Thursday, July 16, 2009

Flowers for Algernon

Flowers for Algernon Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was skeptical about reading this book, it was written in the late 1950's, so I wondered if this would be a dated and possibly ridiculous piece of Sci-Fi. I was wrong so wrong. This book was timeless, an emotional, intelligent journey from the very first page. The story is written from the perspective of Charlie, a mental retardate who voluntarily undergoes a revolutionary procedure previously only done on a LabRat named Algernon.

The story is very moving as Charlie gains intelligence, learns the truth behind many of his memories, the anger and frustration as he realizes people he thought were friends were cruel to him because of his stupidity. Charlie explores the new emotions of love and sexual dysfunction. And then it is cruelly ripped away as his intelligence recedes and he loses everything he has gained.

Pub. Date: June 2004

Synopsis: Charlie Gordon is about to embark upon an unprecedented journey. Born with an unusually low IQ, he has been chosen as the perfect subject for an experimental surgery that researchers hope will increase his intelligence-a procedure that has already been highly successful when tested on a lab mouse named Algernon.

As the treatment takes effect, Charlie's intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis. The experiment appears to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance, until Algernon suddenly deteriorates. Will the same happen to Charlie?

Recommended Reading:
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Night by Elie Wiesel
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Contender by Robert Lipsyte

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