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Flowers for Algernon (Bantam Classic) by…

Flowers for Algernon (Bantam Classic) (original 1966; edition 1984)

by Daniel Keyes

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8,715208348 (4.08)1 / 307
Title:Flowers for Algernon (Bantam Classic)
Authors:Daniel Keyes
Info:Bantam (1984), Mass Market Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (1966)

  1. 61
    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, sturlington)
  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 (200)  French (4)  Tagalog (1)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  All languages (208)
Showing 1-5 of 200 (next | show all)
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes is a modern classic and as I read I had the feeling of having read it before. Which didn't impair my enjoyment of this imaginative and thought-provoking book in the slightest. The story concerns a mentally impaired man living in the 1950's in New York. He works as a general helper at a bakery owned by a friend of his father's and he also attends night class for people with learning difficulties and despite his low IQ, he has learned to read and write. He is enrolled in a scientific study, one which has had success in developing an operation that has succeeded in tripling the IQ of rats, although until the latest lab rat, Algernon, the improvements were temporary. Charlie is the first human this operation is tested on, and it is a success. But the rapid raise in his intelligence does not come with a corresponding raise in his social skills or ability to handle his altered circumstances. And then there is his growing awareness that he is nothing but a scientific prize to be shown off.

Flowers for Algernon is very much a part of the time in which it was written, giving an atmospheric view of the New York of sixty years ago, along with insight into how children were raised and how women were viewed at that time. Written as Charlie's diary entries, the book has an immediate and personal feel to it. I can certainly see why it has stood the test of time, and I'm sure that we'll still be reading it in another sixty years. ( )
  RidgewayGirl | Jun 21, 2015 |
This book is incredible. I don't think there are enough words for me to describe how deeply it touched me. I will say that the first missing apostrophe towards the end of the book was devastating. This is an enlightening, heartbreaking story that changed the way I think about the human mind, and humanity all together.
( )
  DanielleMD | Jun 20, 2015 |
Beautiful and tragic story about a man with mental disabilities. It makes you think about how we view and treat such individuals. ( )
  krista.rutherford | May 22, 2015 |
This was a wonderful book, very emotional at times but it was an incredible read. I'd never have read this book, if it weren't for a online book group I belong to, and I'm glad I got a chance to read it. Not only was it well written, but it was also an incredible story.

I liked Charlie from the start, I think the author did an excellent job at creating his voice and creating the character. He was instantly likeable and I loved following him on his journey. I also loved how the author transitioned Charlie's transformation throughout the book. I think he did an incredible and detailed job at developing that aspect of the book.

The book was an emotional one, as Charlie led a difficult life, and how people treated him was heart wrenching. With that being said, the author did a fantastic job at bring the harsh realities people with mental disabilities like Charlie has to light and how they're viewed in society. While the book was written decades ago, a lot of the points and issues the author rises can be applied to today.

Overall, this was an incredible read, and I'd highly recommend it.

Also found on my book review blog Jules' Book Reviews - Flowers for Algernon ( )
  bookwormjules | May 16, 2015 |
I loved this! The writing is phenomenal, as told in first-person the story of a man with a severe learning disability, who breezes through life never realizing he's the butt of everyone's jokes.
Then he is made into a genius through a scientific experiment and has to learn to cope with seeing his whole world through new eyes, which is beautifully described.

As we progress the book with charlie we laugh, cry, fall in love , be angry and..... This book is totally amazing. everything about this book is brilliant. ( )
  ardvisoor | Apr 19, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 200 (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 (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Daniel Keyesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Keyes, Danielmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Barroso, PazTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Delessert, EtienneIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Etienne, DelessertIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gallet, Georges HilaireTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leek, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paz, BarrosoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pekkanen, HilkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Podaný, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, RichardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rabkin, Eric S.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Santos, DomingoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szepessy, GyörgyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodman, JeffNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
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.)
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This is the full length novel based on the short story. Please do not combine the two.
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Book description
Haiku summary
What if your dream to

get smart came true, but then you

knew you'd lose it all?


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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:21 -0400)

(see all 7 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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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