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Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
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Flowers for Algernon

by Daniel Keyes

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,018None398 (4.08)1 / 243
  1. 51
    The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: Charlie is definitely not like Lou, true. But their experiences and perspectives have the same mental effect on readers.
  2. 31
    Awakenings by Oliver Sacks (Mumugrrl)
  3. 76
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (unlucky)
  4. 10
    I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier (angelofmusic_81)
  5. 00
    Mixtape for the Apocalypse by Jemiah Jefferson (kiparsky)
    kiparsky: Similar narrative structure used for a similar purpose, and both are brilliant and heartbreaking books.
  6. 00
    After Many a Summer Dies the Swan by Aldous Huxley (Jarandel)
    Jarandel: Similar introduction of a speculative/fantastical premise as a device for observing and criticizing the writer's present reality.
  7. 00
    Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (shesinplainview)
  8. 11
    Camp Concentration by Thomas M. Disch (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Same theme of experimental intelligence enhancement. Disch's experimenters are much more sinister, and his experimental subjects much more intelligent.
  9. 01
    Oversite by Maureen F. McHugh (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: A short story by Maureen McHugh about an experimental treatment for Alzheimer's that looks at the effect of loss and gain of mental functioning from a bystander's point-of-view.
  10. 24
    The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (Patangel)
  11. 04
    My Teacher Fried My Brains by Bruce Coville (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: More humor, less drama, but a similar effect in the end.
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English (184)  French (4)  Tagalog (1)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  All languages (192)
Showing 1-5 of 184 (next | show all)
Flowers by Algernon by Daniel Keyes is an excellent book that brought tears to my eyes by the time I finished it. This book starts off with Charlie Gordon who isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer and he wants brain surgery which promises a smarter and better life. Tested positively a couple of times this is a very early experiment and Charlie's family had to sign a consent form which allowed for this experiment on him. The book is not like all the other books and the story occurs in Charlie's journal. You can clearly see a difference in how Charlie writes if you flip even 30 pages forward as the surgery is doing wonders for his brain. He is doing so great that he gets a raise at the bakery but makes all of his colleagues despise him as they liked the old Charlie Gordon who was friendly with everyone. The new Charlie Gordon has much knowledge and he definitely does not have the same personality as before. This eventually leads to him getting fired from the bakery and causes a bit of depression for him. After that, the leaders of this experiment are so happy of the results that they have decided to bring Charlie and the mouse who they have tested this on to a convention. Charlie did not like how he was treated so he and the mouse kind of sneaked out much to the dismay of everyone. They rented a hotel room and Charlie became friends with the alcoholic next door. Charlie with his newfound brain makes a breakthrough and finds out that the mouse who has the same treatment is now quickly losing all of its brain power and is aging quickly. He then makes a hypothesis that basically says the same thing will happen to him. To find out if this really happened to Charlie, you should definitely read this book. This book has a bit of romance not recommended for younger readers but it is definitely a book that will make you appreciate what you have. All in all this book is a really good book
  TomasJefferson | Apr 10, 2014 |
This is a classic, a thoughtful and loving look into the life of a mentally challenged man. ( )
  wareagle78 | Mar 19, 2014 |
A touching account of a scientific experiment going wrong. The reader quickly identifies with the mind of the protagonist, feeling his emotions, experiencing his elation and depression, his feelings of inferiority and superiority as his 'intelligence' changes and the attitudes of those around him change accordingly. The text exhorts one implicitly to question what intelligence really is, or, perhaps, what it should be. The author seems to hint at the spiritual insight that all relationship is reciprocal, that friendship, especially, is essentially reciprocal; that humanity is at its best when there is no feeling of inferiority or superiority on any side, whether between humans or even between human and animal. A great, truly 'humanizing' read. Essential reading for all who consider themselves in any way 'superior'. ( )
  Ashvajit | Mar 9, 2014 |
It made me laugh, it made me think and then it made me cry. ( )
  StigE | Feb 22, 2014 |
I enjoyed the book. It's very short. Less than an hour to read. I was very afraid at the start as there were misspelled words and a lack of punctuation but quickly realized that it was intention (i thought it was bad ocr, even from amazon).

Overall a very powerful book. Very interesting look at intelligence. Echoes a lot of what I have been thinking. I'll admit I teared up at the end.

A would recommend. ( )
  halkeye | Feb 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 184 (next | show all)
[Keyes] has taken the obvious, treated it in a most obvious fashion, and succeeded in creating a tale that is suspenseful and touching - all in modest degree, but it is enough.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times, Eliot Fremont-Smith (pay site) (Mar 7, 1966)
 

» Add other authors (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Daniel Keyesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Anyone who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind's eye, quite as much as of the bodily eye; and he who remembers this when he sees anyone whose vision is perplexed and weak, will not be to (sic) ready to laugh; he will first ask whether that soul of man has come out of the brighter life, and is unable to see because unaccustomed to the dark, or having turned from drakness to the day is dazzled by excess of light. And he will count the one happy in his condition and state of being, and he will pity the other; or, if he have a mind to laugh at the soul which comes from below into the light, there will be more reason in this than in the laugh which greets him who returns from above out of the light into the den. Plato, The Republic
Dedication
For my mother And in memory of my father
First words
Dr Strauss says I shoud rite down what I think and remembir and evrey thing that happins to me from now on.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the full length novel based on the short story. Please do not combine the two.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0156030306, Paperback)

Daniel Keyes wrote little SF but is highly regarded for one classic, Flowers for Algernon. As a 1959 novella it won a Hugo Award; the 1966 novel-length expansion won a Nebula. The Oscar-winning movie adaptation Charly (1968) also spawned a 1980 Broadway musical.

Following his doctor's instructions, engaging simpleton Charlie Gordon tells his own story in semi-literate "progris riports." He dimly wants to better himself, but with an IQ of 68 can't even beat the laboratory mouse Algernon at maze-solving:

I dint feel bad because I watched Algernon and I lernd how to finish the amaze even if it takes me along time.

I dint know mice were so smart.

Algernon is extra-clever thanks to an experimental brain operation so far tried only on animals. Charlie eagerly volunteers as the first human subject. After frustrating delays and agonies of concentration, the effects begin to show and the reports steadily improve: "Punctuation, is? fun!" But getting smarter brings cruel shocks, as Charlie realizes that his merry "friends" at the bakery where he sweeps the floor have all along been laughing at him, never with him. The IQ rise continues, taking him steadily past the human average to genius level and beyond, until he's as intellectually alone as the old, foolish Charlie ever was--and now painfully aware of it. Then, ominously, the smart mouse Algernon begins to deteriorate...

Flowers for Algernon is a timeless tear-jerker with a terrific emotional impact. --David Langford

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:40 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

From the Publisher: With more than five million copies sold, Flowers for Algernon is the beloved, classic story of a mentally disabled man whose experimental quest for intelligence mirrors that of Algernon, an extraordinary lab mouse. In poignant diary entries, Charlie tells how a brain operation increases his IQ and changes his life. As the experimental procedure takes effect, Charlie's intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis. The experiment seems to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance-until Algernon begins his sudden, unexpected deterioration. Will the same happen to Charlie? An American classic that inspired the award-winning movie Charly.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

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