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Flowers for Algernon | Paperback

Released on 13 January 2000

Author: Daniel Keyes | Format: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 (2 customer reviews) | Write a review

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Classic novel of a daring experiment in human intelligence.

customer Reviews

 Average rating (2 reviews)

 One of the best books ever written - also for non-scifi fans

| | See all Rita1971's reviews (8)

This is a first person narrative that has been written as a series of progress reports from a deeply retarded man, who can barely be considered literate. His writing is fully of bad grammar and spelling mistakes. At first, if you are not prepared for it, this makes this book a little hard to read, and some passages even have to be re-read a couple of times before you understand it.

Our protagonist goes through experimental brain surgery, that has the effect of gradually increasing his intelligence to that of a genius. His change from a retarded to a genius is beautifully conveyed by his improved spelling, grammar, sentence constructions, reflections and the way he relates and connects to his surroundings (and also how they relate to him in return). His journey is a tragic one, filled with regrets, hopes and dreams.

This is one of the most heart-breaking stories that I have ever read. I read it first time in high school (the original short story) back in the late 80s/early 90s, and I haven't been able to let go of it since. This is one of those very rare books that just stays with you forever, weather you want it to or not. It's simply unforgettable, and it challenges you in more than one way. My praise could never do any justice to this masterpiece. You owe it to yourself to read it.

 A Must Read!

| | See all richardbutler1985's reviews (2)

This was a really good read and the style/format it was written in showcases the overall story and lets the reader engage with Charlie, the main character writing the entries, from the off.

I thought the idea of the progress reports was a great touch to put across the stages with which he is developing, starting with the ideal candidate in a low IQ willing participant all the way to super genius who becomes more intelligent than the collective group of scientists who are working on the project.

Overall it left me feeling sorry for Charlie as he wanted to partake in the operation to become more intelligent and meet and converse with people. He thought he had friends in the bakery where he worked but as his intelligence increased he became self-aware of past events with people from the bakery and also involving his childhood with his parents showing him that things were not always as he had previously interpreted. At the height of his intellectual powers it comes across that Charlie has an air of superiority to others which tilts the scales in the other direction and people become apprehensive around him due to his great intellect. There were very few moments which showed Charlie as fitting in and being happy, he always seemed to be the outsider.

Highly recommended.

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AuthorDaniel Keyes
PublisherOrion Publishing Co (GB)
FormatPaperback - 224 Pages