Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” —Groucho Marx

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes...a Review



My friend, Pam, recommended this book for our March book read.   She had read it in high school, I had not.   I think she must have read it for psychology class and I must ask her about that.   Anyway, the book is written from Charlie Gordon’s POV.   Charlie was the eldest son of Matt and Rose Gordon and had one  younger sister, Norma.   Charlie suffered from mental retardation which was totally misunderstood at the time of this story.  That is why his dad took him to his Uncle Herman’s to get him out of the house and away from Norma and some imaginary fear that Rose had about Charlie hurting Norma.   Charlie was 32 yrs old and working at a bakery  and he longed to be smart/normal.    He became involved in a University study about the brain.    The study also involved a white mouse named Algernon.   Algernon had undergone brain surgery which resulted in a very smart mouse.   Charlie became the first person to undergo the same surgery and he became a genius.   Overall, it is a sad story as the effects were only temporary.  But Charlie has a lot to say about all that he learned on his rise and fall from genius.  My recurrent thought was be careful what you wish for; it might just happen.   There are a lot of subjects that are brought front and center regarding how we treat one another, how we perceive the disabled, and what truly is important in ones life.    Well worth the read.    This is one that will stay with you awhile.

3 comments:

Fairday Morrow said...

I remember reading this one in high school and finding it to be very powerful. I still think of it from time to time. I have been wanting to reread it- so I will have to get a copy. I would love to compare my thoughts on it now to my thoughts when I was 17.

~Jess

Fairday Morrow said...

I remember reading this one in high school and finding it to be very powerful. I still think of it from time to time. I have been wanting to reread it- so I will have to get a copy. I would love to compare my thoughts on it now to my thoughts when I was 17.

~Jess

Miss Beth said...

That's why my friend suggested it for our monthly book read. It was a very powerful read. Thanks for your comment!