Skip to main content
PBS logo

Search - Flowers For Algernon

Flowers For Algernon
Flowers For Algernon
Author: Daniel Keyes
ISBN: 1895
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

3.5 stars, based on 1 rating
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Write a Review
We're sorry, our database doesn't have book description information for this item. Check Amazon's database -- you can return to this page by closing the new browser tab/window if you want to obtain the book from PaperBackSwap.

Top Member Book Reviews

kitty-must-read avatar reviewed Flowers For Algernon on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
This is the most exciting and heartbreaking book I have read in a long time. I can see why it is a classic.
This book is about a man, Charlie Gordon, in his 30's who has an IQ of 68 and a strong desire to learn to read and write. Through a class for retarded adults at a local college, he finds out that a study is going on to test an operation that is supposed to increase a person's IQ. The rest of the story is about the operation, study, and Charlie's participation in them. The format of the book is that of a journal through which, in Charlie's words, we learn of his depressing childhood and his reactions as he does indeed become smarter and can finally understand things about his life that were beyond him until the operation. It is a very uplifting and emotional story that is, even after all these years, (since 1956) still original and haunting. I recommend this book to everyone!
reviewed Flowers For Algernon on + 80 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This is a sad, moving book about Charlie Gordon. He begins the book as a kind and sweet retarded man who wants to learn, so he allows himself to be experimented upon. The book is a compilation of his progress reports, and theough them we see him gain inteliigence, slowly at first, but then ever increasingly until he is a genius.

While his intelligence grows, his emotional status does not, and the kind harmless man dissappears and is replaced by an arrogant angry man who finally understands all the bad that has been done to him by those who were suppsoed to care for him and love him.

They say ignorance is bliss, and apparently this book is saying the same thing. It just made me sad. Sad that, once attained, his new found intelligence could not make him happy, and sad that people on the whole prefer him stupid so they can make him the butt of their mocking. Sad of all, I see today's society no different in their treatment of those thought to be inferior.

A great book, thought provoking and humbling.
BriSplit avatar reviewed Flowers For Algernon on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
A friend in NC had told me about this book and so I was inclined to read it. It's a little slow in some part but as a reader you get a real sense of connection with Charlie, the main character. I laughed, cried, and developed a new understanding of empathy.
treyci avatar reviewed Flowers For Algernon on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
i cried. maybe that makes me a wimp, but it was touching and beautiful. it made me wonder...what if you were given just a while to experience everything you ever wanted, to be "normal" to "fit in", and then found out it couldn't last. it's almost like cinderella, only much much more real.
Marke avatar reviewed Flowers For Algernon on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
As a rule, if a book is on "required reading lists" I won't like it. This book is very much the exception to this rule. I read Flowers for Algernon the first time 35+ years ago when a Jr. high teacher suggested it. I'm sure I "got it" to some degree then but rereading it now I have to say it is one of the most poignant books on the human condition I have ever read.
If you have never read it do so, if it has been several years it is time for a reread.
Read All 48 Book Reviews of "Flowers For Algernon"

Please Log in to Rate these Book Reviews

reviewed Flowers For Algernon on
Often found on top 10 lists of sci-fi books. It's neither.
reviewed Flowers For Algernon on + 101 more book reviews
A shocking human experiment, good read for any scientist,
MoonShadow avatar reviewed Flowers For Algernon on + 18 more book reviews
FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON made its first appearance in print as a short story which was rapidly and widely anthologized, and translated internationally. It received further acclaim as a memorable television drama, and was rapidly purchased for film/motion picture production. Then, enlarged and richly peopled, Daniel Keyes' haunting story became an award-winning novel - recipient of the Nebula Award for the Best Novel of the Year by the Science Fiction Writers of America.

This fascinating tale of a daring human experiment has been described as "a love triangle between two people," "a suspenseful, gripping story," and "a brilliant fantasy." It is all these things. It is one of the most strikingly original and engrossing novels of our time! Now, full-bodied and richly-peopled, FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON is the daring novel of a startling human experiment!
reviewed Flowers For Algernon on + 7 more book reviews
I first read Flowers when I was in 9th grade, and I am so glad that the school chose this title for us. It is very enlightening, and makes you think about things you maybe wouldn't normally. It delves into the mind of Charlie, a retarded man who is given the chance to try a miracle operation that would restore his intelligence from that of a very high end retarded man to a normal man. It is startling to imagine what you would do if you were in the shoes of any one of a myriad of characters fleshed out in this story. It is a must read for anyone seeking understanding of their fellow man.
reviewed Flowers For Algernon on + 148 more book reviews
Excellent book, quite sad, but amazing.
vickster avatar reviewed Flowers For Algernon on + 14 more book reviews
Really an excellent story. It makes you so much more understanding and sensitive to those with a person suffering from mental retardation. I felt true compassion for the protagonist. Will make you think about how truely blessed for what we have. Highly recommended reading for anyone.
JennJenn avatar reviewed Flowers For Algernon on + 19 more book reviews
I enjoyed the book, I found it hard to get into at first, but once you go on this journey with the character it was very touching.
reviewed Flowers For Algernon on + 13 more book reviews
There is no more moving book. No one should live a life without reading it. I read it for the first time when I was a teenager. I am now in my fifties and just read it with my son. It is just as good and has made a lasting impact on my life.
reviewed Flowers For Algernon on
I haven't read this book since high school, a long time ago. it was for my 14 yr.old son for summer reading. he enjoyed, but found the ending was very sad. this is a book for a mature teen only. my 12yr. wouldn't finish it when he was told the ending.
TakingTime avatar reviewed Flowers For Algernon on + 1072 more book reviews
the book that spurred the motion picture "Charly"

Book Wiki

Charlie Gordon (Primary Character)