Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Title: Flowers for Algernon Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Author: Daniel Keyes
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: June 2004
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Where’d I Get It: Library

Synopsis (From Barnes and Noble): 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?

My Thoughts: I first read this book in 7th or 8th grade.  For the life of me I cannot remember if I read it because I found it at the library or if it was required reading in class.  What I do remember is loving it.  I remember feel so terribly emotional, so deeply and profoundly affected.  Between then and now I’d mostly forgotten about this book, and it wasn’t until I stumbled upon it at the library a few weeks ago that I decided I must read it again.  Just seeing the title of the book brought back a rush of feeling that I could not ignore. The book very literally called to me, as sappy as that sounds.  I thought that reading it now, as an adult, that I would feel differently.  That I would relate differently.  Obviously I am better able to understand the implications of the scientific experimentation on humans (and animals) now, but the emotions – they are the same.  Charlie Gordon is a man who you can easily love, both before and after  his procedure.  This is a tale of love and acceptance.  It is heartbreaking and it is beautiful.  I am so very glad I picked it up again.

From the book:
“There are so many doors to open. I am impatient to begin.”
–Charlie Gordan”

I dare you to read it and -not- be moved.

Rating: 8 of 10


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