Monday, August 18, 2008


Author:  Daniel Keyes
Genre:  Science Fiction
Published:  1966
Personal Rating:  4/5
Yearly Count:  109

Charlie Gordon is an adult with a low IQ that has been chosen for an experimental brain operation that previously had only been performed on mice.  Algernon was one of those mice.  Charlie and Algernon become acquainted through maze testing and behavior comparisons.  Charlie shares his frequent progress reports of his mental capabilities before, during, and after his surgery.  He discovers a lot about himself and the world around him.

 Keyes has done a fabulous job with the voice of Charlie.  His character felt very genuine and honest.  Also, I'm impressed with Keyes ability to make this story flow and to blend the science fiction with reality.  The story of Charlie and Algernon is quite a thought provoker; therefore, making this a great choice for discussion groups.


  1. This "really" sounds good. I've never heard of it before.

  2. Hi there Joy. You know it sure seems as though I've heard of this book before or something to do with this but I just can't remember. It does sound very intriguing though. Glad you enjoyed it.

  3. I think I read snippets of this in grade school but don't remember much about it except the title. I do have it on my shelf and thanks to your review will look forward to reading it!

  4. Huh. I've heard this title but never knew what this book was about. Somehow I had it in my head that this was some type of romantic war story of something. Apparently not.

  5. Nicola ~ The first word that comes to mind every time I rethink about this book is "thought-provoking". Maybe I should talk to my DH about it, so I can get it out.

    Dar ~ This one contains a lot - medical, romance, science-fiction, coming of age, special needs, friendship, etc. There's just so much to talk about!

    Trish ~ As usual, I don't think it should be read until high school, but that's just me. :) I think you'd derive a lot from it. It's not a "classic" for nothin'!

    Charley ~ There's no war, although it could be considered a battle of the mind. :)

    It's "Charley" galore for me lately - Charlie Gordon in this book, I'm listening to Travels with Charley (Steinbeck) and then there's YOU! Thanks for stopping by.

  6. This was in my 10th grade literature textbook. Since I hated everything the teacher assigned that year, it didn't make much of an impact on me. Maybe I'll give it another go, and suggest it to my book group as a possible selection.

  7. Bybee ~ LOL Ya know, I heard many say that they read this in high school. Personally, I don't think a teenager could really appreciate it.

  8. I loved Flowers for Algernon. The ending made me cry.

  9. I saw the movie when it first came out and then read the book last year. Then I had to watch the movie again. I cried all 3 times. Cliff Robertson does an excellent job portraying Charlie, but the movie is very dated. Glad to hear you liked it.

  10. I remember reading this in high school. Loved it!

  11. Carrie K ~ I was more in a thoughful mood when I finished.

    Booklogged ~ I'm not sure I want to watch this. Hmmm I'll have to think about that too. :)

    Mary ~ I would have liked being in a book club to mull over the ideas in this book. I'm sure the conversations would be interesting.


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Happy Reading!