Flowers for Algernon

Flowers for Algernon

Book - 2005
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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.
Publisher: New York : Mariner Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005
Copyright Date: ©1966
ISBN: 9780156030304
0156030306
9781417670802
1417670800
Characteristics: 311 pages ; 21 cm

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nathanschoen
Dec 17, 2018

I think this is an important read for everyone. The prose is very interesting and fun to read (written as a series of progress reports from the protagonist's point of view). Yet beyond this, over the course of reading this novel, I found reflecting and looking inward on many of the core themes found throughout this text.
Coming from a family with someone with special needs, I especially thought about is it okay to feel a sense of pity and where exactly does that pity originate. I also questioned just how aware those individuals may be of who they are and how they are different from "everyone else."
Certainly be prepared to cry a few times but also to think about your own deep-seated views of those with special needs, whether they are conscious or not.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Oct 20, 2018

The book that I will be reviewing is flowers for Algernon, written by Daniel Keyes and was published in 1966. This story is about a 32 year old mentally disabled man named Charlie Gordon. Charlie works at a bakery called Donner's Bakery as a delivery boy. Charlie takes the reader on the journey to his success through the progress reports that he writes. When Charlie is voted to be used for a dangerous experiment that will increase his IQ he becomes smarter as time progresses. This is when he meets a lab mouse named Algernon who gives Charlie the gift of friendship. When Algernon suddenly deteriorates, Charlie becomes worried and thinks that the same may happen to him. Eventually the effects of the surgery start to wear off and he becomes the way he was in the beginning. I liked this book as it reminds me of the way people with disabilities are treated today. In the book, Charlie was being bullied by the people who he thought where his friends in the bakery. Many people now do the same as most of the time they do it for their enjoyment. I would give this book a 4/5 star rating. @PrimaBallerina of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

Mind-opening books have a special place in my heart, and this one definitely hit home. Charlie is a member of society classified under "mentally handicapped," but all he wants to be is intelligent. When a miracle appears to happen in a scientific experiment conducted on him, he suddenly acquires more knowledge than he anticipated. The ways of the world become apparent to him, and the injustice is brought to light. It was incredibly difficult to read at parts and I'm glad that the author doesn't shy away from the truths of human nature. When things go wrong, there is no "happy" ending, but only an awareness of what the reader now feels.
- @Siri of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

n
NaMe24
Jul 01, 2018

I had a coworker who declared this not just to be her favorite book but an essential for anyone who enjoys reading and I couldn't agree more. For me personally, this book is written beautifully and tackles great themes of life, intelligence, and true perspective. Anyone who enjoys a written novel must take it upon themselves to get through this book once in their life.

t
toberhanno
Oct 19, 2017

Go with the original novella instead of any of its made-for-the-money adaptions. Not only is the original more heartbreaking than any of the adaptions, it’s more harrowing.

b
bell_ugh
Oct 15, 2017

Heart breaking and wonderful. Get those tissues out because you'll be sobbing 'til the end.

m
mammothhawk229e
Sep 08, 2017

Heartbreaking tale.

m
meggynbun
Jun 20, 2017

Extraordinary! Will wreak havoc with your emotions.

this is a classic children's story, filled with pathos. so good, only Old Yeller can compare.

s
Starpoem
May 07, 2017

I read the short story version of Flowers for Algernon years ago, and I find that I prefer that version over the full-length novel. The novel includes a lot of outdated psychobabble and strange sexual content. Still, the novel and the short story both make two very good points: that everyone's personhood should be respected and that the heart is just as important as the brain.

a
Alirox02
Apr 26, 2017

Amazing and thoughts provoking.

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readervpl
Nov 19, 2018

readervpl thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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bell_ugh
Oct 15, 2017

bell_ugh thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 99

Red_Dog_2036 Jun 25, 2014

Red_Dog_2036 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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TarannumSens
Dec 01, 2013

TarannumSens thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 99

tassat Nov 04, 2013

tassat thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

jack48 Aug 12, 2013

jack48 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 18

Moenoyesno Jul 31, 2013

Moenoyesno thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

black_panda_107 Jul 21, 2013

black_panda_107 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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Karlie85
Sep 21, 2010

Karlie85 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 14 and 99

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uhfrank
Apr 20, 2010

uhfrank thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 15 and 99

Quotes

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Reeana
Jul 08, 2015

"...Don't feel sorry for me. I'm glad I had a second chance in life like you said to be smart because I learned a lot of things that I never knew were in this world, and I'm grateful I saw it even for a little bit.”

r
Reeana
Jul 08, 2015

“That's the thing about human life--there is no control group, no way to ever know how any of us would have turned out if any variables had been changed.”

r
Reeana
Jul 08, 2015

“I am afraid. Not of life, or death, or nothingness, but of wasting it as if I had never been.”

r
Reeana
Jul 08, 2015

“Now I understand that one of the important reasons for going to college and getting an education is to learn that the things you've believed in all your life aren't true, and that nothing is what it appears to be.”

r
Reeana
Jul 08, 2015

“Thank God for books and music and things I can think about."

r
Reeana
Jul 08, 2015

“I don’t know what’s worse: to not know what you are and be happy, or to become what you’ve always wanted to be, and feel alone.”

Summary

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uhfrank
Apr 20, 2010

A mentally challenged man gets picked for a surgical procedure that allows his mind to keep the information he absorbs, which makes him become highly intelligent in such a short period of time. It deals with him looking to discover and understand himself.

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