There’s something very satisfying about ending a book, and knowing what’s happened to all the characters within.
But what if you don’t know? What if the book’s ending is ambiguous? Or there’s a question about a character you’re desperate to have answered? That’s when you need a sequel.
Here, the Penguin.co.uk team imagines what the sequels to seven much-loved books might look like.
Bouquets for Algernon
I first read Daniel Keyes’ award-winning novel Flowers for Algernon in secondary school, and it's one of those stories that has really stuck with me over the years. Written as a series of diary entries, the book follows 32-year-old Charlie Gordon, who undergoes an experimental surgical procedure that sees his IQ increase from 68 to 185. Spoiler alert: the ending is profoundly sad. And although I have come to love a tragic ending, it left me with so many burning questions. Did Charlie suffer the same fate as his mouse friend and fellow lab subject Algernon, who sadly passed away after his intelligence reverted? Or did Charlie end up living contentedly in a state institution? Did he ever see his love Miss Kinnian again? Did Charlie (whose memory was very bad at the start of the book) continue to remember that he was once a genius? And did anyone put flowers on Algernon’s grave?
Imogen Rayfield, content producer