Flowers For Algernon

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At the beginning of the book, Charlie Gordon is in his thirties and has an IQ of 68. In an effort to become smarter he starts attending the Beekman College Center for Retarded Adults, where his will to learn is noticed and he becomes a candidate for an experimental surgery to increase his intelligence. This procedure has only been performed on mice before, and has been highly successful on a specific mouse called Algernon. The story is made up of Charlie's progress reports which his doctors ask him to start keeping before the surgery and throughout his experience. From his reports you can see how Charlie progresses and his intellect grows, while he starts remembering about his childhood and how he came to where he is today. This transition is hard for Charlie as he begins to understand how the people he thought were his friends were only making fun of him and taking advantage of the fact that he was mentally challenged. When Algernon's abilities start to decline, Charlie is distressed and he realizes that he only has a limited amount of time to find out why this is happening. Charlie's journey of self-discovery is both sad and moving and it made me feel for Charlie as near the end the inevitable occurred. This is definitely one of the best books I have read in a while and it's no wonder that Daniel Keyes was the recipient of the Nebula Award given by the Science Fiction Writers of America for the best novel of the year.

2 comments:

Christine said...

that sounds like such a good book. ill have to put that on my list :)

ewe_will_write said...

I've been meaning to read this one for a long time.