YOUth Review: Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Would you risk everything just to be more intelligent? Well, in the heart-wrenching science fiction novel Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, that's exactly what happens to the main character. Flowers for Algernon was originally a short story written in 1958. The novel by the same name was published in 1966. The novel is a longer version of the story about a mentally disabled man named Charlie Gordon who goes through surgery to raise his IQ. Charlie is the first human to have this surgery, so he is the lab rat for the surgery. One of the main themes in this book is how there are different types of intelligence.

This is a very challenging book to read because Charlie remembers the good and the bad of his past. It's like a flood of memories. Flowers for Algernon is a very emotional book. One of the coolest things about this book is that the whole book is written in first person and you're reading as if Charlie is writing it. The beginning of the book is written with so many spelling mistakes, but as his intelligence goes up the writing in the book gets better and better. Even though this is somber, I still enjoyed it.

If you are to read this book, please check trigger warnings! Fair warning that the R-word is in the book quite a bit, so keep that in mind. I recommend this book to people who like classics. Also, if you liked The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon I think you would like Flowers for Algernon.

Review written by Coral H.