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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Paperback – Jan 1 1976


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1st New edition edition (Jan. 1 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140043128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140043129
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (281 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #677,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From Library Journal

Kesey's new introduction to this anniversary edition could very well be the last thing he worked on before shuffling off this mortal coil in 2001. Additionally, 25 sketches he drew while working at a mental institution in the 1950s, the inspiration for the novel, are littered throughout. Critics are divided on the meaning of the book: Is it a tale of good vs. evil, sanity over insanity, or humankind trying to overcome repression amid chaos? Whichever, it is a great read.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'Kesey can be funny, he can be lyrical, he can do dialogue, and he can write a muscular narrative. In fact there's not much better come out of America in the sixties... If you haven't already read this book, do so. If you have, read it again' SCOTSMAN --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is phenomenal. The way that Ken Kesey has developed the characters drew me in to the book, and made me eager to see what would happen as the plot developed, I could hardly put it down and was always dying to pick it back up. At times the book is sad, at times hilarious, but all the way through it created a real emotional connection for me. This, in my opinion, is one of the keys to excellent fiction. Another of the keys to excellent fiction is when the reader can read it as a metaphor for larger issues and ideas. This book is packed with themes that question what insanity is, in a world that seems to be insane (another one that would tie in pretty well with this is Joseph Heller's "Catch 22"). The whole book deals with issues of authourity and control, and the efforts of powerless people to regain control in their lives.
I believe this book is based on Ken Kesey's experiences working as a janitor in an asylum or mental health institute. His life and personality are fascinating, he seems to have been an absolutely amazing man. Another amazing book, which is based on Ken Kesey, is "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" by Tom Wolfe... it depicts the adventures of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, who drove through America taking loads of acid and giving it to people they met along the way. I would highly recommend "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" to anybody and everybody, and I would also highly recommend not to watch the movie. I couldn't even get through it, and it really is a great example of a movie that does injustice to the book it is based on. If you must watch it, read the book first so that you don't know the story and ruin the experience of reading this excellent book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In his attempt to convey what he believed to be "the essentially schizophrenic nature of mankind," Kesey, rather than telling the tale from the perspective of an uninvolved "God-Narrator," or from that of R. P. McMurphy, who might have been too involved in the main action, opted to present the story from the point of view of one of the psycho ward's bystanding schizophrenic inmates; "the Big Chief."
By telling the tale through the Chief's schizophrenic eyes, Kesey was able to, not merely "tell" the tale from an "eye witness perspective," but actually "show" the tale in a sort of "poetic-sensurround;" the reader would come to understand and appreciate the healing effect provided by McMurphy's inspiring individualism as the Chief's narration became progressively less "schizophrenic," and more concrete and objective as the story moved forward.
Additionally, it gave Kesey a viable way to provide the story with a mystical, supernatural quality. This, in turn, enabled him to give full force and effect, through the Chief's altered perception, to his allegoric and metaphoric symbolism; allowed him to have the Chief see and hear impressionistic and imaginary stimuli as though they were solid objects and real actions and occurrences, allowed him to turn the verbal and mental sparring between McMurphy and Nurse Ratched into epic battles waged between mythical, larger-than-life titans, between the very forces of good and evil itself.
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By Laurie Benner on May 19 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Chief Bromden has been a patient in the Mental Hospital for years, but has always been known as the guy who never speaks or hears anyone. He spends most of his time there sweeping and cleaning the ward, and over hearing everything that goes on around him. One day, Bromden watches a new patient join the ward, Randal P. McMurphy, who is a large and outgoing man who had himself committed to avoid doing work on a prison farm. McMurphy instantly gains a hatred toward the Head Nurse, Nurse Ratched, a deceiving and evil woman who has claimed a Dictatorship over her ward as well as the entire hospital. McMurphy plays mind games with Ratched, the ward Doctor, and his fellow patients as the story goes on, gaining the patients' respect and making Ratched determined to make him quiet and slow like all of the others. McMurphy's hatred grows so much, that he will go to any extent to over power Ratched, which is where I will stop as this leads forth to the shocking and vengeful conclusion. This is really a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. Truly a book that everyone must read! Also recommended: "THE LOSERS' CLUB: Complete Restored Edition" by Richard Perez -- an odd, often funny and strangely moving book.
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By A Customer on July 1 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In his attempt to convey what he believed to be "the essentially schizophrenic nature of mankind," Kesey, rather than telling the tale from the perspective of an uninvolved "God-Narrator," or from that of R. P. McMurphy, who might have been too involved in the main action, opted to present the story from the point of view of one of the psycho ward's bystanding schizophrenic inmates; "the Big Chief."
By telling the tale through the Chief's schizophrenic eyes, Kesey was able to, not merely "tell" the tale from an "eye witness perspective," but actually "show" the tale in a sort of "poetic-sensurround;" the reader would come to understand and appreciate the healing effect provided by McMurphy's inspiring individualism as the Chief's narration became progressively less "schizophrenic," and more concrete and objective as the story moved forward.
Additionally, it gave Kesey a viable way to provide the story with a mystical, supernatural quality. This, in turn, enabled him to give full force and effect, through the Chief's altered perception, to his allegoric and metaphoric symbolism; allowed him to have the Chief see and hear impressionistic and imaginary stimuli as though they were solid objects and real actions and occurrences, allowed him to turn the verbal and mental sparring between McMurphy and Nurse Ratched into epic battles waged between mythical, larger-than-life titans, between the very forces of good and evil itself.
Read more ›
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