Monday, July 9, 2012

Book It - Flowers For Algernon

This week’s featured book:

Flowers For Algernon
Author: Daniel Keyes

Overview:

With more than five million copies sold, Flowers for Algernon is the beloved, classic story of a mentally disabled man whose experimental quest for intelligence mirrors that of Algernon, an extraordinary lab mouse. In poignant diary entries, Charlie tells how a brain operation increases his IQ and changes his life. As the experimental procedure takes effect, Charlie’s intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis. The experiment seems to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance--until Algernon begins his sudden, unexpected deterioration. Will the same happen to Charlie? An American classic that inspired the award-winning movie Charly.


My Comments:

I just reread this story after 20 years, wondering if I’d enjoy it just as much this time around. I did. Charlie is a sweet, hardworking, likeable man who lives a simple but relatively happy life. His charm is his naïve, childlike innocence and his fierce loyalty to those he calls ‘friends’.

At some point, he is given the chance to be part of a highly experimental research study that would drastically increase his intelligence if it is successful, which it is. As the story progresses, not only does Charlie’s IQ increase a great deal, but his personality changes drastically as well as he discovers how badly others viewed and treated him, and that the world is not the happy place he always believed it to be.

I highly recommend this thought-provoking story if you haven’t read it yet.

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