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Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Flowers for Algernon (original 1966; edition 2005)

by Daniel Keyes

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,905280363 (4.09)1 / 384
Title:Flowers for Algernon
Authors:Daniel Keyes
Info:Mariner Books (2005), Paperback, 324 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:read in 2012

Work details

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (1966)

  1. 71
    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. 20
    I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier (angelofmusic_81)
  3. 31
    Awakenings by Oliver Sacks (Mumugrrl)
  4. 20
    Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (sturlington)
  5. 87
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (unlucky)
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  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. 12
    The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey (SomeGuyInVirginia)
  11. 24
    The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (Patangel)
  12. 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 (269)  French (4)  Tagalog (1)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All languages (278)
Showing 1-5 of 269 (next | show all)
You know a novel is great when you cry over some missing commas and apostrophes. 5 emotionally shattering stars. ( )
  lhofer | Sep 26, 2018 |
I liked **Flowers for Algernon** by *Daniel Keyes* – even though the ending in itself felt predictable, it was very clear that the journey to that ending was the core of the book. It's not an easy question: How much does intelligence determine who we are, and what would happen if our intelligence were to rapidly in- or decrease? While I liked the concept of the book, I can't say that I enjoyed it though … it felt too stressfull with a hint of the kafkaesque for that. ( )
  _rixx_ | Aug 30, 2018 |
The classic story about a "feeble-minded" man who temporarily becomes a genius--only to lose his intellectual gains--holds up well over fifty years after its initial publication. Charlie's narrative voice is so well developed that there were times when I forgot that this is not a true story and he isn't a real person. This novel deserves all of the accolades it has received. Highly recommended. ( )
  akblanchard | Jul 27, 2018 |
Years ago I saw the movie, Charly, with Cliff Robertson. I thought, having seen the movie, that there was really no reason to read the book. I was wrong. What a poignant, sad and moving tale this is, told from the point of view of Charlie Gordon, who goes from retardation to genius and experiences the world from two completely different human conditions. That it is written in Charlie’s own words is inspired. As Charlie begins to understand things about his life and recover his memories, there is a kind of sadness that goes with the knowledge that is bittersweet.

I could not help thinking about the story in the news last week that Down’s Syndrome has been almost eradicated in Iceland through the use of abortion. I wondered if this book didn’t speak volumes about the dangers of wanting everyone to be perfect and how much we might be missing when we discount the value of those who have disabilities, physical or mental.

I am sorry I waited so long to read this, but I treasure the experience. This one will go right into my favorites folder.

Special thanks to Candi, who pushed me to read this wonderful book.
( )
1 vote phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
Every time I even look at the title, the memories of having read it make me tear up. The writing is simple and easy, but the story is completely heartbreaking. ( )
1 vote m_mozeleski | May 13, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 269 (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 (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Daniel Keyesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Barroso, PazTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burgerer, Eva-MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Delessert, EtienneIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dessauer, MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gallet, Georges HilaireTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leek, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monecke, HiltguntTranslatorsecondary 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
Thole, KarelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodman, JeffNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the full length novel based on the short story. Please do not combine the two.
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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 11 descriptions

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Average: (4.09)
0.5 7
1 31
1.5 8
2 112
2.5 26
3 568
3.5 115
4 1227
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5 1270

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