It was about twelve years ago now.

It was about twelve years ago now.

I was sitting in the café of a train station in Bristol staring out the window, ignoring the scalding hot cup of tea on the counter in front of me. I was already twenty minutes late to meet someone in the car park. They’d sent me a text message to say they’d arrived, but I ignored it. I couldn’t leave yet.

I couldn’t leave because I’d been crying.

My eyes were red and puffy, and — frankly — I was in a state of shock. I can count on one hand the times I’ve cried as an adult, but on this occasion I hadn’t just received bad news of a loved one’s illness or worse. No, I’d just finished reading Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes for the first time.

I can’t say that it was a life changing event. It didn’t make me decide to be a writer. I didn’t quit my job. But it was still one of the most defining moments of my adult life, and one of my most vivid memories.

The power of the story. The ability of the writer to move people. To capture a readers focus so intently that they are moved to tears. It was

I dont know the words.

I like stories. I like to tell them and I like to hear them. Im not a man who has a favorite song or food or movie. My mind changes too offen for that. But flowers is my absolute favrite book. it was eye opening. an educashun.

I dont no if i will ever rite something that will move a person like flowers moved me. The best i can hop for is to rite a story that people want to read. i will keep trying. i will reread flowers and kep ritin stories and hope that they keep gettin beter.

i will try reely hard and be as gud as i can.

Thank you, Daniel. May you rest in peace.


Flowers is a perennial 'must have".
Between us, piggy, we’ve brought down the deity, ‘Lord Procrastinator’. The deed is done, and Alge, is winging his way here, as we type.
Nice one piggy.



I didn’t know Bristol had a “train station”, I always thought it had a “railway station”! :smiling_imp:

Mr X

I first read it sitting on a park bench in Boston Common, at the insistence of the space-cadet/intellectual hippie/brahmette who became my first wife, literary muse, and relentless 'enry 'igginser. She’d read it a few years before and loved it, and insisted I should, too (I did).

Our second date was the premier of the movie Charly, which had just been shot in Boston. (Our first date was a Velvet Underground concert at the old Boston Teaparty).

Different days. And a great book.

Sometimes I forget that, like milk, obscure references have an expiration date. Charly was the movie made (loosely) out of Flowers for Algernon. It won an Oscar for Cliff Robertson, and was filmed all around Boston. I think in one scene my Elizer’s mother’s elbow appears, passing by on Boston Common toward the Public Garden.

Vic-K–the Master-o-Google, coming up with a Velvet-Underground-at-the-Teaparty set. I feel I should be wearing all black, and thinking dark and angry and unfocused thoughts. Rather like Charly, toward the end of Flowers.

Great book. Must re-read.

I… I’ve been living a lie!

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(this is difficult to say here, now)

…haven’t read Flowers for Algernon. :blush:

I most certainly will now.

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Fellow crew members, do not fret yourselves, unduly. Shame is a terribly debilitating burden to bear. :frowning: Seek counseling. I’m certain other members of Scriv’s crew will rally round, offering support and encouragement.
Take care
Dr. Mulality

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Charlie and Alge arrived t’other day. We’ve become, ‘the odd spare minute’, and bedtime buddies.
Charlie’s taken over the ‘dough mixing machine’ at the bakery, and he’s also letting Alge know that he, Charlie, ain’t as dumb as he used to be. Nastiness of Charlie’s so called friends beginning to show. I’ve got my Kleenex tissues handy.

I downloaded Flowers for Algernon on the strength of this thread, and finally got round to reading it this weekend. It was heart-rending. My son is home for the weekend, and I mentioned it to him. “I’ve got that upstairs,” he said, pulling a troubled face. “It’s very good. It might well be the saddest book I have ever read.”

I’m glad I have read it, and I admire the book for its power, for the tragedy of the story, and for the way in which that story is communicated – but I don’t think I could bear to re-read it.

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'Tis a beautiful book for sure.

Only 70 years to wait until someone releases “Flowers and Zombies for Algernon”.

Only 60 years to wait until someone releases “Flowers and Zombies for Algernon”.