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Flowers for Algernon

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

64 out of 69 people found this review helpful.

Flowers For Algernon Book Review

Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes is a powerful, original story and remains as relevant today as when it was written. I first read this book in the 70's and loved it, and I again "found" the book when my teen daughter read it and found it equally touching. The story...
Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes is a powerful, original story and remains as relevant today as when it was written. I first read this book in the 70's and loved it, and I again "found" the book when my teen daughter read it and found it equally touching. The story starts with a mentally challenged man named Charlie Gordon, who is made fun of and bullied. The author does a great job creating sympathy in the reader's mind for this kind spirited man, who considers the bullies his friends. All Charlie wants is to be "normal". When Charlie is given an opportunity to become smarter, he takes it because he believes he could be happier. Soon he does become smarter, but instead of becoming happier he realizes that his friends were not laughing with him, but laughing at him. With intelligence, Charlie is able to see a cruelty in people that he was previously unaware existed. A most poignant moment in the book is when Charlie realizes the experiment may not be successful. Charlie has to grapple with the quality of his existence, and whether his temporary abilities will be worth the pain of loss if his intelligence turns out to be temporary. I would most definitely recommend this book because Daniel Keyes will create such strong feelings within you, the story will stay with you for years to come.

posted by PhronsieRose on April 21, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

14 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

Didn't enjoy it. Flowers for Algernon is a very well-written boo

Didn't enjoy it.
Flowers for Algernon is a very well-written book with a unique story line. However, I did not like this book. Nothing about this book made me enjoy reading it. The story line was too depressing. I do not like reading about a mentally disabled boy who st...
Didn't enjoy it.
Flowers for Algernon is a very well-written book with a unique story line. However, I did not like this book. Nothing about this book made me enjoy reading it. The story line was too depressing. I do not like reading about a mentally disabled boy who struggles in life. Even though Charlie's IQ level did raise, he regressed. Overall, it was just hard to dedicate my full attention towards such a dull, sad book.

posted by 17932598 on April 19, 2012

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  • Posted April 19, 2012

    My Review Flowers For Algernon was a very well-rounded book, unt

    My Review
    Flowers For Algernon was a very well-rounded book, until the ending. The ending was the only part that i did not like about it because Charlie, the main character, started regressing after all that he had been through. If the end had another alternate ending, it would deserve all 5-out-of-5 stars. Besides the ending, the whole book was very well. It had a well structure and storyline. Everybody should read this book because it teaches you that God has made you a certain way and everybody is different in their own special way.

    9 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2012

    Flowers for Algernon is about a thirty seven year old man that i

    Flowers for Algernon is about a thirty seven year old man that is mentally challenged. Flowers for Algernon explains how Charlie Gordon and a mouse Algernon contempt to create a relationship. Charlie Gordon has a theory of becoming smart like other humans. He was picked on for the task he lives for. Reading this book make others, and I feel that you can not judge people from how the act, because honestly, they can come out to be really sweet and kind. Personally, I believe also that the book approved all the goals and achievements, due to the fact it may be rather harsh for someone who gets emotionally thrown around. I will not give the common topic of the book away but, to I, I would not say I loved the book, but if you're interested for a emotional and touching book I would recommend Flowers for Algernon.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2012

    Flowers for Algernon is about, a 37 years olds man that is menta

    Flowers for Algernon is about, a 37 years olds man that is mentally challenged. This book talks about an experimental surgery that can increase intelligence, that has been proved to make one mouse called Algernon. The experiment had never been tried on a human. Charlie gordon a mentally challenge adult had been chosen for the surgery. The way the story in first person through a daily report.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2012

    Flowers For Algernon is a wonderful book to read. I recmand this

    Flowers For Algernon is a wonderful book to read. I recmand this book for ages up to 12 and older to read. This book talks about how people have difternt IQ's. Like for Charile he has a very low IQ. Like for me I may have a high one. Charile & Algernon had make a geart pair by working together. They both work had to win during the maze. When he works at the bakerie those people make fun of him and that isn't right. Just because there is something wrong inside of his head don't mean that you can go and make fun of someone and hurt there fellings. No one really did not care what they did to poor Charile until he got smart. Then when he stared loseing his ablity to be smart, he cought on to what the doctor was saing at the persation. He got up there on stage and made that doctor look like a fool. He was tried of being lied to. I would really had been tried of b eing lied to too/.


    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2008

    inspirational, captivating, pivotal. This book has it all.

    Some people think the way God made us was how we were supposed to be. We were made to be who we were and there was nothing to change that, but according to two scientists in search of wealth and praise, Strauss and Nemur make an attempt at transforming the human mind into an infinite abyss of knowledge capable of no learning boundaries. Hastily developed, their brain operation could do things to the human mind that many people never thought possible, even if for only a short while.<BR/><BR/>The operation had proved to make one special mouse, Algernon, into a maze-running, mouse-genius, but had never been tried on a human. Here enters Charlie Gordon, a mentally handicapped adult who tells the story from his perspective through daily ¿progris riports,¿ as he so titles them. Early reports show Charlie¿s eagerness to learn and vividly display his interactions with Algernon as they form a bond for each other. <BR/><BR/>Eventually, Charlie¿s expanding knowledge surpasses his ability to cope with the emotional side of himself. He doesn¿t understand why the college students he argues with for hours and Miss Kinnian, his teacher and first love, soon turn away from him. Charlie is faced with the harsh realization that even though he desired to be smart, maybe it wasn¿t how he was made to be. <BR/><BR/>Soon Algernon begins to regress into his original mental state. Would Charlie¿s path follow that of Algernon or would the operation prove to be a final solution to the ¿problem¿ Strauss and Nemur attempt to ¿fix.¿ If he does end up regressing to his previous being will everything return to normal? Is it possible that after the operation he is left even more handicapped? The ending will surprise you and depending on your ability to keep it together, may leave you in tears, or at least with watery eyes.<BR/> <BR/> Despite the ending, I was impressed with the style Keyes uses to portray Charlie¿s progress. Throughout Flowers for Algernon, the great improvement in grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure show just how quickly Charlie progresses. In the brief four-month period of intellectual growth, Charlie learns concepts that take normal humans all of twelve years of schooling to master and Keyes¿ daily progress reports clearly show this improvement even from one day to the next. After the operation, Charlie often has flash backs to his childhood where he finally understands the events that have happened to them and has his eyes opened to the mistreatment he received. Before he thought his coworkers from the bakery were friends and paid him attention because they liked him and thought he was funny but after the flashbacks, he realizes that they weren¿t laughing with him, yet laughing at his incompetence to do any normal task. My eyes were opened to some of this mistreatment displayed towards the mentally handicapped through Flowers for Algernon and if you are up for a thrilling page-turner that will open your eyes, broaden your horizons, and make you realize things you never knew as you accompany Charlie on his intellectual journey, then I strongly recommend Keyes¿ novel.<BR/>READ MORE REVIEWS LIKE THIS AT www.notrequiredreading.com!

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2013

    IF you had the opportunity to change something that will change

    IF you had the opportunity to change something that will change your life not knowing whether the results would be successful or not, would you still take advantage of that opportunity? In “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes the author introduces this science fiction book with a strong human story about science and relationships. The main character, Charlie is a 32- year old with an IQ of 68 who works at a bakery . The book is written as a series of journal entries in which Charlie writes them. Words are misspelled, ideas are vague, and relationships are simple. Charlie Gordon’s life is about to change. He was born with as unusually low IQ and  is going to take part of an experiment that will change his life.Charlie gets permission from his family in order for him to get the experimental operation. This operation becomes a research for a university in which Dr. Staggers takes in charge of. This operation initiates with a white mouse named Algernon. Charlie starts racing Algernon with a maze of his own. At the beginning of the book Algernon always beats Charlie in which makes Charlie think more about how he wants to be like everyone else and become smart. He brings his hopes up with this operation. When he finally gets the operation many things happen but Algernon gets the same type of operation first in order for doctors to see if the operation will be successful or not.Charlie has to write progress reports so the doctors can keep track of what is going on in his head. Finally little by little Charlie starts to become smarter and he reaches an IQ of 185 in matter of weeks. Now Charlie soars Algernon and wins all the time when him and Algernon race in the maze. When Charlie becomes more intelligent he realizes many things that hurt him emotionally. Like that fact that he realized that the people he called friends laughed at him because of his disability. During that period of time he also starts to realize and have flashbacks about his childhood. That makes him remember how his mother was ashamed of him and how he was treated by her. But now that he has had this operation he is able to look back at their situations and realize what was going on. The smarter he becomes the more he starts to realize things that affect him emotionally. Charlie learns what true love is when he starts to fall in love with his teacher Alice. He also learns what physical love is as he comes in contact with his artistic neighbor, Fay. Charlie also learns the pain relational love with friends and family when they back away from him.This book starts with a slow plot that becomes dull because it then becomes predictable with what the main character is going to say. This changes when the plot picks up after the operation happens and becomes more riveting. That is when most of the interesting parts of the book are and many things happen to Charlie. This book has a very unique because of the way this story is written that makes it effective. This book is written exactly as Charlie thinks and talks. At times this book is a bit slow, because his transformation takes time but overall it is a great story with a great purpose that the author brings up since it can be about to many things. Figurative language in this book is great to the point of imagining every detail. It becomes very clever. The characters are all interesting they mostly all play an interesting role in the book and they all have something to do with Charlie. Some more significant than others. Most of the characters are complex and credible specially the main character. That is because if his whole transformation. The purpose of this book is that science doesn't always solve everything because its not always going to be effective. It's also to value navy things in life. This book has many life lessons in which we can all learn from. It's a great book and a classic. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2012

    Great Read

    So my school read this book a while ago and i absolutely loved it. It was a great raed and would recomend it for fundamental or school relate reading. Hha what other read is there?

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2012

    i likes this story it was good and others may like it to.

    i likes this story it was good and others may like it to.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2012

    I think Flowers for Algernon is a very well-written book. I pers

    I think Flowers for Algernon is a very well-written book. I personally think Charlie was treated in a very negative way and his &quot;friends&quot; should have understood he was going through a touch time in his life. He didn't choose to be that way. He just wanted to be normal. I know it is just a book, but I think that every human being should be treated with respect. Charlie never got the respect that he deserved. He didn't know right from wrong. It is a very touching book. It really touched my soul.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2011

    Must Read

    This heartwarming tale by Daniel Keyes is one of my favorites. The excitement flows from page to page and it is all summed up in a surprise ending that will bring you to tears. This novel has romance, humor, sorrow, and hate all in one story. Kind of what I would call a love story with a twist. This book allows the reader to make connections with the characters which draws the reader into the action of the book.
    This story is about a man named Charlie with a low IQ of 68. He is made fun of and doesn¿t even realize it. Then he is given the chance to make a big change in his life and become what he has always wanted to be, smart. At this point he meets a mouse named Algernon and they become best friends. Now that he has changed, everything else changes too. He starts to fall in love with his tutor, Miss. Kinnian, and have feelings and opinions on things. He becomes ¿the new Charlie¿ and no one likes it. What he thought he wanted and thought would make him happy, normal, and loved did the opposite. His life began taking a nose dive from there. You start feeling sorry for Charlie and become sad for him. The end brought me to tears. At first I couldn¿t believe what had just happened, I was in shock. Then my brain caught up and I was in tears. Charlie was making decisions on spur of the moment feelings and I wanted to stop him but couldn¿t.
    Altogether ¿Flowers for Algernon¿ was a great book. I loved the romance, action, humor, and sorrow that made the book what it is. Daniel Keyes had a way of making the situation come alive; it hit you in the face and suddenly became real for you. You were able to relate to the characters and get to know them as well as you know your best friend, which helped you better understand the novel. It is a must read in my opinion
    This novel is a love story with a twist. The situations are real and the characters are well described. It is a very good book for people ageing middle school through adult to read. I don¿t think that elementary kids could fully grasp the concept well enough to get the full effect. So next time you are at a book store don¿t miss out on your opportunity to read this novel. It will change your outlook on life and people with disabilities, and it will also warm your heart. I hope you get the chance to read this wonderful piece of art.
    I strongly recommend this book for middle school kids through adults. It is a very heartwarming story of romance and sorrow. I would give this book four out of five stars because it can be confusing at times when Charlie is writing. Other than that it is a very good book. I hope you get the chance to read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 6, 2009

    A truly touching book

    This book was truly touching, the characters make this book. I fell in love with all of them. Some make you think about crulty, or innocents or freedom of personality. It makes you believe that intelligents is not by any stretch of the imagination the most importent thing.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2015

    Highly recommended

    Awesome book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2014

    Kaito's bio

    Name: Kaito


    Age: looks 18




    Gender: male




    Looks: he is muscular, pale, and tall (about 6'7"). He has black hair with a bang covering his left eye. His eyes are two different colors, the right one is red and the left one is a red violet. He keeps that one covered for a reason. He wears a lot of beanies, mostly black ones. He wears all black cloths, usually a black shirt, trench coat, blak skinny jeans, black boots, a chain that connects his wallet to his belt loop, and fingerless gloves.




    Personality: he is kind once you get to know him but he is really blunt.




    History: he doesnt like talking about it




    Status: single




    Other: idk

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2014

    It was the best book ever. Charlie Gordon is slow. His co-worker

    It was the best book ever. Charlie Gordon is slow. His co-workers pick on him. He has an operation. He becomes smarter. He loses his intelligence and moves away. It was a great book. It was a little bit funny. The operation part was weird. Besides that it was once again a great book. I think that everyone should read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2014

    A man who is mentally slow wants to be like anybody else but no

    A man who is mentally slow wants to be like anybody else but no matter how hard he tries he cant. So he gets surgery to make him smarter so he can be like everybody else. Once he gets smarter he realizes all of the animals that had the surgery got dumber so it slowly happens to him and he runs away so he doesn’t get pity from everybody.
    This book is really good. I would refer it to anybody. Even though it never happened it would be terrible if it did.
    This book is really good anybody could read it. Is really deep and intense in some parts. Over all it was touching what somebody would do to be as smart his friends.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2014

    A grown man has a brain problem. He goes to a lab to race a mous

    A grown man has a brain problem. He goes to a lab to race a mouse. After a few days he goes back to the lab to get the operation. After the operation a few days after recovery he gets smart. After all of that he goes to the lab and finds out that the Algernon died from the operation. Days after the mouse dies Charlie starts to forget things. He knows he will end up like the mouse. He starts to become stupid again. Charlie leaves out of town. I like the book, because it sort of teaches us a lesson. The book tells us about a stupid guy who becomes smart. Charlie finally beats the mouse in a race. The ending is very sad.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2014

    This is something you would want to read if you are thinking abo

    This is something you would want to read if you are thinking about reading Flowers for Algernon. It tells about the book. It tells the purpose of the book. It describes what you get from reading the book. The book is about a man who is dumber than normal. He gets a surgery to become smarter. The story shows his feeling and thoughts before and after the surgery. It shows how the surgery affects him. I thought that it was a good book. It wasn’t my favorite book though. I feel this way because it really wasn’t my style. It wasn’t super interesting. I think that it would be an enjoyable book to read. The book described many descriptive details about his thoughts and feelings. I thought the book was very carefully written. The importance of the book is for you to realize what it would be like to unnaturally develop intelligence.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2014

    Tear's bio

    Name: Tear
    Looks: black hair res highlights
    Dark blue eyes with a speck of green around her pupil turn red when mad.
    One tattoo a rose on lower back.
    Personality: distant can be rude but when you know her she is nice still dangerous.
    Kin:unkown

    History: once upon a time .........I'm not telling you

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  • Posted January 3, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Good and Sad Book My husband┬┐s not a reader. At all. But, for y

    Good and Sad Book

    My husband’s not a reader. At all. But, for years he’s been bugging me to read this book, so I finally decided to take his advice and take the plunge. I can’t decide whether I want to smack him or hug him for making me read it. I want to hug him because it was so good, but I want to smack him because it left me in emotional turmoil and he wouldn’t wake up at 2:00 am to discuss my feelings about the book. And then, when I attempted to explain my feelings to him the next morning (with tears in my eyes), he laughed at me and proceeded to tell me that the reason he doesn’t like to read is because he read this book and it’s just so darned depressing. So like I said, I’m not sure which reaction is best. One thing that is in favor of hugging versus smacking him is that I am not averse to sad books and loved Flowers for Algernon.




    Before jumping into a discussion about it, I’d like to preface this review with the fact that I hate diary books. I hate books that are written in the style of a child or with a lot of slang and those that are structured by diary entries rather than normal chapters.  I couldn’t get into Room or The Help or Precious, but because my husband was so adamant that I read this book, I suffered through the style and ended up loving the book. Part of the reason is that, aside from the fantastic story, the writing style became easier to understand as the book progresses.




    In case you’ve been living under a rock (as I had been), Flowers for Algernon is about a mentally impaired adult who undergoes an experimental surgery to make him a genius. As he learns more and more about the world, he surpasses his peers in all things intellectual but remains the same emotionally. But is this necessarily a good thing? That depends on who you ask and when you ask them. Before the surgery, Charlie Gordon was living blissfully unaware of many of the world’s injustices, including people’s treatment of him, but after the surgery his eyes were opened and everything he thought he knew about life changed. Much like Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, which is referenced in the book, the question remains whether it is better to live in the dark or be blinded by the light.




    There are a million reasons to read this book. It’s well-written, it’s a good story, the characters are fantastic, and Charlie Gordon is an excellent protagonist. But, the number one reason to read this book has nothing to do with the story. Instead, it’s for the way it will leave you when it’s over. This is not a book that can be easily moved on from and it left me pondering the issues it addresses for days. Is it better to live in ignorance? And once you know, is it your duty to do something about the injustices of the world? Do we have a responsibility to others? What are the ethical obligations of scientists who use human test subjects? Should we value intelligence over all other achievements? These are just some of the questions I was left asking myself.




    Like I said, this book left me with a lot of questions about life in general, many of which I am still mulling over and don’t have the answers to. But I do know that they are worth asking and that I’m grateful to this book for the reminder.

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  • Posted November 30, 2013

    I read this book a couple of years ago. I had seen the movie Cha

    I read this book a couple of years ago. I had seen the movie Charlie when I was young, but this was the first time I read the book. It was a great book--completely enthralling. I would recommend it highly to anyone. There are a few issues here and there--sex and some language issues--but Danile Keyes indeed wrote a book that truly captured the mind of the main character.

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