Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Flowers for Algernon (Daniel Keyes)

A book that boasts having won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards is perhaps not the best book to start reading at 10pm.

Sure enough, I finished it at 5 am having been riveted throughout, and ended up taking the morning off work. The rather unpromising title gets more promising once you realise that Algernon is a mouse.

It's actually the very moving story of a man's recovery from stupidity.

The book manages to combine at the same time convincing portraits of its various characters with a solid science fiction story. I believe that I detected a few literary references thrown in for good measure.

Not many people can pull this sort of thing off. It has a hefty emotional impact, and it makes you think.

Had the author only thought to include a few spaceships and a green-skinned alien princess love-interest, this could well have been my book of the year.