Flowers For Algernon — Daniel Keyes

Flowers For Algernon -- Daniel KeyesThis book is incredible, and truly deserves all the accolades it has received.

What i love about this book is that while the writing itself is simple and easy going, allowing the reader to just fall into the story without distraction, the story itself is incredible in its depth and scope.

I would definitely throw this book in with Black Swan Green into the teenage education syllabus.

Essentially a man with an IQ of 70 is given an operation and turned into a genius after the incredible success of performing the same procedure on a white mouse named Algernon.   But where an isolated laboratory mouse appears a total success, a human being with a very challenging past that the new found intelligence has to come to terms with while navigating his way into a new life that he is completely unprepared for in every way, is a totally different story altogether.

For the first 15 years of my life i lived with a very damaged heart and was extremely ill and disabled, only to have my heart fixed at 15 and then left to come to terms with all that had happened to me.   Needless to say, it didn’t go very well.   And reading this book about a child who was extremely mentally disabled who suddenly gets fixed brought a lot of those old feelings from my own experiences back.   At one point i almost gave up reading it, it became so upsetting.   But the book is so well written and i just had to keep going to find out what happens to Charlie.   I’m glad i did.

There is so much truth in this book about the way people are and how they treat those they perceive as lesser than, and also those they perceive as more than.   Add to all that, there are also many parallels between Charlie’s story and the changes between drug addiction and sobriety.   Which, again, i know from experience.   There is, quite simply, a great deal for everyone to learn from this book.

And there’s also so much in this book that leaves me looking forward to reading it again in the future — after its percolated through my consciousness for a while — as i really don’t think one reading can ever do it the justice it deserves.

And that ending.

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