David Jay's Reviews > Flowers for Algernon

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
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's review
Aug 19, 2011

really liked it
Read from August 19 to 26, 2011

My niece Giselle and I read this together, as it was on her summer reading list. And I'd be hard pressed to think of a better book for sparking a high school class conversation on ethics and disability and the concept of intelligence.

The book was written in the late 1950s and Charlie is a middle aged man with cognitive disabilities. He volunteers for an experiment and undergoes an operation which takes his IQ from 68 (mild mental retardation) to over 185 (genius). The book is basically Charlie's journal. Lots of interesting ideas and a great little history lesson of what life could be like for a person with developmental disabilities during that time period. Well done, but the characters, excepting Charlie, lacked any depth, and appeared fairly two dimensional.

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