This is a first person narrative that has been written as a series of progress reports from a deeply retarded man, who can barely be considered literate. His writing is ful of bad grammar and spelling mistakes. At first, if you are not prepared for it, this makes this book a little hard to read, and some passages even have to be re-read a couple of times before you understand them.
Our protagonist goes through experimental brain surgery, that has the effect of gradually increasing his intelligence to that of a genius. His change from a retarded to a genius is beautifully conveyed by his improved spelling, grammar, sentence constructions, reflections and the way he relates and connects to his surroundings (and also how they relate to him in return). His journey is a tragic one, filled with regrets, hopes and dreams.
This is one of the most heart-breaking stories that I have ever read. I read it first time in high school (the original short story) back in the late 80s/early 90s, and I haven't been able to let go of it since. This is one of those very rare books that just stays with you forever, whether you want it to or not. It's simply unforgettable, and it challenges you in more than one way. My praise could never do any justice to this masterpiece. You owe it to yourself to read it.
As posted on my blog: http://rita.crowdedminds.com/flowers-for-algernon-by-daniel-keys/