The story of a mentally disabled man whose experimental quest for intelligence mirrors that of Algernon, an extraordinary lab mouse. In diary entries, Charlie tells how a brain operation increases his IQ and changes his life. As the experimental procedure takes effect, Charlie’s intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis. The experiment seems to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance–until Algernon begins his sudden, unexpected deterioration. Will the same happen to Charlie?
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Such a good story. I’d recommend it to anyone. I followed along via audiobook which I’d highly recommend as well.
The author, Daniel Keyes, was a master at writing to the progression of the story and character development in this book. Beginning with inner and external dialogue that spoke to the nuances of language development from concrete to abstract thinking and to the vocabulary itself. From developmental delays and emotional immaturity to the acquisition and subsequent regression, the thought patterns and use of words were very well thought out.
The premise itself covered consciousness, introspection, personhood, character, innate being, ethical dilemmas, meaning, belonging, intimacy, relational concepts, and love. It explores what it means to be a person, who and what you are and I loved how the author communicated it all.