Free and Discounted Ebooks
Join 130,000 readers! Get our ebook deals straight to your inbox.

The Short Life

Cover image for


Author: Francis Donovan
Published: 1955
Language: English
Wordcount: 21,423 / 70 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 66.7
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,128
Added to site: 2007.12.21 19444

The Alien had to choose--and fast--a living entity to act through. He chose ... but he made one error....

Show Excerpt

where at all. It'll open at an unanswered question. At the age of roughly three and one-half, a congenital idiot suddenly displays flashes of alert intelligence. For forty-two months that child was content to sit on his fanny and vegetate. Never crawled, never spoke, never played, seldom even focused his eyes. Then one day his mother sees him study some alphabet blocks with every appearance of curiosity. Awareness! For the first time!

"Later, he suddenly reaches out his hand and piles the blocks in a neat stack. Purposeful activity and perfect muscular control! No trial-and-error, no baby hesitation with hand poised--just a sudden assured, controlled action. Mama leaps for joy, junior relapses into idiocy, and no one--including me--really believes mama when she says it happened. This sort of thing goes on for several months--brief, erratic flashes of extraordinary intelligence, considering the subject. Then, a child who has never spoken a single word says clearly and politely, 'I want that one, Helen,'

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 5 from 1 reviews: *****
Paulo Respighi

A poignant story of a little boy, born a congenital idiot, who suddenly begins talking at three years old and displays occasional signs of genius. The ending is a little talky, but shows great insight and compassion. The characters have depth and reality. It's kind of a Flowers for Algernon with aliens.
Highly recommended.



Join 120,000+ fellow readers! Get Free eBooks and book bargains from ManyBooks in your inbox. 

We respect your email privacy

login | register

User ID


reset password

Author of the Day

W. L. Liberman
W.L. Liberman is a man with many talents. He has published nine novels, five graphic novels and a children’s storybook. Liberman is also the founding editor and publisher of TEACH Magazine;, and has worked as a television producer and on-air commentator. As our author of the day, Liberman reveals the inspiration behind Looking for Henry Turner, why he has a soft spot for the 1960s and talks about why family ties and loyalty to friends are so important in life.
Read full interview...