Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pulling at the Heart Strings

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Adult Fiction

Charlie is an adult male with learning disabilities, perhaps mild or moderately retarded.  His burning desire in life is to learn and read.  He hears of a research experiment surgery that could possibly make him smarter.  Even knowing it might kill him, Charlie does it anyway.  The reader follows Charlie's struggles by watching Algernon, the mouse who had the surgery first.  Charlie uses him as a measure of his own success and possible outcome.  There is lots of symbolism if you're in to that sort of thing.

This book reminded me of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button just a bit. Two people circling around one another, prevented from making a true connection by circumstance, almost able to line up, but in fleeting moments..........The tone and voice of the book was masterful.  How the author switches from speaking as a mentally disabled adult to a near genius and then making it all sound so natural was incredible. It was a sad, but sweet, story. 

Warning:  This book comes with a sad ending, but of course the reader experts is all along.  It deserves the classic rating.

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