Author: Daniel Keyes
Genre: Fiction/Sci Fi. & Fantasy
Personal Rating: 4/5
Awards: Nebula & Hugo
From the back cover:
Charlie Gordon is about to embark upon an unprecedented journey. Born with an unusually low IQ, he has been chosen as the perfect subject for an experimental surgery that researchers hope will increase his intelligence-a procedure that has already been highly successful when tested on a lab mouse named Algernon.
As the treatment takes effect, Charlie's intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis. The experiment appears to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance, until Algernon suddenly deteriorates. Will the same happen to Charlie?
What a unique and interesting book! This story follows Charlie, a mentally retarded 30 something who has an operation performed (on his brain) to increase his intelligence. Most of the story is related through Charlie's progress reports as he sees events unfolding.
As Charlie's intelligence increases, so does his memory. He begins to remember his childhood and how he came to be "abandoned" by his family and to understand why he has sexual issues. He also starts to questions the friends he used to have since they used to laugh at him and make him do silly things (since he didn't know better). This part of the story is sad. The realization of how we/some treat mentally retarded individuals.
This book opens up so many ethical and moral questions related to experimentation, the betterment of society and the worth of an individual. Who determines that worth?
If you haven't read this one I would definitely add it to your list!