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Flowers for Algernon
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Flowers for Algernon (original 1966; edition 1968)

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8,593204355 (4.08)1 / 291
Member:johnboles
Title:Flowers for Algernon
Authors:
Info:Bantam (1968), Unknown Binding
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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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 (194)  French (4)  Tagalog (1)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  All languages (202)
Showing 1-5 of 194 (next | show all)
Amazing book. The perspective of presenting the story from inside the mind of Charlie, via his journal, was very captivating. Even though it was obvious how the story would end early on, you have to finish the ride. Frankly, I am amazed that someone could not only come up with this story, but execute it in such a detailed and compelling way. ( )
  grandpahobo | Mar 23, 2015 |
Wow, what an AMAZING piece of literature!

Just to make it easy, I'll list some of the things I loved most about this book.

1.) References to the Allegory of the Cave (a portion in Plato's Republic). I wrote quote a few papers on this specific topic, as well as the entire text, during my time at University. Plato's Republic is one of my favorite philosophical texts, and the way it fit into this story was just so brilliant.

2.) The philosophy of education and what it means to be "smart". How simply because your intelligence increases doesn't men that you're not leaving some things behind. For Charlie, it was emotional maturity. That disconnect made it hard for him to connect to others.

3.) More specifically, the philosophy of special education. Should there be a goal to "cure" people with mental disabilities. Is there anything wrong with them to begin with? Would they truly be "happier" being "cured"? Sorry for all the quotations, but I don't subscribe to the idea that there's something that needs to be "cured", as intelligence is to me some parts relative.

Charlie himself was just an amazing character and representation of a person with mental disabilities who is at the mercy of an often cold and clinical society, even when society thinks it's doing the world, and the individuals they want to "cure", a huge favor. ( )
  Czarmoriarty | Feb 27, 2015 |
Simply put: Amazing Book. This is the type of book that I think should be considered as required reading for high school. Flowers for Algernon brings all sorts of questions forward about intelligence, friendship, morals, how to live and what's truly important in life. I would recommend this book to anyone. ( )
  briandarvell | Jan 11, 2015 |
Excellent science fiction. Well thought out and has several meaningful concepts. One of the best books I have read. ( )
  GlennBell | Jan 4, 2015 |
Flowers for Algernon was the fall play at my daughter's school. I bought the book for her (she's on the stage crew) and my whole family ended up reading it. It's a beautiful, thought-provoking, and terribly sad book. Charlie Gordon is a man with severe intellectual disabilities who undergoes an experimental surgery to improve his intelligence and memory. This surgery was very successful on a mouse named Algernon, against whom Charlie competes at solving mazes and other puzzles. Charlie experiences a meteoric improvement in his intelligence and learning, and disturbing flashbacks of memory. He faithfully records his observations and progress, and discovers that the old Charlie's life is incompatible with the new. When Algernon experiences a rapid deterioration, Charlie fears he may follow Algernon again on this regressive path. All four of us were absolutely riveted and devastated by this book.
1 vote AMQS | Dec 29, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 194 (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
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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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.
Quotations
Last words
(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.
Publisher's editors
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary
What if your dream to

get smart came true, but then you

knew you'd lose it all?

(legallypuzzled)

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 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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