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Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Flowers for Algernon (edition 2005)

by Daniel Keyes

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8,335196373 (4.08)1 / 268
Title:Flowers for Algernon
Authors:Daniel Keyes
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:Mental Illness

Work details

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

  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 (188)  French (4)  Tagalog (1)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  All languages (196)
Showing 1-5 of 188 (next | show all)
I always worry, when picking up a book I "missed" reading for school in my early years the way many people did, that I'll be disappointed - that I'll be too far past the stage in my life when the novel would have been revelatory and impactful and I just won't appreciate it. This has happened in the past and I know it will happen again, but I shouldn't have worried about Flowers for Algernon; this is one I'm sure I'll be thinking about on and off for quite a while. ( )
  okrysmastree | Oct 22, 2014 |
While not a perfect novel, Flowers for Algernon is pretty dang close. I loved this book.

Every once in a while, when I read the last page of a great novel, I want to cry. This book did that. I closed the book and my vision blurred. I had to take a little walk and clear my head. So powerful.

This book is pushing 55 years old - and is remarkably current. Keyes glosses over actual science enough that there are no glaring inaccuracies. It's enzymes!

I cant believe I didn't read this before now. ( )
  ThePortPorts | Sep 15, 2014 |
This book was really quite clever. The story was obviously fictional and felt a little hokey at times but overall was something enjoyably new. I wasn't attached to the main character which is why I gave it a middle of the road rating. I felt there was something lacking to the story that would have made it more profound... but I can't put my finger on what that might be. I enjoyed this book and give a big thumbs up for such an original idea. ( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
Este libro me encanto porque desarrollo un tema tan interesante, el de un hombre retardado mentalmente que deseaba ser una persona inteligente, normal como lo demás. El lo deseaba tanto que logro llegar a cierto proceso para convertirse en una persona inteligente, pasando por un experimento científico relacionado con una rata de laboratorio que eran bruta y los científicos la llevan a ser inteligente.
Durante todo el proceso el personaje pasa de ser tonto a menos tonto, con unas pruebas de desarrollo en su cerebro con rarisimas operaciones .

En el libro vemos como esta persona que es retardad mentalmente es acosada, y es burlada por su condición.

En este libro podemos ir junto al personaje con su proceso de desarrollo cerebral a través de un diario que el mismo tiene que llevar para registrar sus avances.

Algo particular que me encanto del libro, es el hecho de que el personaje se empecina tanto en querer ser una persona inteligente, que no se daba nunca cuenta de la grandiosa persona que era, de lo tierno, amable y humilde, y que luego por querer convertirse en una persona inteligente, su personalidad encantadora cambia totalmente, a alguien pedante, orgulloso, y burlón.

El libro nos ensena que no siempre lo que mas queremos es lo que en verdad nos conviene puesto que eso mismo que tanto deseamos en un momento nos termina destruyendo. Se los recomiendo.

Algo curioso para mi fue que mientras lo leí viví en Iowa con una beca gubernamental y mi ingles lo estaba mejorando. Nuestra profesora de Ingles nos dijo que debíamos empezar a leer libros en ingles y que empezáramos con cuentos infantiles, mis demás companeros eligieron cuentos, pero a mi me intereso este. Con este libro fui viendo al igual mi progreso en entender el ingles como segunda lengua, puesto que sentía entendía el libro en un 90%.
( )
  Pamelangeles | Jul 3, 2014 |
I read the book Flowers for Algernon. In this book Charlie Gordon, who is mentally retarded, is used in an experiment to make him smart. He works in a bakery and attends school in a school for retarded adults. After his surgery he gets smarter every day, and he meets a mouse called Algernon who had the same surgery as him. As he gets smarter he falls in love with his teacher Alice but he gets fired from his job. Algernon,Charlie, Alice, and his doctors go to Los Angeles to give a speech about Charlie and how he got smart in 6 months. But he begins to forget what he learns. Algernon becomes dumber and he stops eating and dies. He relies what happening he tells Alice that whatever they had has to end because he won't remember his relationship with her. The next day he becomes as dumb as he was and acts like nothing happened.

I would rate this book a 4 or 5. I would rate it a 4 or 5 because it really touched me and it was well written. I think this is a good book for young and old readers. So, I would recommend it. I also like the small twists through the book. like that it wasn’t the ending I thought it was going to be. I do wish that it had a happier ending but it suited the book well. ( )
  AlexaP.B3 | May 29, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 188 (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)

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Daniel Keyesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary 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
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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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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 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)

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