Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

The first time I read Flowers for Algernon was in high school and I usually have a policy of not re-reading books I already read (so many books, too little time!). In this case, I made an exception and a good thing too--I have vague memories of Flowers for Algernon but apparently, what I read before was the novella instead of the novel. Much like I Am Legend, Flowers for Algernon isn't necessarily one of those books I'd clump as science-fiction yet here it is. Jon Grimwood writes in the introduction that Keyes breaks a lot of rules of writing yet the talent of the author is that the book is nonetheless quite readable (although I was very glad when I reached the middle, when the main character's persona was writing coherently). More importantly, however, is that Keyes has us hooked to main character who grows from having a sub-optimal IQ to one that exponentially increases. Flowers for Algernon is a good example that science-fiction isn't merely stories about scientific concepts but can easily be a platform for social commentary (and why Flowers for Algernon was easily required reading for us in high school). The strength of the book, I think, is its charming simplicity and the humble focus Keyes has. Flowers for Algernon isn't an epic story of society, but rather the tale of one very simple man.

Rating: 4/5.

1 comment:

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The first time you read Flowers for Algernon was in high school and you usually have a policy of not re-reading books?Well I already read so many books, too little time!But I have not any proper information's about Flowers for Algernon.But know I am satisfied for you.

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