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Flowers For Algernon av Daniel Keyes
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Flowers For Algernon (utgåvan 1970)

av Daniel Keyes

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner / Omnämnanden
12,872332334 (4.11)1 / 417
When brain surgery makes a mouse into a genius, dull-witted Charlie Gordon wonders if it might also work for him. With more than five million copies sold, Flowers for Algernon is the beloved, classic story of a mentally disabled man whose experimental quest for intelligence mirrors that of Algernon, an extraordinary lab mouse. In poignant diary entries, Charlie tells how a brain operation increases his IQ and changes his life. As the experimental procedure takes effect, Charlie's intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis. The experiment seems to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance, until Algernon begins his sudden, unexpected deterioration. Will the same happen to Charlie? An American classic that inspired the award-winning movie Charly.… (mer)
Medlem:nohrt4me2
Titel:Flowers For Algernon
Författare:Daniel Keyes
Info:Bantam (1970), Edition: Bantam ed., Paperback
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

Verkdetaljer

Flowers for Algernon av Daniel Keyes

  1. 71
    The Speed of Dark av Elizabeth Moon (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: Charlie is definitely not like Lou, true. But their experiences and perspectives have the same mental effect on readers.
  2. 30
    Möss och människor av John Steinbeck (sturlington)
  3. 31
    Awakenings av Oliver Sacks (Mumugrrl)
  4. 87
    Den besynnerliga händelsen med hunden om natten av Mark Haddon (unlucky)
  5. 10
    Och katten tog en mus av Robert Cormier (angelofmusic_81)
  6. 00
    Efter många somrar av Aldous Huxley (Jarandel)
    Jarandel: Similar introduction of a speculative/fantastical premise as a device for observing and criticizing the writer's present reality.
  7. 00
    Mixtape for the Apocalypse av Jemiah Jefferson (kiparsky)
    kiparsky: Similar narrative structure used for a similar purpose, and both are brilliant and heartbreaking books.
  8. 00
    Den stora hemsökelsen av John Wyndham (hilge)
    hilge: Not so much based on characters or storyline more a general feel to the book that make them feel like good matches
  9. 00
    IK 400 av Poul Anderson (aspirit)
  10. 11
    Camp Concentration av Thomas M. Disch (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Same theme of experimental intelligence enhancement. Disch's experimenters are much more sinister, and his experimental subjects much more intelligent.
  11. 01
    Oversite av Maureen F. McHugh (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: A short story by Maureen McHugh about an experimental treatment for Alzheimer's that looks at the effect of loss and gain of mental functioning from a bystander's point-of-view.
  12. 02
    Flickan med gåvorna av M. R. Carey (SomeGuyInVirginia)
  13. 04
    My Teacher Fried My Brains av Bruce Coville (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: More humor, less drama, but a similar effect in the end.
  14. 15
    Vredens druvor av John Steinbeck (Patangel)
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engelska (322)  franska (5)  italienska (2)  tagalog (1)  tyska (1)  finska (1)  Alla språk (332)
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"That's the thing about human life....There is no control group, no way to ever know how any of us would have turned out if any variables had been changed."

Charlie Gordon is 32 year old man with an IQ of 68 who works as a cleaner at a New York bakery. He’s sweet natured and simple, he likes to make people laugh often unaware that many of the jokes are at his expense. He regularly attends an adult education class taught by the Alice Kinnian because he desperately desires to be 'smart'.

When Alice is approached by two scientists, Dr. Strauss and Professor Nemur from Beekman University, looking for the first human subject to undergo experimental surgery to increase human intelligence, she readily recommends Charlie. The technique has already been successfully trialed on a mouse named Algernon and sure enough Charlie’s intelligence steadily begins to increase.

However,as Charlie's brain power advances he soon realises that being “smart” is not all he hoped it would be. He soon begins to recall memories of an abusive childhood, becomes aware of how others treat him, and most confusingly finds himself confronted with feelings for Alice he’s not emotionally prepared for. Despite having the body of a man his emotional development is of that of a child.

As Charlie begins to remember his childhood and we start to realise that much of his intensive desire to be clever, to please others, his fear of sex stems from there. In fact Charlie feels the need to constantly confront his own past and reveal more about where he came from.

Over the course of the book Charlie realises that Straus and Nemur are just men themselves, and his reverence for them and learning gradually fades and he starts to feel contempt for them. Some of this contempt stems from the realisation that many academic studies are narrow and pointless, that its practitioners have an inflated opinion of their work but much of it springs from the realisation that he, like Algernon, is still essentially a laboratory animal.

Ultimately as Charlie’s intellect attains genius level he realises a far more terrible truth, this increase in intelligence is only temporary and that both he, and Algernon are doomed to regress back to where they came from.

The story is told using first person reports that Charlie makes for the University. Initially these are simple and replete with misspellings and grammatical errors but as Charlie's intellect improves so does his use of language meaning that his style and tone is constantly changing. This I found this initially confusing but soon became aware how clever tool it really was. Whilst Charlie’s dreams featuring his younger, still intellectually disabled self constantly reminds us just where he has come from, his truly horrible experiences at the hands of his mother and sister yet it is written with a sympathy and pathos which is nothing short of amazing. Likewise the author gives us just enough detail about Algernon so that we feel sympathy for him as well.

That's not to say that I don't have a few minor gripes as well. Firstly I found the idea that a lack of intellect also means an almost total lack of memory rather patronising despite the fact that it undoubtedly adds to the overall structure of the story. Secondly I felt that some aspects felt a little dated. Firstly the over optimistic belief in the power of subliminal sleep teaching but also whilst the abuse and mistreatment that Charlie suffered sadly do still occur, the institutionalisation of learning disabled people is obviously far less common today but given that the book was first published in 1966 that is quite understandable as is the constant references to retards, a term thankfully no longer used.

However, my main problem was with Alice. I was disappointed, both that Alice didn’t try to be a bit more active in helping Charlie, she often disappears for large sections of the book and when she reappears is far too passive. Somehow Alice feels poorly drawn in contrast to Charlie's neighbour and one time lover Faye.

The story in without doubt dark yet there are also elements of triumph and humour even if we know that they are pyrrhic. There were some instances in which I thought Keyes perhaps overdid the darkness a little. The book’s ending is simply tragic, Charlie doesn't merely regress intellectually, but becomes a far less likeable person as well. However, I feel that this deserves to be regarded as a modern classic. Despite there being no aliens this is Sci-fi writing at its very best, perhaps an uncomfortable read with its highs and lows but one that I would heartily recommend.

"Thank God for books and music and things I can think about." ( )
  PilgrimJess | Feb 24, 2021 |
You know, I thought the short story was superb and this longer version felt just a smidge too drawn out. Still an excellent read. If you are in school and have to do a book report and this one's on the booklist, I'd say pick it. Very entertaining and thought-provoking. ( )
  Randy_Foster | Feb 13, 2021 |
Ho chiuso questo libro con sentimenti contrastanti: è indubbiamente una storia coinvolgente, che ci mette davanti ad interrogativi esistenziali quali da cosa dipende il valore di una persona o cos'è che ci rende davvero noi stessi. Lo stile poi è particolare e curato in ogni dettaglio, ci porta per mano nella mente del protagonista attraverso cambi continui di registro e di lessico: dalle prime pagine sgrammaticate ma genuine ad una prosa fredda e professorale, un' evoluzione che indica chiaramente il percorso di Charlie da ragazzo limitato ma ingenuamente fiducioso a genio incompreso e incapace di comprensione.
Insomma tutto ottimo: eppure sono arrivata alla fine con molto meno entusiasmo di quanto mi aspettassi e con un senso latente di insoddisfazione.
Credo che i motivi siano principalmente due; innanzitutto, dopo un'inizio dal ritmo incalzante ho avuto l'impressione che nella parte centrale la trama si trascinasse (l'esempio più eclatante è rappresentato dalla vicina di casa Fay, aggiunta inutile e a tratti forzata). In secondo luogo, e ancora più importante, è il fatto che il personaggio di Charlie una volta diventato "intelligente" non funziona più. E' un esito voluto ed anzi auspicato, perchè la crescente mancanza di empatia e l'isolamento nella torre d'avorio della sua mente sono proprio i punti cardine dell'opera, ma resta il fatto che io da lettrice ho perso interesse per le sue vicende ed ero solo in attesa dell'inevitabile, amarissimo finale.
Nonostante questi difetti è un romanzo che consiglierei ad occhi chiusi sia per le tematiche profonde ed ancora attuali che per il modo accattivante di esporle.
Ho saputo però che esiste una versione precedente dell'opera, scritta in forma di racconto: ecco, forse se tornassi indietro leggerei quella, ho idea che sia più incisiva e sicuramente meno prolissa. ( )
  Lilirose_ | Feb 12, 2021 |
An extremely poignant look at intelligence, happiness and humanity. The skill of the author in showing the escalating and degrading levels of intelligence of the primary protagonist through his written reports really makes this book. The interpersonal relationships of the protagonist and how they changed throughout was an excellent exploration on how we form our likes and dislikes and how important empathy is in everyday relationships. ( )
  Andorion | Feb 6, 2021 |
4,5 stars

Inspiring and uplifting while being depressing at the same time. In Flowers for Algernon, we see a relatively young man with a severe learning disability, named Charlie Gordon, receive a new chance at life after an experimental operation, first successfully performed on a rat named Algernon, meant to increase his intelligence significantly. As Charlie struggles to get to grips with being on the other end of the spectrum once again, we get to see his journey of trying to understand his sexuality, emotions, thoughts and ever-increasing intellect. As Algernon starts deteriorating and acting erratically, Charlie begins to hurry, for he fears the same may happen to him.

I’d recommend this to anyone who is interesting in seeing the world from a mentally disabled person’s perspective, whose perception of the world is radically different than that of a genius.
“Its easy to make frends if you let pepul laff at you.”
( )
  Firons2 | Jan 31, 2021 |
Visa 1-5 av 332 (nästa | visa alla)
[Keyes] has taken the obvious, treated it in a most obvious fashion, and succeeded in creating a tale that is suspenseful and touching - all in modest degree, but it is enough.
tillagd av Shortride | ändraThe New York Times, Eliot Fremont-Smith (betalvägg) (Mar 7, 1966)
 

» Lägg till fler författare (6 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Daniel Keyesprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Barroso, PazÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Burgerer, Eva-MariaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Delessert, EtienneIllustratörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Dessauer, MariaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Gallet, Georges HilaireÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Leek, JanÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Monecke, HiltguntÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Moore, ChrisOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Paz, BarrosoÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Pekkanen, HilkkaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Podaný, RichardÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Powers, RichardIllustratörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Rabkin, Eric S.Inledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Santos, DomingoÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Szepessy, GyörgyÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Thole, KarelOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Woodman, JeffBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Anyone who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind's eye, quite as much as of the bodily eye; and he who remembers this when he sees anyone whose vision is perplexed and weak, will not be to (sic) ready to laugh; he will first ask whether that soul of man has come out of the brighter life, and is unable to see because unaccustomed to the dark, or having turned from drakness to the day is dazzled by excess of light. And he will count the one happy in his condition and state of being, and he will pity the other; or, if he have a mind to laugh at the soul which comes from below into the light, there will be more reason in this than in the laugh which greets him who returns from above out of the light into the den. Plato, The Republic
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Dr Strauss says I shoud rite down what I think and remembir and evrey thing that happins to me from now on.
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This is the full length novel based on the short story. Please do not combine the two.
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Wikipedia på engelska (2)

When brain surgery makes a mouse into a genius, dull-witted Charlie Gordon wonders if it might also work for him. With more than five million copies sold, Flowers for Algernon is the beloved, classic story of a mentally disabled man whose experimental quest for intelligence mirrors that of Algernon, an extraordinary lab mouse. In poignant diary entries, Charlie tells how a brain operation increases his IQ and changes his life. As the experimental procedure takes effect, Charlie's intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis. The experiment seems to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance, until Algernon begins his sudden, unexpected deterioration. Will the same happen to Charlie? An American classic that inspired the award-winning movie Charly.

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