Flowers for Algernon

by Daniel Keyes | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: Global Overview for this book
Registered by Bibliocrates of Fort Collins, Colorado USA on 5/30/2006
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
15 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Bibliocrates from Fort Collins, Colorado USA on Tuesday, May 30, 2006
I got this book at The Bargain Book Shelf.

I thought this book was pretty good, but it was very sad, disturbing. I'm glad I finally read it.

Mentally retarded Charlie Gordon participates in an experiment which turns him into a genius but only temporarily.

From the Publisher
Oscar-winning film Charly starring Cliff Robertson and Claire Bloom-a mentally challenged man receives an operation that turns him into a genius...and introduces him to heartache.

Participants [Shipping Preference]
BettyBoekworm Porto, Portugal [Europe] FINISHED
Drusillamac Glasgow, Scotland [Int'l] FINISHED
Breeze144 Pickering, Ontario, Canada [USA/Canada] FINISHED
AceofHearts Mississauga, Ontario, Canada [Int'l] FINISHED
cobalt-tree Toronto, Ontario, Canada [Int'l] FINISHED
ajsmom Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada [USA/Canada] FINISHED
paixful Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada [Canada/USA] Skipped... didn't reply to PM
minerva1221 Garland, Texas, USA [USA/Int'l] FINISHED
star11-80 Norman, Oklahoma, USA [USA] FINISHED
BooksAndJava Jacksonville, Florida, USA [USA/Int'l]
AmaniS Stein, Bayern, Germany [Europe] Skipped... didn't reply to PM
boirina Areia, Vila do Conde, Portugal [Int'l] FINISHED
theadi Clayton, Victoria, Australia [Australia] Skipped... didn't reply to PM
MPD Montijo, Portugal [Int'l] Skipped... didn't reply to PM
Hethr Edmonton, Alberta, Canada FINISHED
Bibliocrates Trinity, Alabama, USA BOOK RETURNED 7/24/2007

Banned Book
"Flowers for Algernon is a science fiction story written by Daniel Keyes. It was originally published as a novelette in the April 1959 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, winning a Hugo award for Best Short Fiction in 1960. It was later extended into a full-length novel by the same name, which won the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1966."

"In January 1970, the school board of Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada, as well as Calgary, Alberta, Canada, banned the novel-length expansion of Flowers from the local grade-nine curriculum and the school library, after a parent complained that it was "filthy and immoral". The president of the BC Teachers' Federation criticized the action. Flowers was part of the BC Department of Education list of approved books for grade nine and was recommended by the BC Secondary Association of Teachers of English. A month later, the board reconsidered and returned the book to the library; they did not, however, lift its ban from the curriculum. It should be noted that whereas the full novel does contain material about the character's personal life (that is, flashbacks of experiences of puberty that may be objectionable to many people), the original short story is squeaky clean in this regard."

Journal Entry 2 by BettyBoekwurm from Porto - City, Porto Portugal on Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Just arrived! And perfect timing, since I'm going on holidays tommorrow! This will be one of my (several) holiday books!

Thanks Bibliocrates!

Journal Entry 3 by BettyBoekwurm from Porto - City, Porto Portugal on Friday, July 21, 2006
I took longer to read this book than I was expecting (my holidays didn't go quite as planned) and I admit that at first I had some difficulty getting into it, but when I finally did get into it, I loved it. It really makes you think:

Do you know what you know? What about what you knew, will you know it or can you stop knowing it? How do you know how much you know and how much you don't know. And can you know more than you know? You know what I mean?

Anyway, just to say I really enjoyed it and recommend it.

Thanks Bibliocrates! Will send it to Drusillamac on Monday morning.

Journal Entry 4 by Drusillamac from Glasgow, Scotland United Kingdom on Wednesday, July 26, 2006
I caught this in the post this morning. Thanks to Biblocrates and BettyBoekworm for sharing. I have a few bookrings in front of this but I should get to this soon.

Journal Entry 5 by Drusillamac from Glasgow, Scotland United Kingdom on Thursday, August 10, 2006
What a sad book. When I started reading this book, I found the writing structure difficult to understand. However, as the book continued, I started to enjoy the story.

Charlie, a mentally 'retarded' adult, is chosed to take part in an experiment. His brain will be operated on in an attempt to make him smarter. The experiment works but just a little too well. You'll have to read the rest to find out :-)

The ending made me rather sad when you realise what is going to happen to Charlie. Would you rather have a taste of such knowledge and forget it all? 'Smart' Charlie visits a home for mentally disabled adults and sees his potential future. If you knew life was going to take you down that path would you take it? An interesting book which throws up some questions in regards to psychology and ethics.

This book will be moving on once I have an address from Breeze144.

Journal Entry 6 by Drusillamac from Glasgow, Scotland United Kingdom on Sunday, August 13, 2006
This book is being posted off to Breeze144 tomorrow via surface mail.

Journal Entry 7 by Breeze144 from Ajax, Ontario Canada on Monday, August 21, 2006
Arrived here today! I have a couple other rings here, please check my bookshelf to see what I'm currently reading!

Journal Entry 8 by Breeze144 from Ajax, Ontario Canada on Monday, September 18, 2006
What a crazy book. This is such a painful and powerful story, and Keyes picked a great way to tell it. Charlie's writing at the beginning of the book was really frustrating to read, so I was relieved to see it improving quickly as the story progressed. I can't even imagine knowing that you are going to deteriorate mentally and emotionally and having to suffer through it. In retrospect it reminded me of Tuesdays With Morrie....

I'll be passing this along to AceofHearts when I see her on October 1st!

Journal Entry 9 by Breeze144 at Panera Bread, Niagara Falls Blvd in Buffalo, New York USA on Sunday, October 01, 2006

Released 13 yrs ago (10/1/2006 UTC) at Panera Bread, Niagara Falls Blvd in Buffalo, New York USA



Handed over to Aceofhearts at the meet-up today!

Journal Entry 10 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Sunday, October 01, 2006
Received from Breeze144 today. Can't wait to read it

Journal Entry 11 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Wednesday, October 04, 2006
I agree with most of the people that this book is hard to 'get' into. I very much enjoyed the book. What was interesting besides the obvious is how many friends Charlie had before his operation and after. Does intellect make one a social outcast? If you can laugh at yourself even if you do not realize what you are laughing at, that makes you easier to know and less threatening?
I found the ending hard as I felt such empathy for Charlie

Journal Entry 12 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Thursday, October 05, 2006
mailed today to cobalt-tree

Journal Entry 13 by cobalt-tree from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Monday, October 16, 2006
Arrived in the mail today, I'll begin it shortly.

Journal Entry 14 by cobalt-tree from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Sunday, January 14, 2007
I had a kind of strange experience with this book. I found myself thinking about it a lot when I wasn't reading it, about the the experience and meaning of intelligence and about how we, as a society, place value on people and positions. I found Charlie to be, for the most part, an unsympathetic character; i quite disliked him.
The book, however, I did like.

Posted off yesterday to ajsmom. sorry i took so long!

Journal Entry 15 by ajsmom from Quesnel, British Columbia Canada on Monday, January 15, 2007
Caught today, thank you!

Journal Entry 16 by ajsmom from Quesnel, British Columbia Canada on Saturday, January 20, 2007
I liked the premise - that we could somehow "fix" retardates (do we even still use that word??!!) - but that they would pay a price. Charlie's rapid intellectual gains are offput by his emotional decline; he no longer connects to people until he realizes his intellect will decline as well. One would hope that all the healing therapy he went through (ie. facing the abuse his mother put him through, the realization of how people were really treating him) would make a difference to his remaining years at Warren.

The problem for me was the writing style - I just didn't feel like it was all that well written! Has anybody else read anything by Keyes, or was this his one big hit?

Thanks for the ring, Bibliocrates. I have pm'd paixful and will hopefully have this travelling next week.

Journal Entry 17 by ajsmom from Quesnel, British Columbia Canada on Thursday, January 25, 2007
Just wanted to add...

PM'd paixful on Jan. 20 and Jan. 22. No word back, so PM'd minerva1221 on Jan. 24. 2 more days and I will PM star11-80.

Released 13 yrs ago (1/26/2007 UTC) at To the next participant in Bookring/Bookray, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- Canada



Sent to minerva1221 today.

Journal Entry 19 by minerva1221 from Sachse, Texas USA on Monday, February 12, 2007
Arrived in the mail today. I'm finishing up another book and should be able to start on this one later in the week.

Journal Entry 20 by minerva1221 from Sachse, Texas USA on Monday, February 19, 2007
I sat down with this book last night before bed, expecting to read a few chapters before calling it a night. As others have mentioned, it is a little difficult to read at first due to Charlie's poor grammar, but I could not put it down! I ended up reading the entire book in one sitting.

This was a fantastic story and I am so glad I've finally had the opportunity to read it. I think this is one of those books that sticks with you and it has easily become one of my favorites! Thank you, Bibiliocrates, for this great ring!

I've PM'd star11-80 for address to send it on.

Journal Entry 21 by minerva1221 from Sachse, Texas USA on Tuesday, February 20, 2007
In the mail to star11-80.

Journal Entry 22 by star11-80 from Pittsburg, Texas USA on Tuesday, February 27, 2007
received today. one more chapter of Joy Luck Club and then this one is next!

Journal Entry 23 by BooksAndJava from Knoxville, Tennessee USA on Monday, March 19, 2007
Book arrived safe and sound on Saturday (sorry for the late journal entry). I will be starting it soon!

Journal Entry 24 by BooksAndJava from Knoxville, Tennessee USA on Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Sorry for the late entry since I finished this book almost a week ago...

This has been on my list of "should reads" for a while, so I was excited to join this bookring. I agree with ajsmom, thoguh, that this wasn't as well written as it could have been, but the premise was definitely interesting. As much as it may have seemed like science-fiction when it first was published, I wouldn't doubt that experiments similar to this may be going on behind closed doors today. (I mean, do we really need a sheep that is 15% human?)

I think Charlie was a very strong character and sympathetic, despite some obvious flaws. He knew what his future could hold, but he didn't take the easy way out. He knew the importance of what he was experiencing right up till the end.

I PM'd AmaniS the day I finished the book and never heard back, so I am going to move down the list to boirina. I will have the book in the mail as soon as I hear back.

Thanks for the bookring!

Journal Entry 25 by BooksAndJava from Knoxville, Tennessee USA on Thursday, April 12, 2007
Book left the US headed for Portugal today!!! Should arrive soon...

Journal Entry 26 by boirina from Mallorca - Calvià, Illes Balears/Islas Baleares Spain on Monday, April 23, 2007
The book got here today.
Thanks for sharing it!

Journal Entry 27 by boirina from Mallorca - Calvià, Illes Balears/Islas Baleares Spain on Friday, June 08, 2007
The book was sent over to Hethr in Canada on May 30th because both theadi and MPd failed to answer my PMs. It was a very, very, sad story but I really enjoyed it.

Thanks for sharing it with us, Bibliocrates. :)

Journal Entry 28 by Hethr from Edmonton, Alberta Canada on Saturday, June 16, 2007
Wow - I got ths in the mail and started reading it even before I journaled it (I know, I am very bad!) Anyhow - I was entralled with it. I just couldn't put it down. Charlie, lovable, likeable Charlie turns into a .... what would you call it. Smart man? Rude? Arrogant? It's sad to see how his "friends" in the beginning were for the most part, quite mean. As his intelligence rises, his friends fade away - then only come back when he's "stupid" again.

It's really sad what this says about our human relations - are we really mean and cruel to the handicapped? Do we really act better than another because we're of higher intellegence? Do we really need to "fix" people that aren't like us? Why do we try so hard to assimilate everyone??

Very intersting, and very sad. Waiting for reply from Bibliocrates to send it back home.

Journal Entry 29 by Hethr from Edmonton, Alberta Canada on Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Sent back home yesterday. Thanks for the read - I loved it!

Journal Entry 30 by Bibliocrates from Fort Collins, Colorado USA on Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I caught this book in the mail today, finally made it home after 14 months of travel around the world! Thank you for mailing it back to me Hethr!

This was my very first ring and I am so glad it was a success! I hope everyone that read the book enjoyed it. I thank you all for participating! I may give it another read and then RABCK it to someone.

Journal Entry 31 by Bibliocrates at on Saturday, August 11, 2007

Released 13 yrs ago (8/11/2007 UTC) at


This book is on its way to dg7500 as a RABCK to fulfill a wish. I hope you enjoy it!

Journal Entry 32 by wingdg7500wing from Lancaster, Pennsylvania USA on Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Thank you SO much for the thoughtful RABCK, Bibliocrates!! What a well-traveled book this is...truly amazing!! I read this back in HighSchool, and remember enjoying it at the time. I'm anxious to read it again as an adult, and see if my perspective has changed at all in the many years between.

Update 4/1/10: SIL gave DS a copy of this recently for his literature class, so I'll be looking for someone to rabck this to, and will have it moving again shortly so it can continue it's illustrious travels. Thanks so much for sharing it with me, was nice to revisit this one again after so many years.

Journal Entry 33 by wingdg7500wing at RABCK, A RABCK -- Controlled Releases on Friday, April 16, 2010

Released 10 yrs ago (4/16/2010 UTC) at RABCK, A RABCK -- Controlled Releases



A surprise wishlist rabck for valpete. Enjoy, my friend!

*2010 RABCK Release Challenge*

To the finder of this book:

What you have in your hands is an honest-to-goodness gift, no strings attached. You may keep it forever and ever, pass it on to a friend, or release it back "into the wild" for someone else to find. I know it may seem a little odd to find this lying around--it's my way of touching the lives of others in a positive way, with the hope that it made your day. :)

If you are new to BookCrossing, and find this book and this site, welcome! Enjoy the site, the book, and hopefully the BookCrossing community. I hope you'll join BookCrossing (doesn't cost anything to join!) and if you do, please consider using any previous reader of this book ... or me, dg7500 ... as the member who referred you. Or you may remain anonymous!

If you are an old hand at BookCrossing, thanks for picking up the book! Either way, I hope you'll make a brief journal entry so all the previous and future readers can track this book's journey. Thanks, and Happy Crossing! :)

"Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens ..."

Carlos Ruiz Zafon (The Shadow of the Wind)

Journal Entry 34 by wingvalpetewing from Walnut Creek, California USA on Thursday, April 29, 2010
I've heard good things about this book and look forward to reading it. Thanks!

Journal Entry 35 by wingvalpetewing at Walnut Creek, California USA on Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Released 6 yrs ago (12/18/2013 UTC) at Walnut Creek, California USA


Sending it along to a BCer with it on his Wishlist. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 36 by Billbooks at Malvern East, Victoria Australia on Monday, January 06, 2014
What a surprise when the mail was delivered this morning. So looking forward to reading this just wondering how many boxes of tissues I will need! Thanks again Valpete I just love all you bookcrossers.

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