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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.
PRAISE FOR FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON
"A tale that is convincing, suspenseful and touching."--The New York Times
"An ingeniously touching story . . . Moving . . . Intensely real."--The Baltimore Sun
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Great book. I'm just reading it for the first time as a young adult, and so far think it's brilliant.Published 6 days ago by Steve Hall
The story speaks to me on many different levels, and I found myself emotional as I came to the last few pages. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lucien Telford
Exceptional, mesmerizing, incredibly insightful. I can't recall ever being so captivated by the written word. Everyone able to read should read this book. Read morePublished 2 months ago by sosusume
I've wanted to read this forever, so finally did. Now I know what the fuss was all about. Everyone should read this book.Published 3 months ago by Ronnie Roberts
I found it amazing how the narrator's voice changed slowly as his intelligence rose and fell. You could feel nothing but compassion for Charlie, the main character, as he tried to... Read morePublished 4 months ago by stemacsand
Very interesting novel, but a little bit too long on quite a few chapters (repetition on the same subject),,,,,, from Clo in CanadaPublished 5 months ago by Claudette Hamel
Excellent read, well written. Really gives you a deeper vision that can illustrate the meaning of Plato's "Allegory of the cave".Published 7 months ago by Ryan McGimpsey
If I could I would give to the book thousands of stars. Every human has to read it.Published 7 months ago by Natasha.N