Flowers for Algernon was first published as a short story, but soon received wide acclaim as it appeared in anthologies, as a television special, and as an award-winning motion picture, Charly. In its final, expanded form, this haunting story won the Nebula Award for the Best Novel of the Year. Through Jeff Woodman's narration, it now becomes an unforgettable audio experience.
©1966 Daniel Keyes; (P)1998 Recorded Books, LLC
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.
an excellent listen
Very well written and believable, a complete cycle.
When the hero lets out Algernon at the conference.
I would have liked to, but it was too long to do that.
I highly recommend this book.
Once I get through all my books I will listen to this one again. It was good, kept my interest.
Love the emotions that Charlie went through. I like the books ending better than the movies.
Jeff Woodman did a super job. Love his interpretation of all the people in the story.
Saw the movie many years ago and now listened to the book. Loved both.
I have read this book many times. It's a fascinating story of how scientists think they can improve a mentally challenged person's life by operating on him and raise his IQ. The best part for me was when Charlie Gordon realizes that he was a whole person even when he was still "retarded". Saw the movie years ago as well where some of the plot line was changed but still loved it as well.
Dreams of mice and men
In a league of its own, I have not been impressed with a book of this caliber since I have read it. I love this book
Do not have a particular scene, I just am I'm pressed with the whole story
I guess when he realized he was being used. Broke my heart. He was so sweet and innocent . I don't like giving the story away ?
I really think my heart just explodes at the end, I'm broken .
Still love the book.
A very good story. It is easy to recommend this book. It is classified as science fiction but really that isn't a fair way to group it. It is a book to stimulate the grey matter that asks you to suspended one small aspect of reality. That is, the idea that science has come up with a way to help those with intellectual disability. Not much to suspend there, it does seem like something science could achieve.
This is a book that pushes one to think. Not in a hard way, it isn't a difficult read/listen but there are ideas found within that cause one to adjust their perspective. That is true in the way you are placed inside the intellectually disabled person but there are also the many ramifications when that person is 'helped'.
For those wondering, this book does not feel dated. For the most part there wasn't technology discussed that would date it. It was written in a way that it feels current.
If you like uniqueness in you reading, this is a book you should read/listen to. For me anyway, it felt fresh. There are other books that come to mind that are similar but unique in their own way. A Clockwork Orange and Solaris are such books. Both opened my eyes to bigger questions.
If you have read and enjoyed The Curious Incident with the Dog in the Night-Time, you will like this book. Both allow you to spend a few days in the moccasins of someone quite different.
Book or audio? The narrator did an excellent job, he doesn't detract from the story.
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