zaterdag 17 september 2016

Daniel Keyes: Flowers for Algernon

Hi everyone

This is my review for Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.
My copy has 217 pages and I got it from Book Depository.

“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.”

I loved this book so much.

The language was hard to stomach sometimes because it is so dated. The words used and the attitudes expressed towards people with disabilities make this book into a very confrontational read. But this thought-provoking element is good too. It makes you think about your own views and the destructive attitudes you might have. 
I did not like the focus on the sexual growth Charlie goes through; it’s too much and it doesn’t really further the story after one or two scenes about the topic.

Aside from that, the story is incredibly sad, heartbreaking and touching.
I loved how it was told from Charlie’s POV so we go through everything with him while he changes.
We share his insights and we can (after the experiment) see and understand how others treat him because of his disability. Those parts really got to me. As did his loneliness. No matter how smart he got, he was lonely; others didn’t understand him and vice versa. And emotionally, he was still a child; his emotional progression was much slower than his intellectual growth. This whole process is depicted beautifully.
It’s very well-written and easy to get through. But don’t let that fool you; it will stay with you, as I’m sure it will stay with me for a very long time.
The ending is absolutely heart-breaking.

Highly recommended.


Happy reading!