Author(s): Daniel KeyesDownload
ყვავილები ელჯერნონისთვის – სპეციალური საჭიროების მქონე მამაკაცს, ჩარლის, ტვინზე ოპერაციას უკეთებენ, რომლის შემდეგაც მისი IQ 180ს უტოლდება და იგი გენიოსი ხდება. ჩარლის დღიურების სახით დაწერილ ნაწარმოებში მკითხველი თვალყურს ადევნებს მთავარი გმირის ტრანსფორმაციას და მის ეტაპობრივ სვლას გონებრივი განვითარების უმაღლესი საფეხურისკენ, აკვირდება მის გრძნობებს, დამოკიდებულებას სამყაროსთან.
Some Reviews: 18631 in Goodreads.com
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 saying is making any sense but the book really got to me and now I need to be alone to cry and consolidate myself with it and the new ideas it has made me consider.
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 one of my BookGorilla emails.
Flowers for Algernon is one of those stories I wish I would have read years earlier. It’s simply marvelous. It’s about the nature of intelligence and how intelligence can be divisive. It’s a very emotional book.
Personally, this was a very powerful book for me. For a lot of my time in school, I was way ahead of the curve and didn’t really click with other kids. As Charlie’s intelligence grew, eventually surpassing even the scientists that experimented on him, his feelings of isolation increased and I felt a lot of kinship toward Charlie. His difficulties fitting in were the cherry on top of the loneliness sundae.
As Charlie’s intelligence grew and he comprehended things from his past, it was hard not to feel sorry for him. Once he starts sliding backward, the book keeps getting more and more sad. Keyes doesn’t mind kicking you in the emotional junk, that’s for sure.
I love the way the book is written in periodic progress reports from Charlie. It’s perfect vehicle to show his increase in intelligence and eventual decline. There were man-tears shed over the course of the book. I had to set the book down a few times to keep from sobbing in my cube.
Flowers for Algernon is one of those rare science fiction novels that transcends the genre. Five out of five stars.
While this is clearly speculative fiction, the point of Flowers for Algernon isn’t the technology that lets Charlie become more intelligent but rather how people react to him, both before and afterwards, as his perceptions of the world change. This is, in part, a sharp rebuke of the way that the mentally retarded are treated, but there are also interesting explorations of identity, friendship, and the results of revisiting one’s past. There are several wonderfully memorable characters, particularly the free-living artist living next door.
The journal technique is quite effective in bringing the reader into the story and conveying Charlie’s intelligence level, using spelling and grammar as superficial clues and the sophistication of Charlie’s observations as a deeper clue to his current intelligence level. Over the course of the book, the writing slowly becomes more sophisticated, in tune with the underlying thoughts. I liked the balance between first-person immediacy and thoughtful retrospective that the format of a journal entry at the end of each day or two provides.
The reader’s growing ability to understand Charlie and Charlie’s attempts to understand himself touch on the exploration of alienness and human reactions to it that underpin so many great science fiction stories. Highly recommended.
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 reports, written by the protagonist, detailing his experiences throughout his period of experimental treatment. Thus we have a simple but clever way of portraying the changes in his perception and mental abilities which I don’t think would have been as effective had it been written in the third person.
One of the fascinating things about this story is seeing the way the attitudes of others towards him changed as he became more intelligent (not always for the better) and the way his view of others changed as he surpassed them. This has certainly changed the way I think about people with mental problems. A great example of how SF can give a writer tools for examining people and society that other genres lack.
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 becomes smarter and smarter. However, (spoiler alert but then why would anyone read a book that left the story there?), things are not all rosy and Algernon has a sudden precipitous drop in IQ and dies in considerable confusion and pain. Now, can Charlie discover a cure and maintain the enhanced smarts? Does he want to? Is he condemned to go full circle and lose all his self-awareness? These questions are tackled throughout the book and make for great reading. This theme has since been addressed in sci fi (I read “Understand” by Ted Chiang this week on the same idea), but Keyes’ treatment of it is both moving and insightful and a great read.
Nota bene: At WebSummit in Lisbon this week, Bryan Johnson spoke of his new venture (after the $1B sale of Braintree to PayPal some years back) about bringing this kind of cognitive enhancement into the real world, but based on Charlie’s experience, this terrorized rather than excited me. How do you feel about this inevitable new field of neuroscience? Let me know in the comments.