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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

Critic Reviews

  • Nebula Award, Best Novel, 1966

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    2,975
  • 4 Stars
    1,431
  • 3 Stars
    416
  • 2 Stars
    82
  • 1 Stars
    42

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    3,099
  • 4 Stars
    980
  • 3 Stars
    237
  • 2 Stars
    41
  • 1 Stars
    18

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    2,712
  • 4 Stars
    1,204
  • 3 Stars
    356
  • 2 Stars
    75
  • 1 Stars
    34
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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Pattie
  • MARINA DEL REY, CA, United States
  • 08-02-13

Fabulous Story!

What made the experience of listening to Flowers for Algernon the most enjoyable?

I loved this story and the Narrator did an amazing job.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Flowers for Algernon?

I will remember the overall story for a long time to come.

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

No

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

Yes

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jeffrey
  • WALTHAM, MA, United States
  • 05-20-13

Simple but enjoyable.

Jeff Woodman really brought the book to life. He makes it very easy to sympathize with the main character.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great story and narration

The reviews have already said it all. An incredible book with deep characters and fantastic narration. Make sure you are in the mood to listen to a sad story - as someone else mentioned, you will cry.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent Glimpse into Human Nature

Excellent story that helps explain the meaning of being human. Seeing the world through Charlie's eyes before and after his transformation opened my eyes to human nature and why compassion and understanding are so important.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Cara
  • Marbleton, WY, United States
  • 06-22-12

Great Story, Great Narration!

This was a story that was original (I get sick of reading the same old mystery and the same old love story). The characters and story were very devoloped very well. Both interesting and moving.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent story!

I enjoyed the story, good narrator, plot is great and heartbreaking. Sad of the events, but happy for his short experience!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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How did I miss out on this!?

I never saw the movie or read the book growing up. People have held it in such high regard and now I'll be doing the same.

Jeff Woodrow is the Michael Jordan of first person narration. This particular work is 95-96 Bulls Clutch time Michael Jordan. Superb.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Wonderful reader

Any additional comments?

The narrator did a wonderful job on this title. I didn't even realize how he was gradually changing Charlie's voice until I was well into the story. <br/>Of course, it's not a happy story - bittersweet, perhaps. But definitely worth the listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

I wish I had this to read back in school

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely, it may change their perspective on the handicapped as well as themselves.

What did you like best about this story?

The ending was really solid, I'm glad the author never backed down each time his publishers wanted him to change it.

What does Jeff Woodman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Although I found it slightly annoying at first (more revealing of myself) he really adapts to the characters intellectual level throughout the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Moving story about mental retardation

A warning to parents: In high school, I must have read (and enjoyed) the short story Flowers for Algernon was based on rather than the full length novel. Now it has been decades, and I could be wrong, but I don't remember the short story having any sex in it. Although very good, a lot of sex is in the full-length version. It's not graphic like a romance novel, but a character in the story has an active sex life. There are also references to sexual desires from the point of view of a mentally retarded character.

Apart from that, I really enjoyed the book. The narrator was outstanding and completely believable as Charlie Gordon, a mentally retarded man who undergoes experimental treatment to increase his IQ after studies on a mouse named Algernon show potential. It chronicles his intellectual as well as his social/emotional development and raises questions on how society looks upon and treats the mentally retarded. It was written in the 1950s, but the story is timeless.

I think that this book, more so than others I've read, really needs to be listened to to fully appreciate it. It's told in first person in the form of Charlie's progress reports, and the narrator's voice reflects the change in Charlie's mental abilities as the story progresses.

Great character development as far as Charlie goes, less so for other characters. Still highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful