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Flowers For Algernon


Daniel Keyes

Flowers For Algernon
average rating is 4 out of 5

Science Fiction, Dystopia

R. Alex Jenkins

Perhaps my expectations were a little too high for this book because, at 50%, I guessed where it was going and hoped to be wrong, so ended up mildly disappointed.

Even so, it's a dazzling concept and expressed really well.

If you love depressing stories, hopelessness, dystopia and science gone all wrong, this is a compelling read with high morals about wanting too much and, if you finally get it, the inevitable disappointment at it not being much cop anyway.

Algernon is a book about bullying and being bullied, about as two-way schizophrenic as it gets.

Maybe I'm a bit of a sucker for romance and happy endings? The world is unfair and life often sucks, so it's nice to walk into the sunset with a sense of righteous fulfilment sometimes, even if the conclusion results in all-out war or destruction. I want to feel something, anything, an expression of what goes around comes around, to feel content with what I've got instead of it never being enough, to avoid the thirsty hopelessness that pushing too much will get you everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

This is dystopia after all. Uplifting one minute, dashed from the rafters and mildly insane the next.

Although fulfilling and emotional, Algernon won't pick you up in the same way that glossy space battles or gratuitous carpark porn will, so be aware of the science fiction tag. It's part of the SF Masterworks collection, which is amazingly diversified and bizarre, and totally recommended.

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