 Member Since 2010

    MTF

    HELPFUL VOTES
    261
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    "Great dialogue but the story rarely moves"

    After really enjoying "The Fault in our Stars," I was really looking forward to "Looking for Alaska." This novel is about a high school junior who is starting at a boarding school. I teach at a prep school, and I enjoy good novels about high school life. Pudge (the nickname of the protagonist) spends the first half of the book making connections with a small circle of friends at his new school. Sex, alcohol, cigarettes, and pranks are at the center of these kids' existences. This novel captured the teen banter very well. The author has a great ear for teen dialogue. But this story does not come close to capturing the full school experience. Only one teacher is mentioned, plus "the Eagle," the notorious dean of students, in charge of discipline. Only one class is mentioned, and absent is the unhealthy preoccupation with grades which permeates prep school life these days. This novel captured the three main characters so well - Pudge, his roommate (the Colonel), and Alaska, the charismatic but complicated girl who steals Pudge's heart. The dynamic between these three kids is great, and was enough for me to like this novel but not love it. Over halfway through the story, there is one dramatic event (which I won't spoil). Very little happens after that beside an extended reaction to that event. The narrator was excellent and almost enough for me to push this to 4 stars.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna Genoa, IL, United States 04-04-13
    Anna Genoa, IL, United States 04-04-13 Member Since 2009

    I love books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great!"
    Would you listen to Looking for Alaska again? Why?

    I might. I enjoyed it quite a bit.


    What other book might you compare Looking for Alaska to and why?

    I would compare it to Paper Towns by the same author. I liked this one better, but love everything John Green writes.


    What about Jeff Woodman’s performance did you like?

    I thought his voice suited the story and characters. His voice and performance never took me out of the story, and that is one of my criteria of a good narrator.


    Any additional comments?

    John Green always writes characters that I would want to be friends with. That definitely applies to this book. I loved pending time with them and was sad when the story ended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalia P. Valdes South San Francisco, CA USA 07-02-10
    Natalia P. Valdes South San Francisco, CA USA 07-02-10 Member Since 2015

    Natalia

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautiful story"

    This book is wonderfully written. I think i enjoyed it so much because i have lived each of these relationships and though i went home to my own bed each night instead of bunking in some boarding school the experiences still apply. The characters are all strong and the way the book is written you see how each event affects another. The narrator is great and keeps your attention. Give this book a chance and i promise you will not be disappointed. My favorite quote?:
    "If people were rain, i was drizzle and she was hurricane." <3 it.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brighyehn Evergreen, AL, United States 06-17-11
    Brighyehn Evergreen, AL, United States 06-17-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good, but not fantastic."

    This book offers what all the other reviewers said, but I can't say I would use words like "fantastic," "amazing," and "terrific." It definitely made for an interesting read(or listen) but the end was anticlimactic.. So anticlimactic that I did rate this book with four stars, but thought of the ending and brought it down to three.. So, buy if you are an avid Green fan, but not if you have just have, by chance, found this book. Maybe I'm not being fair.. This book made me laugh, be sad, be happy, and maybe I snorted. (maybe). The narration was FANTASTIC, and he does deserve that word. The characters were easy to relate to and made you like them, but that is about all the positives I can think on the top of my head.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Valeria 03-12-14
    Valeria 03-12-14 Member Since 2014

    The Mad Reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Intense and Deep"

    I just loved, loved, loved this book! While some people choose to categorize this book as Romance, I think that even though there is some falling in love, there is no actual romance, but rather a story of friendship, loyalty and the pursuit of meaning.

    This book explores some of the deepest questions of humankind and even wanders a bit into how some of the main religions in the world answer them. But mainly it is about a group of friends discovering and questioning the meaning of life and existence, and how they choose to live it.

    The plot is absolutely engaging and it sucks you in from moment one. It is unexpected and refreshing. I wouldn’t have guessed the major twist of the story, but if even if it made me sad, it was necessary in the end to get through the message.

    John Green has the spectacular ability to merge profound subjects into a fun story about friendship, high school and taking chances, in a way you won’t even notice all the layers the story has until the end, because it is so easy to glide through it.

    Pudge was an exceptional character. He was the perfect impersonation of a boy trying to fit in and finding his way in life. Like your regular misfit, who finally found his place in Culver Creek. He was fun and loyal and pretty much I would’ve really enjoyed being part of his gang. The irregular group of friends he found there was a unique set of people; each brought something different to the table and the result was a bundle of weird awesomeness. I loved the Colonel and his audacity and loyalty; Takumi and his wits; Lara and her innocence; and, of course, Alaska, and her creativity. I just loved them all individually and as a group, but most of all, the way they fit together.

    In the end the message was loud and clear and this book took root in my heart. For me, the pursuit of the Great Perhaps was the way to survive the labyrinth. Because we are all in the labyrinth but what makes us different is how we choose to live in it.

    Jeff Woodman did and amazing job with the guy’s voices. He definitely picked up their personalities and he was a master with their different accents. He got Takumi’s and Lara’s accents perfectly and he nailed Dr Hyde’s old voice, just from hearing him breathing with difficulty you could tell the old man had his days counted. However, I detested what he did with Alaska. From her physical description and the way she behaved you would guess she was a feminine smart girl. But that wasn’t the vibe I got from her voice. She sounded more like a drag queen really. She was bold, fearless and she liked to swear, yes, but she was a teenage girl, and she wasn’t supposed to sound like that. I’m sorry to say so, but it weakened my enjoyment of the book. Other than that the narration was fabulous. I would totally forget where I was when listening to this book, and I found myself several times laughing out loud.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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