- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Mariner Books; 1 edition (May 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0156030306
- ISBN-13: 978-0156030304
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,632 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Flowers for Algernon Paperback – May 1, 2005
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A tale that is convincing, suspenseful and touching."--The New York Times
"An ingeniously touching story . . . Moving . . . Intensely real."--The Baltimore Sun
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Top customer reviews
Don't die without making "Flowers for Algernon" part of your conscience.
I can relate with feeling alienated for not knowing or not being smart enough in many aspects of my life.
I also relate to being smarter than most people in other areas. The alienation and loneliness is still there.
This is a profound journey from the listless pits of ignorance and ineptitude to the great heights of knowledge and understanding... And back down.
But most of all this is a book on the search for love and acceptance.
It was surely deserving of its awards and positive reviews. The characters were carefully developed and the story (told in the first person) was riveting. A timeless treasure!
The pretense of the book centers around one, Charlie Gordon; a mentally disabled, thirty-two year old man living in New York City. In a story that only science fiction can provide, he is given a chance at intelligence in the form of breakthrough hypothetical surgery. What ensues is an emotional reckoning; as Charlie comes to terms with himself and the world through new thoughts and views of conception. While searching for his balance in the world, Charlie must also face his own inner daemons.
Personally, I've felt more anger and sadness from this novel as any I have read before; injustice, cruelty, malice, and heartache resonate through-out. Yet, there is a sliver of pure humanity and love that baffles me to no end upturning my feelings and causing a quandary in my mind. Truly, this novel is an achievement to literature in my most humble opinion.
I would recommend this book to: a friend, a family member, a fellow customer on Amazon, whomever.