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Flores para Algernon

por Daniel Keyes

Otros autores: Ver la sección otros autores.

MiembrosReseñasPopularidadValoración promediaConversaciones / Menciones
13,337344338 (4.12)1 / 431
When brain surgery makes a mouse into a genius, dull-witted Charlie Gordon wonders if it might also work for him. With more than five million copies sold, Flowers for Algernon is the beloved, classic story of a mentally disabled man whose experimental quest for intelligence mirrors that of Algernon, an extraordinary lab mouse. In poignant diary entries, Charlie tells how a brain operation increases his IQ and changes his life. As the experimental procedure takes effect, Charlie's intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis. The experiment seems to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance, until Algernon begins his sudden, unexpected deterioration. Will the same happen to Charlie? An American classic that inspired the award-winning movie Charly.… (más)
Añadido recientemente pordamianwan, biblioteca privada, bluebloodrust, yarnwizard, UpperGreyLibrary, Ardys_Richards, AlisonWonderland410
  1. 71
    La velocidad de la oscuridad por Elizabeth Moon (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: Charlie is definitely not like Lou, true. But their experiences and perspectives have the same mental effect on readers.
  2. 40
    De ratones y hombres por John Steinbeck (sturlington)
  3. 31
    Awakenings por Oliver Sacks (Mumugrrl)
  4. 87
    El curioso incidente del perro a medianoche por Mark Haddon (unlucky)
  5. 10
    Yo soy el queso por Robert Cormier (angelofmusic_81)
  6. 00
    Viejo muere el cisne por Aldous Huxley (Jarandel)
    Jarandel: Similar introduction of a speculative/fantastical premise as a device for observing and criticizing the writer's present reality.
  7. 00
    Mixtape for the Apocalypse por Jemiah Jefferson (kiparsky)
    kiparsky: Similar narrative structure used for a similar purpose, and both are brilliant and heartbreaking books.
  8. 00
    CRISALIDAS,LAS por John Wyndham (hilge)
    hilge: Not so much based on characters or storyline more a general feel to the book that make them feel like good matches
  9. 00
    Onda cerebral por Poul Anderson (aspirit)
  10. 11
    Campo de concentración por Thomas M. Disch (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Same theme of experimental intelligence enhancement. Disch's experimenters are much more sinister, and his experimental subjects much more intelligent.
  11. 01
    Oversite por Maureen F. McHugh (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: A short story by Maureen McHugh about an experimental treatment for Alzheimer's that looks at the effect of loss and gain of mental functioning from a bystander's point-of-view.
  12. 02
    The Girl with All the Gifts por M. R. Carey (SomeGuyInVirginia)
  13. 04
    My Teacher Fried My Brains por Bruce Coville (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: More humor, less drama, but a similar effect in the end.
  14. 15
    Las uvas de la ira por John Steinbeck (Patangel)
Books (13)
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Inglés (333)  Francés (5)  Italiano (2)  Tagalo (1)  Finlandés (1)  Alemán (1)  Catalán (1)  Todos los idiomas (344)
Mostrando 1-5 de 344 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
A really intresting concept, that a young man with severe retardation can be medically made into a genius. As always, science overreaches itself, although there is no moralizing about the dangers of tampering with nature or god's work. Plenty of good fodder about identity and different kinds of intelligence and the right of retardates (as the book calls them in its marvelously archaic way) to be treated like real people. Plot starts to drag in the middle but otherwise a marvelous read. ( )
  fionaanne | Nov 11, 2021 |
Collecting thoughts that I put in a Buddy Read last year.

I wouldn't say unreservedly that I loved the book, but I did love that it made me think.

I was happy to bask in Charlie's brilliance, and that made his eventual decline all the more harrowing.

On his way up, I felt a lot of my teenage realisations about the world echoed on the pages. That moment in life when you realise adults aren't all you thought they were; that everyone is furiously pretending to be smarter, masquerading as more than they are, and will defend themselves at all costs, often by withdrawing from people who they find intellectually intimidating. In polite company, we have a complicit understanding not to push too hard on those insecurities, but that's a vulnerability we know asshole faux-intellectuals can exploit without recourse in order to feel a bit of superiority.

Aside: articulating this reminds me of a funny time that a guy tried to impress me by quoting David Hume as if the thought/quote was his own, not realising I was a philosophy student... he made a hasty retreat in thinly veiled embarrassment, despite the fact that I genuinely thought it was quite nice to find another Hume fan out in the wild.

Charlie wasn't really an asshole, though. He just had low EQ. I think this was really well-written and I think Keyes portrayed his inner turmoil skilfully - that incongruity between different types of intelligence tearing him apart.

The writing was at times beautiful. Casual references to classics that gracefully enrich the narrative, yet never come across as self-indulgent because, of course, Charlie was a genius. For me it's interesting to read about a genius without a shred of jealousy, and without a hint of my inferiority complex bubbling up. Because we know where he came from and we eventually realise where he is going. He is genuine and earnest, and even when others fail to understand him, he has good in his heart and wants to do good for mankind, for himself, and for the Charlie waiting by the window. When he acts like an asshole, it only emphasises how much he is suffering, and we suffer with him because we know how he struggles.

I loved that Keyes didn't make me feel emotionally manipulated. He never laboured the emotional stuff, and often had Charlie reporting his experiences in such a matter-of-fact way. But I still found my heart aching. Charlie's apology to Professor Nemur, the acceptance that his greatest achievement in life was to rest upon the ashes of those who have done so much for him, was a true tragedy.

This book also contains one of the most beautiful descriptions of love I have ever read...
"My body shuddered with giving, and her body shuddered its acceptance.

This was the way we loved, until the night became a silent day. And as I lay there with her I could see how important physical love was, how necessary it was to be in each other's arms, giving and taking. The universe was exploding, each particle away from the next, hurtling us into dark and lonely space, eternally tearing us away from each other - child out of the womb, friend away from friend, moving from each other, each through his own pathway toward the goal-box of solitary death.

But this was the counterweight, the act of binding and holding. As when men to keep from being swept overboard in the storm clutch at each other's hands to resist being torn apart, so our bodies fused a link in the human chain that kept us from being swept into nothing."

It also got me thinking about the morality of the experiment. Are we less of a person if we think less? Are we more of a person if we think more? What is that truly human aspect of intelligence, the thing we believe sets us apart from other animals, despite that not all of us are not lucky (unlucky?) enough to have it?

Is intelligence a gift?

I thought about the moral implications were the experiments to continue. Not only to continue, but to be commoditised. To take people who arguably are a drain on resources at the Warren, those requiring full-time care, those who will make no real contribution to the benefit of mankind (as most of us will not), and altering them to a genius state. Like Charlie, these few months of brilliance may allow them to make contributions to society (through science or otherwise). What if there were rich benefactors willing to sponsor-a-genius, who pay up the cost of the operation for a person to contribute to research in their chosen field. Putting aside the incalculable emotional toll on the individual, there's a utilitarian argument to be made here that could justify the commandeering of individuals in this way.

Putting that aside...

I think the ending was a positive one. Each thread of his life was tied off in a neat (if not happy) knot. The meeting with his mother for example I found incredibly cathartic, that even in her senile state he found out that she was still hopeful for him, and always had been, vainly believing he would achieve something in life. He was blessed with a few moments of healing.

Charlie's world expanded through his ordeal, but in the end he had to leave it all behind as it collapsed. But at the conclusion of his reports, he had gained an enduring sense of personhood - this ability to consider himself in a meta capacity, and a lasting sense that he was a complete human being.

The fact that his brain's deterioration, something that the rest of us are likely to experience protracted over the course of years of suffering as we slowly, gradually and painfully realise the full extent of our own mortality, he managed to fast-track in the course of a couple of months on his descent from true brilliance, seems like a mercy that the rest of us could only hope for. ( )
  Katrana | Oct 13, 2021 |
Charlie Gordon a man with a low IQ will have an operation that will make him the smartest man in the world, and then the troubles begin. ( )
  foof2you | Sep 3, 2021 |
Beautiful. Heartbreaking. Read it. ( )
  madar1a | Jun 5, 2021 |
This book is only just about every top list of science fiction I've come across, and with good reason. Charlie journey thoughout the book is presented in a memorable way that sticks with you for how personal it is by making this story Charlies journal. ( )
  adamfortuna | May 28, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 344 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
[Keyes] has taken the obvious, treated it in a most obvious fashion, and succeeded in creating a tale that is suspenseful and touching - all in modest degree, but it is enough.
añadido por Shortride | editarThe New York Times, Eliot Fremont-Smith (Sitio de pago) (Mar 7, 1966)
 

» Añade otros autores (37 posible)

Nombre del autorRolTipo de autor¿Trabajo?Estado
Keyes, DanielAutorautor principaltodas las edicionesconfirmado
Barroso, PazTraductorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Burgerer, Eva-MariaTraductorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Delessert, EtienneIlustradorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Dessauer, MariaTraductorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Gallet, Georges HilaireTraductorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Leek, JanTraductorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Monecke, HiltguntTraductorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Moore, ChrisArtista de la Cubiertaautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Paz, BarrosoTraductorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Pekkanen, HilkkaTraductorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Podaný, RichardTraductorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Powers, RichardIlustradorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Rabkin, Eric S.Introducciónautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Santos, DomingoTraductorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Sims, AdamNarradorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Szepessy, GyörgyTraductorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Thole, KarelArtista de la Cubiertaautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Woodman, JeffNarradorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
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Anyone who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind's eye, quite as much as of the bodily eye; and he who remembers this when he sees anyone whose vision is perplexed and weak, will not be to (sic) ready to laugh; he will first ask whether that soul of man has come out of the brighter life, and is unable to see because unaccustomed to the dark, or having turned from drakness to the day is dazzled by excess of light. And he will count the one happy in his condition and state of being, and he will pity the other; or, if he have a mind to laugh at the soul which comes from below into the light, there will be more reason in this than in the laugh which greets him who returns from above out of the light into the den. Plato, The Republic
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For my mother And in memory of my father
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Dr Strauss says I shoud rite down what I think and remembir and evrey thing that happins to me from now on.
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Wikipedia en inglés (2)

When brain surgery makes a mouse into a genius, dull-witted Charlie Gordon wonders if it might also work for him. With more than five million copies sold, Flowers for Algernon is the beloved, classic story of a mentally disabled man whose experimental quest for intelligence mirrors that of Algernon, an extraordinary lab mouse. In poignant diary entries, Charlie tells how a brain operation increases his IQ and changes his life. As the experimental procedure takes effect, Charlie's intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis. The experiment seems to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance, until Algernon begins his sudden, unexpected deterioration. Will the same happen to Charlie? An American classic that inspired the award-winning movie Charly.

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Promedio: (4.12)
0.5 7
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3 686
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