Flowers for Algernon

Flowers for Algernon

eBook - 1966
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Oscar-winning film Charly starring Cliff Robertson and Claire Bloom-a mentally challenged man receives an operation that turns him into a genius...and introduces him to heartache.
Publisher: New York, Harcourt, Brace & World [1966]
ISBN: 9780547539638
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc
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k
kaitoryn
Aug 22, 2020

A book involving a slow-witted man and a few mice? No, this is not Of Mice and Men, but rather a story that grants its dense main character an intelligence that surpasses all.
Flowers for Algernon takes the form of Charlie’s progress reports, jarring readers with questionable spelling and grammar at the very beginning. After he receives the surgery that is supposed to make him smarter, Charlie’s writing skills immensely improve within a short amount of time, and it is gratifying to witness his exploration of new knowledge. His mental capacity even expands to the extent where he is able to fully understand academic papers in multiple languages, and the Charlie before the surgery is almost unrecognizable.
I particularly enjoyed how the author emphasizes that although Charlie transforms into a highly intelligent individual, it does not magically make his life easier; his troubles with his past and his emotional immaturity still haunt him. The only difference is now Charlie is able to recognize that they exist. Furthermore, I liked the story's discussion of the illusion of intelligence, which is exemplified by Charlie’s peers as he becomes knowledgable in various academic subjects.
Although I wasn't graced with intense emotion at the end of the book like many other readers, it was truly a thought-provoking, entertaining experience witnessing Charlie’s elevator ride up to the top floor of human intelligence.

k
karyn8787
Aug 04, 2020

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes is a beautiful and heart-wrenching story centering around a mouse, Algernon, and a mentally disabled man, Charlie. At first, Charlie lived a simple life, he swept the floors of a bakery and he did not have many other aspirations due to his much below average IQ. However, an experiment on Algernon occurs that results in the mouse’s increased intelligence. The experiment moves to human trials and Charlie participates. This newfound intelligence dramatically changes Charlie’s life and we explore his experiences through a series of his journal entries.
I was an emotional wreck after reading Flowers for Algernon. There are truly no words to describe the vast array of feelings conveyed in this novel. It is a story of hope, joy, and perseverance but also about ignorance and lies. However, most importantly, it is a story of humanity. Charlie’s experiences present the idea that intelligence comes at a price and raises the question of whether ignorance is truly bliss. What makes Charlie’s story so unique is that while he becomes this person of unsurmountable intelligence, he still has the brain of a child as he has never had much significant life experience. I cannot stress enough that Flowers for Algernon is a must-read for all people. It will make you feel emotions you don't even know you have and truly change your perspective on so many issues in life.

t
Trang_p
Jul 17, 2020

I can only give this book 4.5 stars because it made me cry so much! Heartbreaking and so emotional.

m
mylindatran
Jun 11, 2020

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes is a great book if you are looking for something that can hook you in from the first page. Often considered a literary classic, Flowers for Algernon entails the day to day diary entries of Charlie Gorden, a patient that has undergone surgery that promises to increase his intelligence. The intricacies of the stories and deep meaningful narration take you to emotions that can't be explained by just words. Though the conclusion of the novel is expected, the execution of it manages to provoke extreme reflection and emotion. This is a book that makes you think, one that can possibly change your life if you really look deeper into the morals and lessons intertwined within it.

s
samuelbrice32
Mar 31, 2020

Absolute favorite book in the world, extremely cleverly written

s
soccerkid89
Feb 18, 2020

This was another book I also read in English class. It was part of the course in this one a guy wants to become a genius and when he does it makes his life from good to bad.

t
the_axolotl
Oct 09, 2019

Heart breaking and wonderful.

There's 2 reasons why school only lets you read a shorter, edited version.
1) An inappropriate scene
2) There's not enough money in the school budget to cover 100 boxes of tissues

If you are reading at home, get those tissues out because you'll be sobbing 'til the end.

k
kmobuckeye
Feb 24, 2019

An interesting and heartbreaking story

n
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

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k
kaitoryn
Aug 28, 2020

kaitoryn thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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karyn8787
Aug 04, 2020

karyn8787 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

t
the_axolotl
Jul 06, 2020

the_axolotl thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

t
the_axolotl
Oct 15, 2017

the_axolotl 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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Quotes

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k
kaitoryn
Aug 16, 2020

[I]ntelligence and education that hasn’t been tempered by human affection isn’t worth a damn.

k
kaitoryn
Aug 16, 2020

Even a feeble-minded man wants to be like other men. A child may no know how to feed itself, or what to eat, yet it knows hunger.

k
kaitoryn
Aug 16, 2020

How strange it is that people of honest feelings and sensibility, who would not take advantage of a man born without arms or legs or eyes–– how such people think of nothing of abusing a man born with low intelligence.

k
kaitoryn
Aug 16, 2020

He reminds me that language is sometimes a barrier instead of a pathway.

r
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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u
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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