So many reasons to read this book: booklogged sent it to me, it is on the banned book reading list, katrina just read it, and I picked it for the Summer Reading Challenge Round 2. And it was a great read. I heard it was a tearjerker, and I usually cry quite easily in books so I was surprised that nary a tear fell. Still an excellent read and well worth the story.
Charley is a mentally retarded aldult chosen for experimental surgery to make him a genius. Previously only experimented on animals, Algernon the mouse was the most successful trial. Against the ethics of science today, the surgery is done on Charley without seeing how Algernon ends up, or what the long term effects of the operation are. Charley becomes smarter, intellectually very quickly and the book is about how he has to grow emotionally as well. As he deals with his past life, the reader is left to wonder how much better off he was after the surgery. Algernon begins to fail and Charley is left to see his future.
So many issues are brought up I can see why this is a high school novel. I read it very quickly and would recommend it. As Charley begins to see his life with his increased intelligence, your heart just breaks for him. Banned, I imagine, due to Charley's increased sexual awareness and the references to his affairs.