“I don’t know what’s worse: to not know what you are and be happy, or to become what you’ve always wanted to be, and feel alone.”-Daniel Keyes
Why I’m Reading this Book?
I’ve come across this book as something which can be read in a short time. I borrowed it from library , but name is so flowery , I was under impression that it would be some sappy romantic story and I kept putting it off. I couldn’t be more wrong.
Story about a sweet boy Charlie with severe learning disability, who come across a revolutionary brain surgery to increase his intelligence. He had undergone this surgery and experience for the first time what is really like to ‘know’ things.
This book is a rapid page turner and every page is a roller coaster ride of emotions. One feels happy , hopeful, pity, sorrow, hopeless, angry, spiteful, peaceful and not in this order.
Story is told from Charlie’s perspective. He is writing report to keep track of his progress. He works at a bakery and earns his living. But he has a burning desire to be smart. He goes to evening classes to read and write and wants to do more. Through his teacher, he comes across this new procedure which has so far only been tried successfully on a mouse named Algernon.
He goes through this surgery, keeps writing his report and slowly but surely starts developing intelligence. He starts remembering things and in the new light understands more who he was. Once his brain starts learning, it learns at a frightening speed. He learns things in weeks which people take lifetime for. But along with learning, comes the loneliness. Gone are the friends from previous life, because now he knows they were not laughing with him but ‘at’ him. And he starts despising the very people who helped him. What started as boon, soon seems like curse.
So what would Charlie do? Will we see his downward spiral, like we see so many times in society with genius people? Is this knowledge permanent? Like one character says in story, did he spite God by alternating his plans and getting something which was not in his cards?
This story is the dilemma between these two adage, ‘Knowledge is power’ and ‘Ignorance is bliss’. What would one want? No-one can’t have everything. But answer is not so simple. Even after reading the book, I can’t choose one option. I’m still thinking….
My Rating — 5
On the scale of: (1- Hate , 2- Neither like nor dislike, 3- Like, 4- Love, 5- Gaga)
Why anyone else should read this Book?
Very small book, since story is so captivating, it becomes smaller, because you can’t help totally being into it. I read it in 1 day.
I like books that makes me think. As mentioned in my review, this books asks a question. And even after reading whole story, with all facts, incident, results with me, I can’t decide. And whenever I think about this story, I keep thinking this question over and over again. (Not in a bad way, but makes me feel philosophical :)).
Story is a gold mine for emotions. This story is something where you feel all emotions on the spectrum. It’s not a sad story, it’s not a happy story, but it’s definitely an interesting story. No one should miss it.
This is one of those books which one can keep for his personal shelf. I’m so glad I’ve come across this story and I would be equally glad if this review makes someone to pick this book and read this wonderful story.
So, Read the book, and if you find the answer to question asked in the story, do let me know your answer.
Wear the mask, Stay home, Stay Safe!!!
Have you read it? Are you planning to? What is your opinion? Share them here. Till next time, Happy Reading Folks!!!
One thought on “Flowers for Algernon”
Sometimes it’s better to be in the state you are in. Would add this to my list. Nice review !
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