Book Review: “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes

Daniel Keyes’s Flowers for Algernon marks my fourth read of the year.

And my god did this book ruin me. I underestimated how much Charlie and Algernon’s tale would touch my soul.

Charlie, a man with severe learning difficulties, volunteers for groundbreaking surgery. Surgery that the researchers have only—thus far—performed on mice. But as the most successful mouse test subject begins to fade, all eyes turn to Charlie.

Beautiful, heartbreaking, through-provoking, profound. What can I say about Keyes’s novel that others haven’t already? If you still need to read it, I assure you it’s worth your time.

Flowers for Algernon is a classic for a reason.

Read ‘Grandma’s Garden’: My flowery entry for this week’s Reedsy!


This week’s Reedsy theme was a nice one — The Ordinary. As put on the Reedsy site — The very last line of the NBC sitcom The Office is spoken by former receptionist Pam Beasley. She says: “There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point?”

I chose the prompt, “Write a short story about someone tending to their garden.” Such a simple prompt, isn’t it? So lovely. I thought I’d give it my proper “Josh Insole” spin, though! My story is called Grandma’s Garden, and you can read it here on WordPress, or over on my Reedsy profile!

Grandma was always tending to her garden. Eleanor watched her as she went about her duties, a smile stretched across her kind and wrinkled face, a pretty little melody being softly hummed (and occasionally whistled), a wide-brim straw hat pushed snugly on her head.


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I loved writing this! I came up with the ending first, then worked my way backwards from there. Also, as was the case with my most recent stories, I made the art for Grandma’s Garden myself. If you’d like to see more of my art, why not check out my art blog?