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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly touching
There are those who have attempted the topic before, to show the good or ill about artificially increasing a man's intelligence, and they have all fallen by the wayside, forgotten entries in the arena of literature, all because they forgot one factor: love.

In Flowers for Algernon, Keyes shows us a man who is jolted out of his comfortable world of stupidity and...
Published on Sept. 15 1997

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Flowers For Algernon; The Real Deal
This novel had the potential to be an excellent book. Unfortunately the author did not use it all. As you start the novel you are refreshed by the reading a new plot which is not already a cliché. This novel is about a young retarded man who is given a chance to increase his intelligence through medical means. And as he takes his risk not only does he become...
Published on Dec 10 1999 by lisi


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly touching, Sept. 15 1997
By A Customer
There are those who have attempted the topic before, to show the good or ill about artificially increasing a man's intelligence, and they have all fallen by the wayside, forgotten entries in the arena of literature, all because they forgot one factor: love.

In Flowers for Algernon, Keyes shows us a man who is jolted out of his comfortable world of stupidity and finds his friends who were not as good as he thought they were, that all he thought was nothing more than a veiled illusion. And he copes, as everyone must, he copes and finds love and comes to term with himself.

Just in time for him to realize that his intelligence is only temporary. In the most heart wrenching scenes of the novel, the reader must witness his intelligence fading rapidly, each journal entry a little less exact, the spelling a tiny bit worse, until the book comes full circle and he is back where he started from, only having a wisdom that he cannot understand, or comprehend.
Touching, moving, Flowers for Algernon is all that and more, it is an epic of emotion, an opera of getting what you want most and then realizing that you might have been better off.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A touching, intelligent story, Aug. 17 2006
This review is from: Flowers for Algernon (Paperback)
This award-winning novel by Daniel Keyes is nearly perfect in its execution, with perhaps the minor quibble of some dated slang that's a slight detraction. But that alone is not enough to prevent the book from receiving a well-deserved five stars. Keyes doesn't hit a false note in his story of the rise and fall of Charlie, a mentally retarded custodian at a bakery who briefly becomes a towering genius thanks to an experimental brain operation, only to loose it all as the effects turn out to be temporary. Worse, Charlie's deterioration is beyond even his advanced abilities to stop or reverse it; he has to bear the slow terror of sliding back down to his previous diminished mental capacity, with the hint that he- like Algernon, the lab mouse of the book title that was first to benefit from the operation- might die too. Although considered by some to be a "just" a sentimental story with a tearjerk ending, Charlie is a fully realized character from start to finish, one whose plight keeps you turning the pages, which is why this novel rates so highly. If you're a new fan of science fiction, or just want to sample what the genre has to offer, Flowers for Algernon should be high on your "must read" list. A newer novel with a similar theme is An Audience for Einstein, another book with an emotionally charged, touching ending.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flowers For Algernon, Sept. 26 2005
This review is from: Flowers for Algernon (Mass Market Paperback)
This book was touching and meaningful. If you are a fan of faster paced books, this novel may not be for you. Flowers For Algernon moves relatively slowly, and readers grow attached to the main characters. Within the novel lies different messages concerning morals and everyday struggles.
Unique, and unlike any other books I have read before. You may want to pick it up and have a read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If I Could Give It Six Stars, I Would!!, May 25 2004
This review is from: Flowers for Algernon (Hardcover)
Along with John Updikes's "Rabbit Run" this is one of the great novels I have ever read. Period. Through the eyes and heart of Charlie Gordon, we see the best and the worst of humanity, we see a person with little resources available to him struggle with enormous challenges.
Thanks to a scientific invention that leads to a startling new procedure, Charlie's IQ raises from about 70 to over 300. It was interesting how getting smarter did not make Charlie any happier. He was probably happier mopping floors at the bakery than when he was able to understand "higher echelons" of society. The message of this book is that the goodness of the human heart can be pure regardless of educational level or intelligence.
I found most interesting how Charlie attempted to understand his earlier life as he gained more reflective abilities and how he attempted to understand his family. Also interesting...how he
attempted to understand women. As a lower functioning person, he barely grasped sexual politics if at all. When he is forced to understand, he still doesn't because he sees the old Charlie in himself no matter how smart he gets. He sees the old Charlie glaring at him in the mirror.
Even as he starts losing his intelligence because of a procedure that was not perfect, he still has the great desire to retain as much as he can, and to keep reading books, a brilliant way to say through a novel, that learning leads to more learning in life and you can never completely get back to where you were before, but hopefully always moving forward.
This, for me, made me more sure of my unconditional positive regard for humanity, especially the potential for learning and love that we all have. Charlie taught me a lot and I know he will teach you a lot too!(...)
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4.0 out of 5 stars A penny about thought, April 19 2004
By A Customer
(I just want to preface this by saying i've only read the short story, not the actual novel, but i felt i had to get some opinions out there, so take it or leave it)
I found this story fascinating, since intellegence has always been something i've been trying to figure out. When i was 10 or 11, i was told that i have a very high IQ (not newhere near genius, but high nonetheless). Over the years i came to realise that intellegence is highly over-rated. Our society places way to much of an importance on intellegence, even so much that people think that if you are more intellgent, you are a better person.It is helpful, sure, but no more so than many other things, and it most certainly DOESNT make you a better person than anyone else. Also, there is terrible discrimination against stupid poeple. I have a good friend who is, and he faces much the same things Charly does, though mostly behind his back. Its terrible!
Anyways, thanks for reading my random rant. I hope this was helpful at all, and p-lease read this sotry/book, its awesome
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5.0 out of 5 stars Flowers For Algernon, April 1 2004
By 
katrina (Cerritos, CA) - See all my reviews
Flowers For Algernon
By: Daniel Keyes
Reviewed by K. Wong
P.6
This book is about a 32 year old man named Charlie. He worked at a bakery. He wasn't like other people. Charlie wanted to learn how to read, write, and go to college. He would write in a journal everyday about what he's thinking. One day Charlie took a test to see if he can be operated on to be smarter. He did the operation and he tried doing some mazes with a mouse that had the same operation done to him. It took a long time to see if he was getting smarter. He still had to write in the journal everyday. Before the operation was done, his writing was weird but a few weeks after the operation was finished, his writing got better.
I like this book because it's about a person who really wants to learn something. He wanted to get smart and go to college. There was an operation done to him so he would get smarter. Everyday that he writes in his journal you can see he is getting smart because his spelling and grammar is improving. That was the first time that experiment has been done to a person.
"He sed sit down Charlie and make yourself cunfortible and relax." This is what Charlie wrote in his second entry before he was operated on. "As far as I can tell, in the daysbefore the operation, I never really understood what planes were." That was a quote after the operation was done.
My favorite part in the book is when they start doing the operation on him. A few days after he has to listen to a TV that helps you learn. It teaches you in your sleep too. I also like the part where his co-workers try to get Charlie in trouble with the boss. They try getting him in trouble by telling him to make dough when he isn't suppose to touch that machine to make dough. Charlie starts making the dough then Charlie's boss walks in and Charlie did a good job in making dough.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Flowers For Algernon, April 1 2004
By 
katrina (Cerritos, CA) - See all my reviews
Flowers For Algernon
By: Daniel Keyes
Reviewed by K. Wong
P.6
This book is about a 32 year old man named Charlie. He worked at a bakery. He wasn't like other people. Charlie wanted to learn how to read, write, and go to college. He would write in a journal everyday about what he's thinking. One day Charlie took a test to see if he can be operated on to be smarter. He did the operation and he tried doing some mazes with a mouse that had the same operation done to him. It took a long time to see if he was getting smarter. He still had to write in the journal everyday. Before the operation was done, his writing was weird but a few weeks after the operation was finished, his writing got better.
I like this book because it's about a person who really wants to learn something. He wanted to get smart and go to college. There was an operation done to him so he would get smarter. Everyday that he writes in his journal you can see he is getting smart because his spelling and grammar is improving. That was the first time that experiment has been done to a person.
"He sed sit down Charlie and make yourself cunfortible and relax." This is what Charlie wrote in his second entry before he was operated on. "As far as I can tell, in the daysbefore the operation, I never really understood what planes were." That was a quote after the operation was done.
My favorite part in the book is when they start doing the operation on him. A few days after he has to listen to a TV that helps you learn. It teaches you in your sleep too. I also like the part where his co-workers try to get Charlie in trouble with the boss. They try getting him in trouble by telling him to make dough when he isn't suppose to touch that machine to make dough. Charlie starts making the dough then Charlie's boss walks in and Charlie did a good job in making dough.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Flowers For Algernon, A Book for the Dreamers, Jan. 10 2004
Flowers for Algernon was a very unique book, and I have never read anything of the like. It was an amazing story, one which I greatly enjoyed. Although not one of the best books I have ever read, it can easily be compared to many of my favorites. It's a book that makes you think, that creates many feelings inside of you. A book that leaves you without a sense of fulfillment, that there should be something more, that you want more. Many of the most brilliant stories I have ever read end like this, one of the reasons that makes it so magical. The ending leaves you begging for more, except that there is none. You have to create any more from your own imagination. If you have no imagination, then this kind of story would be near pointless for you to read. But, if you are one of those with a very avid imagination, then Flowers for Algernon would be a perfect book for you. It is not a diffucult book, and would probably take you only a few days to read or less, but is has a story that you will think over and remember for years to come.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and very original, Dec 12 2003
I'm not a big fan of science fiction. Although this is classified as science fiction, it isn't the type of book that could easily fit into one specific genre. It raises philosophical questions about the nature of knowledge,genetic engineering, and the human spirit.
The plot is fairly straightforward. Charlie is a mentally challenged man who works in a bakery and remembers little about his real family. He attends classes at a special education center for adults. Through this center he meets Professor Nemur and Dr. Strauss. They preform an operation that alters his cpacity to abosrb and understand information, giving him a "super genius" I.Q.
The book is written from Charlie's perspective and follows his mental state from an eager, well-meaning, mentally challenged man, to a cynical, super-intelligent observer of human folly. The transformation in Charlie's emotinal state as well as his overall capacity to understand the world is what makes Flowers for Algernon so fascinating. I also found Charlie's recollections about his family very revealing. Through his memories, the reader is able to witness how a strugging family deals with having a mentally challenged child. His mother was an especially interesting character. I thought one of the best scenes in the book is when he goes back to confront her after "becoming smart". I had one image in my mind of what his mother would be like, but then when he met her in person I was amazed at just how frail and utterly human she actually was. The role reversal between Charlie and his mother and sister after his transformation is astounding. The ending of the book brought me to tears. I was really moved by the author's ability to capture the delicacy of the human mind as well as the stregnth of the spirit.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the few truly moving novels I've read, Nov. 12 2003
By 
dan (Livonia, MI) - See all my reviews
So a good friend of mine told me about this book called Flowers For Algernon. I had never heard of it, but he said it was really good and recommended it to me. I asked a few other friends, and naturally, they had already read it in like seventh grade. I'm thinking, what the [heck], why haven't I read this book. So I picked it up from my college library, and good God, this book is amazing. The story is narrated by the main character, Charlie, a mentally retarded adult who is part of an experiment that involves surgery on the brain that makes him extremely intelligent. The book is written in the form of Charlie's "progress reports," and is a very original and emotional story. The story starts out with Charlie as he is before the operation, and he explains the procedure by telling the effects it has on a lab mouse that he likes, named Algernon. As the reader gets further into the novel, Charlie's narration gets much more intelligent, and rather than looking and reading like something written by a little kid, it reads and looks like a novel. From then on, the story takes the reader through an emotional journey with Charlie as he learns about his life, his family, love, and who he really is. Author Daniel Keyes creates the most original story and the most wonderful character in literature with Flowers For Algernon, and I highly recommend that you get this book.
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Flowers for Algernon
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (Mass Market Paperback - June 15 2004)
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