Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes 


Flowers for Algernon
by Daniel Keyes
Pages: 216
My rating: B
Charlie is a mentally handicapped individual who has learned how to live on his own and even to read, write, and hold down a job at a bakery. There’s still something missing in his life, though. He’s always wanted to be normal and to be as smart as his mother tried to make him. Doctors at the local university have come up with an operation that can potentially make him smart. So far though, they’ve only tried it on a mouse named Algernon, and it tremendously increased his intelligence.. Now, they need a human volunteer. Charlie chooses to go through with the operation, even though the risks are enormous.
I was really intrigued by the premise of the book, and it was really different from what I normally read. It brought up some really great moral questions and made me think about what I would do in that situation. Would I risk it all like Charlie did? The ending was really predictable though, and I felt like the book spent too much time on certain plot points. It was told from Charlie’s point of view and was written as a series of progress reports. I think that really helped me to get a sense of just how much Charlie was affected by everything. If this had been written in the 3rd person POV, I don’t think it would have been the same.
Apparently, this is another one of those books that lots of people read in high school that I never got around to. Oh well.