Literary Speed Dating: Flowers for Algernon
Keep in mind: Literary Speed Dating is merely an allegory. Through this, I offer you a book walkthrough and recommendation without spoilers.
eHarmony™ and Match.com™ are both reported for great success in the dating and marriage scene. The Tinder™ and Plenty of Fish™ routes are more one-night-stands, from what I understand, though I’ve heard of successful relationships, too. In either case, I preferred the traditional route in dating, and am glad I did. I found my husband in my apartment complex and our love story is a hopeless romantic kind of thing that I’d never give up in a million years. Score 1 for tradition!
One of the things I love about him is that he supports my book dating addiction. Expensive and time-consuming, he still gives up both because he knows how much I love it and is there 100%. I couldn’t imagine loving someone more supportive.
I’ve been involved with Literary Speed Dating (hosted by Barnes & Noble) since I was 13. It’s an all-ages event that connects available readers with books in need of attention. I had no intention of getting into something like that despite my friends’ insistence that I try Library Dating. But, when my mother was looking for something, I came across a beautiful cover and couldn’t help but check out her back blurb. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister (by Gregory Maguire) was my first date and I still have feelings for her. However, she had no intention of anything long-term and our fling had to end. I still keep her nearby, though.
Algernon was an unpleasant surprise in my life when I first started teaching.
I had expected to teach a book I already knew based on the traditional high school canon. Instead, I was charged to teach Flowers for Algernon (by Daniel Keyes)–a book I’d never even heard of. We were forced into a short-lived relationship that sent me on a rollercoaster of emotions. I don’t regret it at all but I can’t help but avoid him at times because of my whirlwind experience with him.
I had only a couple days to bond with him before I had to solicit him to the kids and convince them he’s all chalked up as the curriculum developers think he is. I was fascinated with him from the very beginning because it was obvious that he’s different. Like, mean very different. The sweetest thing on earth with a distinctive quality that made me a little uncomfortable, I found that all he wanted was to love and a chance to be loved.
Midway through the date, he changed though and was nothing like how he started.
It was sheer blasphemy. Though I understood why he shifted, he and I both knew that it wasn’t the right thing. His transformation didn’t make him more appealing–if anything it made him worse. However, it did keep him interesting. In the end, it all worked out though I couldn’t wipe the tears away.
The fascination, confusion, curiosity, sadness, anger, disappointment, pride, devastation, happiness–all of it. Algernon yanked me by the hand and took me on every ride the emotional fair had to offer. That tells me, though, he’s an excellent catch.
Essentially, I feel like Algernon should be getting way more call-backs than he is. Everyone owes it to him/her self to go out with him if they really want to know their heart.
What are your Flowers for Algernon experiences? Let us know below and on social media–including Goodreads. Don’t forget to sign up for my bi-weekly newsletter, too.