Science fiction isn’t the most frequent genre of the literary creations and it can be hard to find good reads on that isle. Luckily, Daniel Keyes wrote a great representative of this genre that is admired by millions of readers since 1958.
“Flowers of Algernon” is a book about a mentally disturbed patient whose name is Charlie Gordon. The protagonist works at a bakery. He isn’t a retard or a socially dangerous schizoid, but a calm and peaceful person who is fighting his own demons. He has a lot of “friends” who all make fun of him, pay him peanuts – but he is happy with a life he gets.
His happiness is pure and endless; he has no doubts or second thoughts about his life. But his life changes when he is chosen as a subject to a neurosurgery trial intervention. In a couple of weeks, the mentally disabled Charlie becomes a genius and a major scientist.
It might seem like a great success, but it doesn’t make the man’s life better in any way. The experiment might have made him smart and famous, but it also resuscitated his painful memories and old nightmares. Now he is faced with difficult choices that overburden him: friendships, live, self-identification, sex, and personal development…
And who is Algernon? It’s a mouse who also went through the same kind of intelligence boost as Charlie. They meet in a series of pre-tests and solve a maze competition: a man and a mouse. Keep reading and you will find even more fun stories on the pages of the book.
“Flowers of Algernon” is without doubts one of the most powerful books of the American literature. It’s moving, deep, wise and even creepy in some parts. But it surely helps us answer that one question that has been haunting humanity for centuries – “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?”