This is a beautifully written book, and even if you know how it is going to end it is a joy to hear how the author creates the arc of Charlie's experience. The narrator does a fine job of creating the characters in the story, but mostly in finding the perfect voice for Charlie each step of the way.
An absolutely fantastic read. Other reviews have given excellent outlines of the plot and topics addressed in this title, so I won't repeat them here.
We may have come along way in how we treat people with disabilities since this book was first published, but in some ways we haven't moved forward at all. Imparticular, how people view others with intellectual disabilities has not really changed that much.
This book will make you reflect on some many levels. For one thing, getting what we always desire doesn't necessarily make us any happier. How we treat and perceive people who are "different" can have both positive and negative affects on these people, but also can affect us even more profoundly.
Read this book, you won't regret it.
Retired to mountains of California. Sell on eBay as Prsilla. No TV. Volunteer in wildlife rehab. Knit, sew or embroider while listening.
Not an easy listen, but so worthwhile! Maybe the second listen will be better because one knows where it's going. I was not comfortable listening. Things could have gone so many ways. Still, heartbreaking, unforgettable and beautifully written. Jeff Woodman is marvelous.
The magic of this story is in the development, the progression, of Algernon; his growth from fumbling retard (perhaps a politically incorrect word, but precise to the time of the book) to an eloquent adult and beyond. It's incredible to hear this development, as read by Woodman, and I can't imagine it being as incredible of a journey had I had to read it myself, trying to manage the right pronunciation...
I love how this book develops, as simple as that. You see the world as Algernon sees it in every step and it's incredible to see the same world from so many different perspectives.
This story is not light and entertaining, but I am glad that I listened to it. It really did make me think about how society sees persons with mental challenges, or any types of handicaps or differences for that matter. It also said a lot about how important companionship and friendships are. Don't expect to feel better after listening to this book - it's not a feel-good book - but I think it's worth listening to.
This is the first fiction I've listened to and its a bit difficult to rate it against a book on say: "Quantum Mechanics." I'm going to start reading a lot more fiction. This book was an insightful joy.
It's a bit late for that.
I loved "Charlie" the movie but the saying was never truer: The book was better.
This book is often described as science fiction but personally I regard it as a novel with the plot being driven by one key fictional scientific advancement.
Charlie is by far the driving force of this novel and as such is the focus of positive attention.
I'm thrilled by Woodman's relatively straight interpretation of Charlie. I was worried I would be unable to listen to this if it was narrated by someone pretending to be retarded.
There was a film made of this book. It was a very watered down version of the story but still a good film.
There is a technical issue in the recording. I assume the original recording was done on tape. There is a kind of feedback that has this ethereal tape echo vibe to it. It is only really noticeable during the pauses between some sentences but it is still present enough to avoid being ignored.
The movie of this book obviously was wonderful. That is why I waned to get this selection. But for once, the movie was more enjoyable. Cliff Robertson's portrayal of the experimental subject was warm, a character you really would like. In the book, this character did not seem to enjoy the gift he was given. He was angry, driven to the degree that he did not become a nice person. Granted I am not going to tell an author how to do it better, but I just could not becme sympathetic to the main character.
Avid reader all of my life! Favorite author is Stephen King! Favorite book is Hyperion-read/listen to it!
What this book does best is take the reader into a very plausible and realistic first person perspective. The protagonist, Charlie, and a lab mouse both undergo an experimental procedure to determine if their intellect can be increased.
The character of Charlie starts out as a very slow-witted person and the writing conveys that expertly. The reader actually feels as if they are in the mind of a dullard. As the procedure takes effect, Charlie becomes increasingly smarter such that he surpasses the intellect of the scientists studying him. And the writing again convincingly conveys that transformation.
A brilliant story ahead of its time, perhaps even ahead of the present time.
when the sum of the parts, story, narration, come together to make the whole greater. This story is incredible and connected on deep level emotionally.