By Kanwar Anand
Some books rely entirely on self deprecating humour to be funny but while this may be funny in that instance, it soon gets tiring and maybe even seems ostensible to the reader after a while. Looking for Alaska is a book with much self deprecating humour but it has many more intricate layers to it. I am as surprised as my friend who recommended this book to me. We both are surprised because this is not more famous. Fans will be reminded of Catcher in The Rye or better. Yes, I said better.
Brief Story. A young boy one day decides he wants to leave his school and his town and go away to a hostel far from home. He believes there is a “greater perhaps” waiting for him somewhere. So that’s what he does – he says goodbye to his parents and moves away from home into a hostel. What follows is a highly rewarding humorous journey where the author takes many leaps and finally storms into a sort of a countdown that your heart only bears witness to and then some more.
He won’t make you cry but he will wrench a hole in your heart and you will beg for it to be fed. It is beautifully depressing yet achingly on song with poignance of youth and the urgency of need for action in the eyes of a silent storm.
A week after I finished reading this, I am still missing its infinity of clarity. This is a must read for any mind that has ever called itself curious. I’m going to four stars because giving it five stars will seem contrived and superficial but then it is perhaps one of the best four star books written.
FYI, the author has also written “The Fault In Our Stars” and it has done about five times as well as “Looking for Alaska” but having read both books, I suggest you start with Alaska first and then decide if you would like to find the fault with our stars. May luck be yours, winged readers.