(CLASSIC: from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, 1959)
I first read Flowers for Algernon in a battered copy of Panther’s The Best From Fantasy and Science Fiction in my early teens and felt profoundly affected by it. I love the diary/ report structure and the tender handling of subject: a man of low IQ who is subjected to medical trials to make him more intelligent. Keyes later adapted the short story into a novel and it has been reproduced into films and series. But, for me, it is punchiest in its original short story format.
(MODERN: from The Guardian, 4 Dec 2010).
The power of this story for me is in its apparent simplicity. A married couple on holiday making the transfer journey by taxi from the airport to the hotel. But beneath this lies sharp and painfully fascinating complexities in their relationship. And it has the most memorable close of any short story I have read. A perfectly measured, utterly captivating story. But not for the faint-hearted.
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