Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Charly

As a writer, my A to Z challenge is going to be about books, characters, TV shows and movies that have impacted me somehow. Enjoy! Be sure to check out Lee’s blog to find more bloggers taking on this challenge!

Charly

This book is really called Flowers for Algernon, but the cover I read had the name Charly written across the front with one of the letters spelled backwards. I’ve always called it Charly. I read this book in grade 9 or 10 and was amazed by the whole book. It’s written from Charly’s pov and it follows his journey as he is given medication to make him super smart and then his journey back as the meds stop working. It’s heartbreaking and brilliant. And makes you really think about scientific research and its impact on people. Very powerful stuff in this book.

Have you read any other books about scientific research that have scared you? Or inspired you?

55 comments:

Belle Wong said...

I remember reading this book for school, too, Jemi. It was such a beautiful book, and it was so nice that I actually enjoyed it even though it was for school!

Lynda R Young said...

It sounds like a remarkable book!

Charmaine Clancy said...

Sounds like a great book, I think I saw a movie of this made in the late 70's or early 80's?
Wagging Tales

welcome to my world of poetry said...

It seems a good book to read. an excellent post for the c word,

Yvonne.

JeffO said...

It's a very good book, been a long time since I read it.

Charmaine - there was a movie version, I don't remember when it was made but I remember Cliff Robertson played Charly.

Old Kitty said...

I've not heard of this book so thank you so much for the intro and review! Sounds really intriguing! Take care
x

Jemi Fraser said...

Belle - isn't it sad that so often we're forced to read books that just don't work for us. I loved this one!

Lynda - it really is a fabulous one! :)

Charmaine - I don't know! Although it wouldn't surprise me at all :)

Yvonne - thanks! It's a really powerful book that's stayed with me for a very long time!

Jeff - thanks Jeff - I'll have to check out the movie version one day. I wonder if this cover is from the movie???

Old Kitty - it's powwerful. I haven't read it in a few decades and it's stuck with me!

Laura Marcella said...

I remember this book! I had to read it in 9th grade, too. It was so interesting then, but I bet I'd appreciate it more now. I should check it out of the library and re-read it.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Jemi, I like your theme for the A-Z. Flowers for Algernon was a wonderful book. As you say, sad and brilliant.

Journaling Woman said...

OH NO, I've never read that book. Gotta do it now.

Teresa

Clarissa Draper said...

I read this book when I was young but I'm doing a Classics Challenge and want to re-read it. Thanks for the suggestions.

Heather M. Gardner said...

I remember this book too. Required reading. And they made a movie which was very sad too.

A book that scared me was by Robin Cook. It was called Toxin and it was about E. Coli. It was frightening.

Great post!
HMG

Amy said...

I'll have to check this one out - thank you for sharing Jemi! :)

Shelley Sly said...

Oh yes, this book has stayed with me. What a haunting story. It's one of those that I recommend every writer reads, just for the experience.

Elana Johnson said...

Wow, I really need to read this. I'm a lover of science and novels of this kind. Thanks!

Karen Walker said...

Sounds like a wonderful book, Jemi. There was a movie by the same name, but I don't think it's the same story. With Cliff Robertson.
Karen

Josh Hoyt said...

Yes the research that is done is both amazing and heartbreaking. Sounds like a good read.

Diane Weidenbenner said...

Great blog. I haven't thought about Flowers for Algernon for years but it really made an impact on me when I first read it. Thanks for the memories!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've never read the book but the movie Charley was really sad at the end.

Susanne Drazic said...

I have this book. I've read this book. I also have the movie.

Susanne
PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER

Hart Johnson said...

I haven't read this one, but I've heard of it--sounds fascinating. My husband is on a waiting list for The Immortal Life of Harriet Lacks--a black woman whose cells were harvested and began a decades long line of research making pharma millions and her family NOTHING. I like the ethics cases, but tend to see them professionally, so skip them in my free time.

Jemi Fraser said...

Laura - it's definitely one of those books that stick with you! I'll have to reread it too - see how my memory is! :)

Yvonne - sad and brilliant it is. Such an incredible story filled with such depth.

Teresa - it's really well written. A little old fashioned for the style of writing now - but so deep!

Clarissa - you're very welcome. I hope you enjoy it the 2nd time around :)

Heather - I tend to avoid those medical ones - they really creep me out too! :)

Amy - you're welcome! Hope you enjoy it!

Shelley - haunting is the perfect word for it! It is one of 'those' books. :)

Elana - you're welcome. I think it would be right up your alley, Elana!

Karen - from what I've been hearing, the movie is based on the book. I don't think I ever saw it.

Josh - it is. Shows the up and the down of research on humans!

Diane We. - thanks! Glad to meet you. It's one of those books that stay with you :)

L. Diane - the book is really sad too. Broke my heart.

Suzanne - I haven't seen the movie. And I often don't like adaptations. But the book was amazing!

Hart - a friend of mine is reading that book and has told me the story. Another heart breaker!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I read this one in 7th grade. It broke my heart. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Shannon - mine too. It's one of those ones that has stayed with me through the years and made me really think about scientific research! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I read it in high school, but that was a long time ago. Saw the play as well.

Jemi Fraser said...

Alex - it would a great challenge for an actor to play that part. Powerful stuff!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

oh my, I just had a giant flashback to grade 9 when I read this book for school. I LOVED this book! Really, if I asked my parents if they remember this, I'm sure they'd say yes because I raved about it for weeks.

Jemi Fraser said...

Terry - it really is an amazing book. That's awesome that you were so enthralled with it to discuss it so much with your folks! :)

Jen said...

I've never read the actual book, but this movie was captivating. Great post! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Jemi Fraser said...

Jen - you're very welcome! :) I haven't seen the movie - but I adored the book :)

DeniseCovey_L_Aussie said...

I've heard of this, probably because I've seen the movie Charmaine spoke of. Sounds like the book is a great read.

Denise

Jemi Fraser said...

Denise - I never did see the movie (not uncommon for me) - but the book is amazing :)

Texas Playwright Chick said...

You know, I have never read Flowers for Algernon (Charly). I'm gonna head off to Half Price this weekend and see if I can find it! Check out the book I reviewed today at my site, I think you'd enjoy it too.It's called Cotton Rock & it's newly published, written my my stepmom, no less!

Jemi Fraser said...

Texas - I think CHarly is one of those books a whole lot of people will enjoy :) Off I go...

Deniz Bevan said...

Ooh, I barely remember this book, it's been so long since I've read it. I wish I had loads of time to reread all sorts of books!

Jemi Fraser said...

Deniz - no kidding! There are so many old faves I'd love to revisit - and so many new ones yelling for my attention! We need time!! :)

Beth Zimmerman said...

I've read everything ever written by Robin Cook and Michael Palmer. Combine those with bad personal experience and doctors and researchers scare me to death!

And I read Flowers for Algernon at about the same age. There was a movie that was kind of a take off on it ... Ben (took me a moment to find the name in my head). Michael Jackson sang the theme song.

Beth Zimmerman said...

Just browsed through comments. Maybe Ben was another rat movie in the same time period.

Theresa Milstein said...

I remember reading this in my 10th grade English class. I loved it. So heartbreaking.

klahanie said...

Right then, hello Jemi, my silly internet service 'unprovider', keeps having outages and yep, just as I had finished a comment. A comment that vanished into the ether. Maybe it's a sign..
Anyway, very hurriedly, your articulate description for that book has ignited my curiosity. For some strange reason, you've made me recall a book we had to read in grade ten named, "The Chrysalids".
Take care and have a fun time with bringing further awareness of the alphabet. And gosh, Lee has declared me, "The anti-A to Z Challenge spokesman." Well, who would have thought that of me :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Beth - I loved that Michael Jackson song - it'll be stuck in my head now! I do think they were different movies - but both dealing with the same kind of theme! :)

Theresa - exactly. Heartbreaking. One of those stories that makes you think!

Gary - love it! Lee must love your sense of humour and irony to dub you with that honour!! :) I read the Chrysalids as well. I don't remember it as well - but I remember loving it too! So many great books from high school!! :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I read that book in school too. It was so sad and I think one of the first books to make the future seem scary.

mshatch said...

loved this book. I think I read it in high school, too.

Jemi Fraser said...

Susan - exactly! It started me on a huge dystopian kick (although I didn't know the term at the time). One of my teachers was a huge dystopia fan! awesome stuff :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Marcy - oops! Cross posted :) It seems a lot of schools/boards had this one on the curriculum. Great choice :)

Elliot Grace said...

...love that story, Jemi. Truly a must read for all!

El

Leslie Rose said...

Flowers for Algernon is the first book that I remember sobbing over as I read it. Loved the movie too. Off to check out your A and B.

Jemi Fraser said...

Elliot - my thoughts exactly! It's such a 'thinking' book!

Leslie - yes! I sobbed too - such a touching story! :)

Ishta Mercurio said...

How did I miss this book? I'll have to go look for it now. Thanks for pointing it out!

A-Z-ing along with you and a few hundred other people. :-)

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Jemi -- I don't think I've read this book, but it sounds like one I should read. Scientific experiments are always hopeful and terrifying because we never know for sure how they will turn out.

Patricia Stoltey

Rayna Iyer said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jemi. And when you have a head cold, do try ginger in your "chai"- unlikely not to work.

Love your theme for the challenge, and this definitely sounds like a fantastic book. Will be back for more.

Danette said...

Another Charly! (only spelled differently) Good choice! I thought Frank Herberts 'Jesus Incident' was pretty scary.

Medeia Sharif said...

I read this long ago and thought it was sad.

I read an excerpt to one of my classes months ago. They loved it and we had a great discussion.

Jemi Fraser said...

Medeia - it really is a discussion provoking book! So many layers to it! :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Ishta - it's really good! And it feels like a bazillion people! :)

Pat - exactly! The hopes are so high and results can be exhilerating - or devastating!

Rayna - ginger? That's awesome. I'll definitely have to try it! :)

Danette - I read a few of Herbert's books, but not that one. He's another great author!