Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Flowers for Algernon” as Want to Read:
Flowers for Algernon
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Flowers for Algernon

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  356,008 Ratings  ·  12,103 Reviews
Alternate cover edition can be found here.

Until he was thirty-two, Brooklyn-born Charlie Gordon - gentle, amiable, oddly engaging - had lived in a kind of mental twilight. He knew that knowledge itself was important, and he had learned to read and write after a fashion;but he also knew that he wasn't nearly so bright as all the people around him. There was even a white mo
...more
Hardcover, 274 pages
Published March 1st 1966 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (first published 1959)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Flowers for Algernon, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Stratagem Is there such a thing as a PG rating (equivalent) for books? I don't really know. I'd say that this book contains some 'mild nudity' and 'mild…moreIs there such a thing as a PG rating (equivalent) for books? I don't really know. I'd say that this book contains some 'mild nudity' and 'mild profanity' but It'd probably get a PG rating if translated 1-on-1 to the big screen...(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Hakob "Цветы для Элджернона" - удивительное произведение, одно из представителей человеческой фантастики, фантастики,в которой главное - человек, восприятие…more"Цветы для Элджернона" - удивительное произведение, одно из представителей человеческой фантастики, фантастики,в которой главное - человек, восприятие и чувства которого ставятся превыше всего. На примере Элджернона можно отследить видоизменение восприятия мира. Советую всем и вся!!!(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Emily May
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am finding it hard to put into words the vast range of emotions I experienced whilst reading this little tale of hope, perseverance, truth and humanity. When it comes to science fiction, I would hesitate before declaring myself a fan, simply because there's only a certain amount of aliens, spaceships and intergalactic battles I can take before I start to become distracted. A good action scene on a distant planet only takes my enjoyment so far and the books I have enjoyed most from this genre t ...more
Pouting Always
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Wow I'm so glad I finally read it. I had only read passages of it before but it was totally with sitting and reading the whole thing through. I don't even know what to say I can't stop crying because of how things are for Charlie and I guess I just wish that they way he was treated wasnt so close to reality. Also it's kind of painful to have to question things like intimacy vs intelligence and self actualization which are brought up so poignantly in the book. I don't even know if anything I'm sa ...more
Wil Wheaton
Jun 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Heartbreaking and beautiful. Required reading, as far as I am concerned.
Amy
May 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book in 8th grade, in my english class. I remembered enjoying it, being fascinated in how the author painted the picture that I really was reading Charlie's journal by use of spelling, grammar and punctuation related to the level Charlie was at when writing the entries. What I didn't know at the time was the people who created the text book I used felt it was okay to chop whole chapters out of the middle of the book. They felt pulling out whole sections was okay in the name of ...more
Adina
I read this 2 years ago, before I started writing more detailed reviews. I am not planning to modify my thoughts from back then but I want to add my father's thoughts. I gifted this book to him last Christmas and he finally got to read it. He was as deeply moved by this magnificent heart wrenching novel as I was and he felt the need to send me a message when he finished to tell how impressed he was. It was the first time he sent me an emotional message about a book so with his permission, I will ...more
Dan Schwent
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Charlie Gordon, a mentally disabled man, undergoes an experiment to increase his intelligence, his life changes in ways he never imagined. But will the intelligence increase be permanent.

I first became aware of Flowers for Algernon when it was mentioned in an episode of Newsradio. I forgot about it until that episode of The Simpsons inspired by it, when it was discovered Homer had a crayon lodged in his brain. I'd mostly forgotten about it again until it popped up for ninety-nine cents in o
...more
Raeleen Lemay
what a great read! I sort of feel like it was too simple, but still an enjoyable enough book.
Michael Finocchiaro
Flowers for Algernon is a wonderful book about how raw intelligence can be both a gift and a curse. The protagonist, Charlie Gordon, has his IQ increased via a surgical procedure from that of a barely functional mentally retarded person to superhuman intelligence and writes the book in first person based on his experience. The procedure was first tried on lab mouse Algernon who the protagonist befriends and who is a litmus test of what he experiences. The maturity of the writing improves as he b ...more
Simon
Aug 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-masterworks, sf
This has to be one of my favourite sub-genres; psychological science fiction. This is up there with the likes of A Scanner Darkly and More Than Human. These are the sort of SF books that I would recommend to those who look down on the genre.

This book explores such themes as the nature of intelligence, the effects of intelligence on the way you see others and the world around you, as well as social attitudes towards people with mental problems.

The narrative structure is a series of progress repo
...more
Lyn
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Captivating and heartbreaking.

Daniel Keyes 1958 novel about an intellectually disabled man who, through an experimental medical procedure, gains genius level IQ is a classic of science fiction.

Charlie Gordon began attending classes at night for “retarded adults” so that he could learn to read and to “be like other people”. With the assistance of his night school teacher, he is interviewed by scientists and is accepted into the experimental program.

At the laboratory he meets Algernon, a mouse who
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Downward to the Earth
  • The Child Garden
  • The Falling Woman
  • The Healer's War
  • Non-Stop
  • Man Plus (Man Plus #1)
  • The Einstein Intersection
  • The Gods Themselves
  • The Demolished Man
  • Pavane
  • The Centauri Device
  • The Complete Roderick
  • The Fifth Head of Cerberus
  • The Rediscovery of Man
  • Dark Benediction
  • A Case of Conscience (After Such Knowledge, #4)
  • Stations of the Tide
  • Of Men and Monsters
11072
Daniel Keyes was an American author best known for his Hugo award-winning short story and Nebula award-winning novel Flowers for Algernon. Keyes was given the Author Emeritus honor by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 2000.

Keyes was born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York. At age 17, he joined the U.S. Maritime Service as ship's purser. He obtained a B.A. in psychology from B
...more
More about Daniel Keyes...
“I don’t know what’s worse: to not know what you are and be happy, or to become what you’ve always wanted to be, and feel alone.” 1130 likes
“Thank God for books and music and things I can think about.” 537 likes
More quotes…