I picked up this book mainly because my copy was published in the SF Masterworks series, and I am trying to read more classic SF. I had also heard about this book here on LT, or at least I seem to remember hearing about it. The story itself isn’t hard SF, but more about medical advances that could be made in the not so distant future, or maybe even today. The main character is Charlie Gordon, a mentally challenged man who is selected for a medical experiment to make him smarter. Algernon is the mouse who they have experimented on before, and who became very smart (for a mouse). The book is a collection of the progress reports written by Charlie, and in his writing we can see the effects of the experiment on him, both with regards to his ‘smartness’ and his emotional development.
Especially when Charlie realizes how people have been treating him, thinking people were his friends that were actually making fun of him, made me so sad. He seemed like such a nice guy and nobody understood him. The book was a great read, and I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommended, also for people who don’t like science fiction.