Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes




Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Series: N/A
Publisher: Gollancz
First published March 1966
Genres: Classics, Sci-fi, YA
Pages: 224
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

Charlie Gordon, IQ 68, is a floor sweeper, and the gentle butt of everyone’s jokes, until an experiment in the enhancement of human intelligence turns him into a genius. But then Algernon, the mouse whose triumphal experimental transformation preceded his, fades and dies, and Charlie has to face the possibility that his salvation was only temporary.

Captura de ecrã 2017-06-30, às 18.09.21 What a sad, amazing little book. This is one of the most unique, interesting and emotional books I’ve read in a long time… I absolutely loved it with all my heart.

This is a very moving book that’s about a man named Charlie. He has an IQ of 68 but a dear hope for learning. Because of that, he is invited to be the first human being, to participate in an experience that will make him a genius. But when that happens, he learns that knowledge can be both a blessing and a curse, for a person that saw the world so differently.

We get to see sweet Charlie, eager to please, to learn and to make all his friends laugh, turn into a completely different person, now aware that all the laughing is actually not with him but about him. That all he thought to be real is actually a lie. Not only that, but he is getting more and more dreams about his past, and remembering things long forgotten, and many won’t bring any comfort.

This experiment is such a weird, complex and unseen thing, but yet it seems so possible… The book was done in a totally believable way, it made it understandable, how things would work, like if it was completely real, and that made it even more emotional. It was really interesting to see him learn everything and ultrapass all those he deemed to be intelligent before. It seemed such a wild and pleasant idea that that could be possible! But like everything, it came packed full with both good and bad, and the bad really stole my heart.

This book has the most amazing take on mental disabilities… It made me see things in a totally different way. Not that I wasn’t aware of reality, but to enter into a mentally disabled person’s mind is a completely different experience! It really made me think quite a lot…

But you must be wondering where Algernon fits into all these… Well, he was the mouse most successfully made intelligent before Charlie’s operation. I thought he was going to have a much lesser part in the story when I first started reading it, but he actually has a big part in it. He is the beginning and the end, he is the key to everything and he is the sweetest creature ever! It’s crazy I got so attached to him, but it was impossible not to! He is the most intelligent mouse ever, now. And before that, he was supposedly just a mouse. And yet I still don’t understand why do we keep putting the word “just” before… What’s “just a mouse”? What’s “just a moron”? That’s often said in a passive (if not negative) way, to take importance to whatever comes after it, and it’s sad. The book has some parts talking about the importance of one’s self no matter how we are and I loved the messages in it.

This is the type of books I would recommend to everyone as a should be read book. It’s such a beautiful bittersweet (or to be honest more sad than anything) story! It’s packed full of emotions, it will most likely make you cry, feel frustrated, feel glad, feel confused, feel sad and feel hopeful. It’s a complete rollercoaster, but so damn worth it! It was beautiful to see him learn, and adapt, but it was also hard, especially how life turned out to be… Also, the writing is freaking admirable, it’s such a big part of the story! Read it!

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Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!

One thought on “Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

  1. […] Flowers for Algernon – This is a classic and many people have read it, but nowadays I don’t see as many people going for it (or for classics) if they normally read just YA. But this is a classic that’s really enjoyable and emotional! It’s really easy to read and in my opinion really worth it! […]


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