Flowers For Algernon - Daniel Keyes

Monday 4 June 2007
by  Sophie C
popularity : 2%

Mentally retarded Charlie Gordon, 32 years old, works as a sweeper in a bakery and is eager to become ’smart’. He sees a turning point in his life as he becomes the object of a daring scientific experiment which should supposedly increase his very low IQ.

This book is in fact the ’progris riports’ he is asked to write day after day, as part of the experiment, an account of what he lives and the proof of his increasing intelligence. The reader witnesses not only the genius he is becoming but also the inconvenience of such a radical change: the disillusion. He has to accept that the friends he believed to have in the bakery were always ridiculising him; he discovers love but also the not-so-bright side of it; moreover, he starts remembering things about the past: his childhood, his family, which makes him further understand life as it is. But at the zenith of his intelligence, he realizes that this experiment of which he has been the victim is not as flawless as it appears to be...

This account will surprise the reader at first and its evolution will make him eager to read on; it brings out a mixture of humour and empathy necessary for a further understanding of the character and what he is living through. The slower pace in the middle will disappoint a little, only to start again in the frenetic rythm of the beginning.