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Flowers for Algernon

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Flowers for Algernon

Bookseller Recommendation

Flowers for Algernon

“One of the best and most heartbreaking books I’ve read in a long time. The story of a man who is mentally handicapped and goes through an experimental surgery to make him smart. It works and he becomes a genius, but only temporarily. Just long enough to give him a taste of what he has been missing, realize that people always laugh at his expense, fall in love, and generally be a respected human being. But he finds his genius more isolating then when he was dim, both ends of the spectrum being ostracizing and causing him to think differently than others. This book started as a short story, which won a Hugo award, and then was expanded into a novel, which won a Nebula – well deserving of both. It was also adapted into film in 1968 and is worth seeing and almost as touching as the book, the film version is called Charly. There have been many other radio and film adaptations, but I am unfamiliar with these. I don’t want to reveal too much of the story but I will say that the last fifty pages had me crying.”

Space Cowboy Books image Jean-Paul, Space Cowboy Books


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 retarded 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, now it becomes an unforgettable audio experience.

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