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.
How do you know what's going on in the mind of someone who has limited intelligence? This book gives powerful insight into that experience -- and the prejudices that accompany such a life. Yes, this is a winner of a book.
Researcher/oral historian and fitness enthusiast from Austin, TX, currently residing in San Diego. I love to read, but traditional books require a person to be sedentary while reading. Audio books make it possible for me to increase both my physical activity and reading quantity.
Profound and thought provoking. Each minute is worth every penny and more. There's no way you can not love this book.
The way the author deviled right in and got into the real way people are. How we all behave unless we have checks and balances. How at times even the best of us forget to be compassionate but that we can always find our way back.
There were so many great moments in the story. Perhaps it's when Charlie went back to the classroom just before the end.
With the story being so sad I don't think I could have read the book, I may not have been able to listen to the book if there wasn't such warmth in the voices Jeff gave each of the actors.
It made me cry. We all have had good and bad experiences but unless there is a fatal illness we don't watch our-self fall quite the way Charlie does.
Worth the listen but not if you are in a down mood. There are times it is so sad it can be hard to keep one's self up.
Awakenings is a 1990 film based on the British neurologist Oliver Sacks' 1973 true story about his use of L-Dopa to wake catatonic victims of the encephalitis lethargica epidemic of the 1920's. Even though Flowers for Algernon appeared first in 1958 as a short story and therefore preceded Dr. Sack's account, all I could think is, this is just a retold Awakenings. I was continually distracted by the comparison. Therefore, since the story line was not a fresh one for me, and even though I thought it well written, I could not give it more than 3 stars.