Flowers for Algernon (Paperback)
|Author: Daniel Keyes|
|Charlie Gordon is about to embark upon an unprecedented journey. Born with an unusually low IQ, he has been chosen as the perfect subject for an experimental surgery that researchers hope will increase his intelligence-a procedure that has already been highly successful when tested on a lab mouse named Algernon. |
As the treatment takes effect, Charlie's intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis. The experiment appears to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance, until Algernon suddenly deteriorates. Will the same happen to Charlie?
WINNER OF THE HUGO AWARD AND THE NEBULA AWARD
The classic novel that inspired the Academy Award-winning movie Charly
FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON has comfortably settled into the upper echelon of 20th century English literature, joining CATCHER IN THE RYE, LORD OF THE FLIES, and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD as the books most likely to be force-fed to young minds by high school literature teachers. However, even for the most reluctant student readers, obligation soon gives way to fascination, as few can resist the engagingly merry and utterly unique main character, Charlie Gordon, a mentally-challenged janitor whose broken, misspelled English makes for a narrative voice as distinctive as Huckleberry Finn or Holden Caulfield. With the help of an experimental new surgery, something wonderful happens--Charlie begins to get smarter. His rapidly advancing mental abilities are foreshadowed and mirrored by that of a mouse named Algernon, the other recipient of the surgery. As the novel progresses, Charlie's journal entries reflect his accelerated mental development, as they gradually become filled with profound wisdom, scientific innovation, and philosophical inquiry. Eventually Charlie's intelligence surpasses that of the scientists who are using him as a subject, and his possibilities seem limitless. But when Algernon's newfound genius begins to disintegrate, both Charlie and the reader realize the heartache that is to come, as he resignedly recedes to his former diminished mental state. Daniel Keyes's masterpiece, which shared the 1960 Nebula Award as Best Novel, is also among the most frequently banned books of all-time, because of its depiction of Charlie's sexual confusion which arises as his intelligence is enhanced.