3 Of The Best Books I've Read
"Charlie Gordon is about to embark upon an unprecendented journey. Born with an usually low IE, he had been chosen as the perfect subject for an experimental surgery that researchers hope will increase his intelligence - a procedure that has already been highly successful when tested on a lab mouse named Algernon.
As the treatment takes effect, Charlie's intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis. The experiment appears to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance until Algernon suddenly deteriorates.
Will the same happen to Charlie?"
This review is a bit of a strange one, that I have never done before on this blog, as I am writing this review now only being about 50 pages into the novel.
But, it has just taken me by storm to such an extent that I couldn't wait until I had finished it to write and tell you all about it.
This is easily, already one of the best books I have ever written in a few different ways. It is already blowing my mind in the way that it is written. The literary talent of Daniel Keyes is one that I've not ever really come across as the novel is told through the 'progress reports' that the protagonist, Charlie, writes throughout the experiment. About his experience, about his intelligence and about his life.
The thing that really stands out to me about this prose style is that the first few progress reports are written before Charlie undergos his operation, or as he puts it, his 'operashun'.
These entries are written with incredibly bad spelling, grammar and sentence structure, as well as the reader being able to see just how shallow and simple Charlie's thoughts, emotions and communication style is.
As the novel goes on however, not only can you see the difference in how Charlie is remembering, learning and percieving the world around him. The little things that he is starting to learn and pick up about the people that he has known his whole life, but his grammar, sentence structure and spelling also begin to change dramatically.
This is one of the most intelligent and beautiful authorial styles that I have ever seen and I am loving every second of losing myself in this book.
"Sixteen year old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there's a hundred thousand dollar reward at stake and her Best and most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett's son, David.
Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.
In his long awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza's story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship."
Since then, he has continue to take the world by storm with his extremely successful follow up books including, but not limited to; Paper Towns, An Abundance of Katherines and arguably his most popular novel to date, The Fault in our Stars.
The protagonist in this book, Aza Holmes is a young girl who struggles through her teenage years with some severe anxiety, obsessions and compulsions which show themselves in her extreme fear of parasites and illness. The main thing that I loved so much about this book, apart from the incredible metaphors and brilliant prose that is characteristic of John Green's writing, is that it is one of the most honest, brutal explanations of what it is like to live every day with anxiety and OCD that I have ever read.
The main reasoning for this being that these are two disorders that John Green has struggled with his whole life.
Definitely would recommend this book to anyone wanting to get into John Green, or any of you who have read and enjoyed his books in the past as, in my opinion, this is
one of the most beautiful and honest books of his to date.
Mark and Guilia's life together began as a storybook romance. They fell in love at eighteen, married at twenty-four, and were living their dream life in San Francisco. When Guilia was twenty-seven, she suffered a terrifying and unexpected psychotic break that landed her in the psych ward for nearly a month. One day she was vibrant and well-adjusted; the next she was delusional and suicidal, convinced that her loved ones were not safe."
This book is different from the other two that I have reviewed today, and also different from most of the books that I usually read, as this one is a memoir. In other words, this is a true story about the author, Mark's life and marriage with his beautiful wife Guilia, who suffers from bipolar disorder with psychotic features.
This means that Guilia goes through occasional bouts of psychosis where she experiences hallucinations and delusions.
My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward has got to be one of the most heart-wrenching, but also heart-warming stories that I've ever read. Mark and Guilia have one of the most beautiful, resiliant and inspirational love stories that I've ever come across.
To the point that their story was to inspiring to me, that I actually went out of my way to write Mark an email (I found his email from his website) letting him know how much their story meant to me.
Now, I could not recommend this book any higher for anyone that loves psychology as I do. It's honest, it's intense and it really paints a spectacular picture of not just what it's like to live with a mental illness, but what it's like to love someone and raise a family with someone that suffers.
However, one thing that I will say is just to express caution with this novel if you are the kind of person who is easily triggered or perhaps a bit sensitive about these sorts of topics. It is a very honest and beautiful story, but it is also quite intense.