Flowers for Algernon

-Daniel Keyes

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Rating- 5/5

Wow. I have absolutely no words for this book, you know those quotes that talk about books that make you think about life and emotions? This book was that for me. I might go as far as to say that this is my now my all time favorite reads. Yeah shocker to give such a big title but this book 100% deserves it. This book is about a boy, Charlie Gordon, who is mentally retarded with an I.Q of 68. But he’s a very kind, warm and happy person who has a will to learn and become intelligent. He goes to an adult school to study where his teacher, Alice Kinnian deems him the perfect candidate for an experiment to artificially increase his intelligence.The story is written in the form of his progress reports with the earlier ones written with wrong grammar and a certain naïveness to it and as his intelligence increases they become more thoughtful and mature.

But as he becomes more intelligent we see his character develop and past memories flooding back to him and a more mature person whose approach is some what cynical to the world as he faces reality. He realizes that all those people he considered friends were actually mocking him and this revelation makes him very closed and apprehensive towards others.Even though he becomes very intelligent he is emotionally still a child who is afraid of building relationships with women due to past experiences. The book brilliantly portrays Charlie’s mind and the fine details that the author described were intriguing to read and I found myself disagreeing with him but also weirdly understanding where he was coming from. This book made me think about loss,pain,love and empathize with Charlie. More than anything else this book is thought provoking and shows how cruelly people with mental disabilities are treated in society as if there isn’t a human with feelings behind the face.

Definitely read this book if you’re looking for a good thought provoker and some inspiration to carry on.This book is packed with emotions and motivational concepts and ideas so it may take a while to read but it will change how you look at life.

P.S.-There’s also a movie based on this book, Charly. Do watch it after reading the book as the portrayal of Charlie by Cliff Robertson is phenomenal and really makes the book come to life.


Song for the book-


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