Looking for Alaska through the Lens of a Reader

It took me a couple of days to be ok with the story being over.”

Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi

I am not one who often enjoys a tv show or movie adaption of a book, especially one that I love.  After watching many of my beloved books not given justice in a cinematic form, I was nervous to begin the first episode of Looking for Alaska. I ultimately caved to watch the show, because of my need to see live versions of the characters.

To my surprise, I fell in love with the show almost as much as I did with the book. The actors, such as Denny Love, who plays Chip “The Colonel” Martin, embodied his character. I got the same easily angered, energetic, and opinionated Colonel as described in the novel. The same goes for Kristine Froseth, who plays Alaska Young, taking on every aspect of Alaska’s personality and impulsive attitude.

What I really enjoyed about the show was how in-depth it was through its entirety. With each episode clocking in around an hour, it allowed for character and plot development without the restrictions of a two-hour movie limit. The other characteristic that I enjoyed was the perspective the show gave the viewer. While the book is through Miles “Pudge” Halter’s eyes, the show gives the viewer the perspective of a bystander and I was better able to make my own conclusions towards the ending.

Which, brings me to the ending. The ending of the book gave me a bittersweet feeling. I didn’t want it to end; I wanted to see how the characters continued on. It took me a couple of days to be ok with the story being over. By the last episode of the show, I still had that bittersweet response to the show, but I was ok with the ending right after. Of course, I would have loved to see it continue, but the purpose of the story had been fulfilled and the show made that clear.

I firmly stand by the belief that Looking for Alaska should be read before viewing the tv show/movie.  I think those who have read the book already will appreciate the overall production and cinematic adaption from a new perspective.