Flowers for Algernon

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keozen
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Flowers for Algernon

Postby keozen » Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:16 pm UTC

Ok, I'm more than likely reading this a good few years after everyone else BUT I picked up Flowers for Algernon (Daniel Keyes) this weekend and read it straight through.

I must admit i was very impressed at a deep and meaningful short novel that kept me invested from the first Progris reprt right until the end.

What did everyone else think (of the book you read maybe a decade or so ago)?

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Postby bbctol » Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:50 pm UTC

This is the only book I've ever cried at. I seriously burst into tears as I neared the final chapter, and kept crying to the end. Astonishingly moving. I loved it.

The movie sucked.

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Postby keozen » Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:11 pm UTC

Ahh, that was going to be my next question, should I see the movie or should I save my sanity?

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Postby Sprocket » Wed Aug 08, 2007 3:39 pm UTC

Oh god, why didn't you just start a thread for Ethan Frome!?
This book has it's points of interest I guess, but it's another one of those "hey, let's show highschoolers how much life sucks!" books. Yeah great, let's take these crazy, depressed, hormonally fluctuating balls of angst at make them read really depressing things!"

I liked highschool English when we read Greek stuff, Shakespeare, Poems and occasional books like To Kill a Mocking Bird and The Great Gatsby. The rest of it was PAIN and DEATH!

Let me break it down -

Dude is retarded.
Dude gets brain surgerey that has been done on mice.
Most of the mice died, but Algernon lived and got smarter.
Dude gets really smart.
Algernon dies eventually b/c of the surgery
Dude is going to die too.
First Dude gets retarded again
Then dude dies.

More reasons why I read fluff like Neil Gaiman these days.
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Postby Solt » Thu Aug 09, 2007 9:27 am UTC

CatProximity wrote:I liked highschool English when we read Greek stuff, Shakespeare, Poems and occasional books like To Kill a Mocking Bird and The Great Gatsby. The rest of it was PAIN and DEATH!



Romeo and Juliet?? Also, TKAMB and The Great Gatsby are ALSO full of pain and death.

I think the appropriate term is "the human condition".
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Postby pingu » Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:07 am UTC

rem
Last edited by pingu on Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:48 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby PatrickRsGhost » Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:36 am UTC

We read the book in 7th or 8th grade, I think. I remember the movie more than the book. One thing I do remember about the book is that Charlys spalin gotted betr ovr tym to show his progress from when he had the surgery to win he gotted dumr n finly dyed.

One thing I do remember from the movie is some time after the surgery, he got the hots for the special ed teacher. Ewwww...

We watched the movie in Psychology as well. I remember watching it, Bill, The Burning Bed, and Three Faces of Eve.
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Postby placeholder » Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:11 pm UTC

I've read both the book and the short story version. I prefer the short story version to the novel-length version; it seems to me that the transition to a novel didn't really add much of significance to the short story. At any rate, I thought it was pretty well-written and it held my interest throughout.

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Postby bookishbunny » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:54 pm UTC

I read this waaaaaaaaay back in junior hight, but I still remember it. I really loved it. I need to go back and re-read it.
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Postby Sprocket » Fri Aug 10, 2007 3:52 pm UTC

Solt wrote:
CatProximity wrote:I liked highschool English when we read Greek stuff, Shakespeare, Poems and occasional books like To Kill a Mocking Bird and The Great Gatsby. The rest of it was PAIN and DEATH!



Romeo and Juliet?? Also, TKAMB and The Great Gatsby are ALSO full of pain and death.

I think the appropriate term is "the human condition".


They're full of pain and death in a fun and interesting way. It's not nearly as languishing and slow as Algernon.
Also I really don't like R&J much. I'm much more of a Hamlet fan in the tragedies, and I really like the comedies.

PatrickRsGhost wrote:We read the book in 7th or 8th grade, I think. I remember the movie more than the book. One thing I do remember about the book is that Charlys spalin gotted betr ovr tym to show his progress from when he had the surgery to win he gotted dumr n finly dyed.
Wow, yeah I didn't remember that at all.

Death in Shakespeare comes fast, and he deals with the after-math, not the dying. Plus it's a play. Plays are so detatched, you can focus on the interest and not on the reality, a novel is so consuming, it's like being trapped in mud.
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Postby cephalopod9 » Tue Aug 28, 2007 3:52 am UTC

I read it when I was nine or ten, I think. (I remember it being kind of challenging at the time, and thinking about it on the playground...) Haven't seen the movie, and
i feel bad for spoilers so i wrote:
I don't beleive the book explicitly mentions him dying... I mean, it's from the perspective of his journal, so I guess that it wouldn't be. I figured Algernon's dying had more to do with him being a mouse, and fighting with the girl mouse. Wasn't it a heart problem? I might have made that up completely... Am I remembering any of this right?

(aw man, I watched The Green Mile last night to, I want to go to the pet store and play with the mice, but if I do I'll start crying my eyes out and scare people)


Also, The Great Gatsby
more spoilers I wrote: has one of the more tragic pain and death endings. The awful people get away with murder, and then nobody goes to his funeral. Loved that book.

I'm all sad now TT-TT
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Postby Pebbles » Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:06 am UTC

I was only told about this book last week. Im looking into getting a copy. It sounds interesting, especially from the posts here. Both positive and negative.
She only looked away for a moment, and the mask slipped, and you fell. All your tomorrows start here.
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Postby davis » Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:29 pm UTC

I read this book in 7th grade English. The sexy pages were ripped out and some parts were inked out. I think that's the same year we read Fahrenheit 451.

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Postby Chase » Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:36 am UTC

Brain damage -- people losing mental faculty in almost any way -- terrifies me and makes me terribly sad*. Flowers For Algernon made me cry.

*this is also a big part of why I don't like mind or mood altering drugs, including pain relievers and alcohol.
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Postby McLurker » Wed Sep 12, 2007 6:03 pm UTC

placeholder wrote:I've read both the book and the short story version. I prefer the short story version to the novel-length version; it seems to me that the transition to a novel didn't really add much of significance to the short story.


I agree. Its the same with Asimov's Nightfall. Some stories have one perfect idea, and changing it into a novel just detracts from that.

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Postby teamcorndog » Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:06 am UTC

I think I wasn't quite grown up enough when I read this book. Maybe I should take another crack at it.

PatrickRsGhost wrote: One thing I do remember about the book is that Charlys spalin gotted betr ovr tym to show his progress from when he had the surgery to win he gotted dumr n finly dyed.


Then again, I might not be able to appreciate the poignancy of it if I read it now, because I would be envisioning Charley as an LOLcat. :?

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Postby platypus01 » Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:54 am UTC

think we read flowers for algernon in 7th or 8th grade. dont remember what version. but i liked it. i think its worth a read.

CatProximity wrote:Death in Shakespeare comes fast, and he deals with the after-math, not the dying.

that reminds me of when we read julius caesar in 8th grade. he dies really fast, and my teacher made a point of discussing how the play isnt really about him, but what happens after, even though its got his name.
bleh


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