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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Book, Summary, Book Review, Online Reading, Download, PDF)

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Summary: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962) is a novel written by Ken Kesey. Set in a psychiatric hospital in Oregon, the narrative serves as a study of institutional processes and the human mind, as well as a critique of behaviorism and a celebration of humanistic principles. It was adapted into the Broadway play One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Dale Wasserman in 1963. Bo Goldman adapted the novel into a 1975 film directed by Miloš Forman, who won five Academy Awards.Time magazine included the novel in its list of "100 best novels in English from 1923 to 2005". In 2003, the book appeared in the BBC survey The Big Read of the 200 "most beloved novels" in the United Kingdom.In this classic novel, Ken Kesey's hero is Randle Patrick McMurphy, a boisterous, rowdy, fun-loving rebel who wanders the world of a psychiatric hospital and takes over. A lustful fighter, who affirms life, McMurphy gathers the other patients around him in defiance of the dictatorship of Nurse Ratched. Promotes the game in the room, smuggles wine and women, and openly defies the rules at all times. But this challenge, which begins as a sport, soon becomes a sinister struggle, a total war between two implacable opponents: Nurse Ratched, backed by the full power of authority, and McMurphy, who has only his own indomitable will. What happens when Nurse Ratched uses his final weapon against McMurphy provides the shocking climax of the story.Narrated by the gigantic but docile "Boss" half Indian Bromden, who has pretended to be deaf and mute for several years, the story focuses on the antics of the rebel Randle Patrick McMurphy, a lucky prison receiver working on the farm to a mental hospital. After being found guilty of a battery charge, McMurphy simulates the madness to serve his sentence in the hospital.

Review: "A work of genuine literary merit ... What Mr. Kesey has done in his unusual novel is to transform the difficult situation of the award in a psychiatric hospital into a brilliant parable of good and evil." - The New York Times Book review"[A] first brilliant novel ... a strong and warm story about the nature of human good and evil ... Keysey has turned his book into a roar of protest against the rules of the middlebrow society and the invisible rulers that they impose them. "The final triumph of these men at the cost of a terrifying sacrifice should send chills down the back of any reader ... The scenes in this novel have the liveliness of a movie." - The Washington Post"An outstanding book ... The characters of [Kesey] are original and real ... This is a diatribe against the growing controls on man and his mind, however, the author never gets in a gallery. Forget that there is a thin line between tragedy and comedy. " Houston Chronicle

About The Author: Ken Kesey (1935-2001) grew up in Oregon. He graduated from the University of Oregon and then studied at Stanford with Wallace Stegner, Malcolm Cowley, Richard Scowcroft and Frank O 'Connor. Someone flew over the cuckoo's nest, his first novel, was published in 1962. His second novel, Sometimes a Great Notion, followed him in 1964. His other books include Kesey's Garage Sale, Demon Box, Caverns (with OU Levon), The Further Investigation, Sailor Song and Last Go Round (with Ken Babbs). His two children's books are Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear and The Sea Lion.

Author Ken Kesey
Cover artist Paul Bacon
Country United States
Language English
Publisher Viking Press & Signet Books
Publication date
1962
Pages 320