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Flowers for Algernon Audiobook

Flowers for Algernon

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Publisher's Summary

Charlie Gordon knows that he isn't very bright. At 32, he mops floors in a bakery and earns just enough to get by. Three evenings a week, he studies at a center for mentally challenged adults. But all of this is about to change for Charlie. As part of a daring experiment, doctors are going to perform surgery on Charlie's brain. They hope the operation and special medication will increase his intelligence, just as it has for the laboratory mouse, Algernon. Meanwhile, each day Charlie keeps a diary of what is happening to him. This is his poignant record of the startling changes in his mind and his life.

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

What the Critics Say

  • Nebula Award, Best Novel, 1966

"A tale that is convincing, suspectful and touching." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (3344 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Desiree United States 10-19-14
    Desiree United States 10-19-14 Member Since 2009

    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.

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    "Must Listen - An Important Timeless Classic"

    Profound and thought provoking. Each minute is worth every penny and more. There's no way you can not love this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Winston Salem, NC, United States 06-07-14
    William Winston Salem, NC, United States 06-07-14
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    "Beautifully written"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ttim San Francisco, CA, United States 07-23-13
    Ttim San Francisco, CA, United States 07-23-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Even more relevant to today's world"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Prsilla 01-14-13
    Prsilla 01-14-13 Member Since 2016

    Retired to mountains of California. Sell on eBay as Prsilla. No TV. Volunteer in wildlife rehab. Knit, sew or embroider while listening.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "MASTERPIECE"

    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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tez L Los Angeles, CA USA 01-03-13
    Tez L Los Angeles, CA USA 01-03-13 Member Since 2011

    Tez L

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    "Simply a great book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Flowers for Algernon to be better than the print version?

    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...


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Butler, PA, United States 01-08-13
    Janet Butler, PA, United States 01-08-13 Member Since 2012
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    "serious but interesting"

    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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saturnberry 11-25-12
    Saturnberry 11-25-12
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    "Beautiful reading of a Hugo Award Winning Classic"
    Would you listen to Flowers for Algernon again? Why?

    Jeff Woodman *is* 'Charlie'. "Flowers for Algernon" is one of my favorite Hugo Award winners, ever. Jeff Woodman's performance/narration is - so very perfect - for the content of this book. Charlie is a young man with MR chosen to be in an experiment to attempt to make humans and animals capable of becoming more intelligent. The story is first person, from Charlie's perspective. It begins with Charlie barely being able to spell correctly for his required writing assignments for the doctors performing the experiment to.. well.. You'd just have to find out. :) Reading the story is a real treat because you can begin to see Charlie's progression and discoveries in his writing. Jeff Woodman's performance of the story is just fantastic.


    What other book might you compare Flowers for Algernon to and why?

    I'd compare the story to "Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" as it follows a young man writing the story in his particular, special fashion. Charlie's progress from misspelling and errors in grammar begin to improve as the effects of the experiment become evident. While the character in "Flowers for Algernon" has MR, the 15 y.o. in "Curious Incident" is on the latter end of the autism spectrum and likes to number/list his chapters using only Prime numbers. Fun, fascinating. Although "Flowers" is categorized as a science-fiction short story, the 2 characters are similar in that they learn more about themselves, their environments, and the people in their lives.


    Have you listened to any of Jeff Woodman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have also listened to Jeff Woodman's performance of "Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" which is a story similar to "Flowers for Algernon" as it is told in first-person by a very interesting person who undergoes an incredible personal journey. I was not surprised to find that Jeff Woodman was the narrator reading this other, wonderful book because his performances are spot-on for the novels. "Believable" would be the right word, I think. :) Can't help but be choked up by the events that occur and Jeff Woodman's fantastic narration of each character.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Absolutely.


    Any additional comments?

    If you're looking for a great, heart-felt story - this is it. I'd recommend it to anyone that enjoys stories about people or science fiction. This is a kind of book that also seems to ask questions about the morality and consequences of certain scientific advances.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William 09-29-12
    William 09-29-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Charlie - Cliff Robertson"
    Where does Flowers for Algernon rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Alice Kinnian


    Which scene was your favorite?

    "Please leave."


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    It's a bit late for that.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved "Charlie" the movie but the saying was never truer: The book was better.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brent Reedley, CA, United States 09-22-12
    Brent Reedley, CA, United States 09-22-12 Member Since 2012
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    "An interesting Commentary on the Social standing"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    It is well crafted Not sure what I could/Would Change


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The struggle to understand his new world


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Some times I think he was trying to read too much into it


    Did Flowers for Algernon inspire you to do anything?

    Be nicer


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vic MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, United States 09-18-12
    Vic MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, United States 09-18-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tech issue in performance"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Charlie is by far the driving force of this novel and as such is the focus of positive attention.


    What about Jeff Woodman’s performance did you like?

    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.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    There was a film made of this book. It was a very watered down version of the story but still a good film.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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