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Flowers For Algernon (S.F. MASTERWORKS) [Kindle Edition]

Daniel Keyes
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (297 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The classic novel about a daring experiment in human intelligence

Charlie Gordon, IQ 68, is a floor sweeper and the gentle butt of everyone's jokes - until an experiment in the enhancement of human intelligence turns him into a genius.

But then Algernon, the mouse whose triumphal experimental tranformation preceded his, fades and dies, and Charlie has to face the possibility that his salvation was only temporary.

Product Description

Amazon Review

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 a 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 realises 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 ...

A timeless tear-jerker with a terrific emotional impact, Flowers for Algernon is the 25th choice in the millennium SF Masterworks series. --David Langford

Book Description

One of the very best must-read SF novels of all time

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 539 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 015603008X
  • Publisher: Gateway; New Ed edition (15 Nov. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009ZG6YPU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (297 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,894 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 13 Jan. 2005
Flowers for algernon is one of the most amazing books i have ever read. Full Stop.
I picked it up just last week and read the whole thing within two days, thats just how great it is. The main storyline is that you have a main character, Charlie, who is mentally handicapped. He is given an operation to become more intelligent and the book goes on from there. The ascent from his stupidity to his intelligence is superbly written, showing you how he's learning to do more while not missing out the obvious part, that he's realized his friends aren't really his friends.
The story cannot and should not be told in a review like this, but i'd just like to say that i had tears in my eyes when i read the final few pages. Even though i was in the car with my parents at the time.
Only one more thing to say, just buy it
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61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime 16 Jan. 2006
Charlie Gordon, IQ 68, is a toilet cleaner at a bakery. After an experiment is done on him by the local University his IQ gradually increases in parallel with the test mouse, Algernon. However Algernon starts to display erratic behaviour which leads the super-intelligent Charlie to suggest both their intelligences will start to drop back to their previous levels.
Flowers for Algernon is in my opinion one of the greatest stories ever written. It is superbly told through Charlie’s diary entries which catalogue his days just before the experiment and the following months after it. We see the gradual improvement in his grammar, his spelling and punctuation and learn of his life through his dreams which he is instructed to write down. What is most compelling about the novel is the moral dilemma that is presented to the reader when Charlie becomes intelligent. In the beginning of the book he believes he has friends at the bakery whereas in actual fact they are gently mocking him. By the time he becomes intelligent however he is aloof and has no friends (make-believe or real). He also is incapable of certain emotions at this stage which poses the question at the end of the novel – at which stage was he better off?
This is rightly in the SF Masterwork series, it is my favourite book and has won the Hugo Award (as a short story) and Nebula award (as the full length novel).
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why don't they write like this anymore? 2 Feb. 2000
Normally wary of books billed as "classics," I bought this on a whim, not realising that I was picking up what would become the most poignant and moving story I have ever read. From the first words, I was gripped by the tale of Charlie Gordon, a clinical moron who is given genius level intelligence through the intervention of science. The story of his rise from intellectual stupor, and his subsequent fall, is written with heartbreaking depth and emotion from his perspective, and we are treated to a discourse on what it means to be human. This is a book that should be read by everyone. A superb novel, well-deserving of the "Masterwork" label.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A minor 20th Century classic 14 Nov. 2002
Charlie Gordon is a retard, but an operation boosts his intelligence so that he becomes a genius. However, it becomes clear that the operation might start regressing and he may end up as retarded as when he started. The story is skilfully told in diary form, with the writing accurately reflecting the mental ability of Gordon. We watch through Gordon’s eyes his mental ascent to unassailable heights; fumbling with his emotional development as it lags behind his intellect; coming to terms with his past….and brooding upon his eventual future. Although the story is sad on so many levels, the book is never depressing and always compelling. This is because Keyes is a writer of skill and subtlety, and deserves to be known to a wider audience than his narrow science fiction base. A minor 20th Century classic.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great 13 April 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Could have been mawkish and over-sentimental. Could have been overly simplistic in its message. Could easily be seen as an "ignorance is bliss" fable with little more to commend it than the fact that it asks us to be sympathetic toward those less fortunate than ourselves. It, to my mind, is none of those things.

Its genius lies in its narrative structure - at each dramatic turn it outwits any second-guessing you may have entered into regarding revelations about Charlie's past as well as any thoughts as to how his intelligence may progress. Charlie's progress is neither predictable nor ridiculously sentimental. Especially since - regardless of his eventual self-awareness - there is an all-pervasive naivety that (I can only imagine) must have been incredibly difficult for Keyes to convey as brilliantly as he does.

What's perhaps more important is not the emotional investment we get in the main character, but the depth and resonance found in the other key players - especially when this is given to us, at all times, by the (first) mentally challenged (then) emotionally awkward Charlie. It is perhaps best just to say that there are no real villains in the novel - just people being people. (I could write more here but it would spoil the plot).

Overall, it is a book that should make you think about your own mental and emotional development. Again, I don't want to plot-spoil but, if you ask me, one of the final comments regarding self-effacement is by far the most poignant and intelligent in the whole book.

Compulsive reading.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book
This is one of the most outstanding books of all time. The basic story is simple but the execution is brilliantly done. Read more
Published 1 day ago by janner37
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it
One of the most gripping stories ever. So good in so many aspects but the full version is really long. A must read
Published 3 days ago by Mr_W1ld
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most amazing books ever written (in a simple reader's view)
One of the most amazing books ever written (in a simple reader's view). I would put it up there with To Kill the Mockingbird and the Bible. Important, valid, moving, beautiful. Read more
Published 5 days ago by aneta
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 6 days ago by C. Cornish
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching and poignant
An emotional insight into human nature and the value (or danger) of knowledge. Would have been in tears at the end had I not been on public transport.
Published 8 days ago by charlie hemphrey
5.0 out of 5 stars One of those wonderful 'can't put down-ers'!
I can't say a bad thing about this book-gripping, poignant and memorable are just three of the adjectives I'd use to describe it. Read more
Published 17 days ago by lauren
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliantly written
Published 1 month ago by gary ewen
5.0 out of 5 stars A trooly owtstandin pees ov litratyur.
Phenomenal. A captivating psychological journey, told exquisitely.
Published 1 month ago by Callumnium
5.0 out of 5 stars Flowers for Algernon and Charlie
'Flowers For Algernon' is the story of Charlie Gordon, a thirty four year old man who works in a bakery. Charlie has a lower IQ than most people and is treated differently. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Paula Mc
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Original idea which is presented well.
Published 1 month ago by Felix the cat
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