ePUB Ken Kesey Æ Æ One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest MOBI í Flew Over the

Tyrannical Nurse Ratched rules her ward in an Oregon State mental hospital with a strict and unbending routine unopposed by her patients who remain cowed by mind numbing medication and the threat of electric shock therapy But her regime is disrupted by the arrival of McMurphy – the swaggering fun loving trickster with a devilish grin who resolves to oppose her rules on behalf of his fellow inmates His struggle is seen through the eyes of Chief Bromden a seemingly mute half Indian patient who understands McMurphy's heroic attempt to do battle with the powers that keep them imprisoned Ken Kesey's extraordinary first novel is an exuberant ribald and devastatingly honest portrayal of the boundaries between sanity and madness

10 thoughts on “One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

  1. says:

    Last night at about 2 am I finished 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' by Ken Kesey I lay awake for a long time afterward watching the bars of light on the ceiling holding my eyes open until the pupils dilated enough to shrink the light then I'd blink and have to start all overFinally I sat up and turned on the lights The book had done something to me Like it'd punched me in the face and said Do something you idiotSo I gathered up a bunch of sentimental shit from around my apartment stuffed it into a backpack hiked across town and threw it off the Morrison BridgeThe backpack made a loud 'thunk' when it hit the water Like a body falling from a building I watched it float downstream a tiny dot weaving through the rippling reflections of the city lights until it finally sank below the surfaceI tell you this story because in a way throwing that bag of stuff off the bridge is the best analysis I can make of Kesey's bookSo much has been said before what else can I say?Chuck Palahniuk summed it up nicely in the forward for the Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition He explains that 'Cuckoo's Nest' tells the same story as the most popular novels of the last century it focuses on the modern paradox of trying to be human in the well oiled machine of a capitalist democracy where you must be either a savior or a slave Palahniuk points out that 'Cuckoo's Nest' shows us a third option You can create and live in a new systemnot rebelling against or carving into your culture but creating a vision of your own and working to make that option realIs there anything else left to say?Reading this book is like being inside Fight Club You take punch after punch but keep crawling back for because it's making you feel things you didn't know you could feel and as long as you stay conscious and don't give up or let your eyes glaze over this book will creep into the very edges of your consciousness and give you new words for the uestions you always wanted to ask show you how to draw a map of your own and give you a glimmer of hope that maybe just maybe it is possible to rise above the machine of society and become human again

  2. says:

    Profane hilarious disturbing heartbreaking shocking – powerfulKen Kesey’s genre defining 1962 novel that was made into a Broadway play and then made into an Academy Award winning film starring Jack Nicholson will inspire strong emotions I can see people loving it or hating itI loved itFirst of all and I mean this from the bottom of my heart a book that is banned from libraries has a place on my bookshelf So all you amateur censurers out there – you are my enemy I don’t like you I defy you A book that you don’t like is a book that I do and I want to rub it in your faceThis from WikipediaOne Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is one of America's most highly challenged and banned novels• 1974 Five residents of Strongsville Ohio sued the local Board of Education to remove the novel from classrooms They deemed the book pornographic and said that it glorifies criminal activity has a tendency to corrupt juveniles and contains descriptions of bestiality bizarre violence and torture dismemberment death and human elimination• 1975 The book was removed from public schools in Randolph New York and Alton Oklahoma• 1977 Removed from the reuired reading list in Westport Maine• 1978 Banned from the St Anthony Idaho Freemont High School and the teacher who assigned the novel was fired• 1982 Challenged at Merrimack New Hampshire High School• 1986 Challenged at Aberdeen Washington High school in Honors English classes2000 Challenged at Placentia Unified School District Yorba Linda California Parents say that the teachers could choose the best books but they keep choosing this garbage over and over againThe teacher who assigned this as reading was FIRED??? The year 2000? The year 2000??? We are in the 21st century and someone is calling this garbage??Ok First of all McMurphy is alive“Man when you lose your laugh you lose your footing”The dramatic tension between McMurphy and Nurse Ratched was literary diamonds – rare treasure Kesey created a novel wherein was a clash between an unstoppable force and an immovable object Clash That’s what it was and a reader could see it coming from a mile down the tracks like a freight train whistling and steaming Here it comesMcMurphy was the novel’s tragic hero – a red headed Irish American troublemaker who everyone loves deep down The Big Nurse – Mildred Ratched is the Man She is the embodiment of the institution the rules the law the Order Kesey has drawn an epic clash between chaos and order and did so within the halls and bleached clean walls of an insane asylumThough I could not help picturing Jack Nicholson as McMurphy while reading this Kesey’s McMurphy is really described like Charles Dickens’ Fagan a red headed trickster and perhaps in mythic terms he is Coyote or Loki he is THE TRICKSTER GOD he is that opposing force that makes the orderly way of the universe stronger“Rules? PISS ON YOUR FUCKING RULES”In another way McMurphy is the uintessential American and he can be seen as a metaphor for the spirit of America He is the entrepreneur the self starter the untamed rebel who makes his own rules He is the great eualizer the leader who kicks down the boundaries who champions the little guy who colors outside the lines and who picks the small boys and the fat kids on his team and then wins anyway and wins big“All I know is this nobody's very big in the first place and it looks to me like everybody spends their whole life tearing everybody else down”Kesey’s narrator is also an unlikely selection Chief Bromden nicknamed Chief Broom because he is made to sweep the halls A giant of a man the rational modern world has emasculated him made him small and without a voice or strength Chief is clearly schizophrenic but also lucid he and the other patients are humans deserving of respect and sympathy; one of the central points made by Kesey who is as humanist as Kurt Vonnegut and as fun as a barrel full of monkeys Chief’s dramatic and dynamic evolution is the barometer of this great workThe Chronics and acutes When McMurphy arrives at the institute the residents are informally divided between the chronics – those whose condition has demanded their lifelong commitment; and the acutes those whose insanity may be temporary and remedied Interestingly many are there voluntarily McMurphy’s friendship with Chief an erstwhile chronic and his championing of the acutes status is a central theme of the book“What do you think you are for Chrissake crazy or somethin'? Well you're not You're not You're no crazier than the average asshole out walkin' around on the streets and that's it ”Like Upton Sinclair’s muckraking journalistic exposures in The Jungle Kesey’s novel can also be seen as a bright light shined on the mental health facilities in the 60s“He Who Marches Out Of Step Hears Another Drum”A book that should be read

  3. says:

    I have a lovehate relationship with this book The writing and imagery are superb and I always love a down with tyrannical overloads generic living and medicalization moral but its other lesson leaves me cringing In the basic knowledge I have of Ken Kesey the book ultimately seems very misogynistic and anti feminist I'm all for a gender balance but this book botches up the entire process in a method that purposely lacks tongue in cheek flair Basically the plot seems to involve men mentally castrated by a domineering woman who could just as easily be labeled Bitch as she could Big Nurse Enter main character who in my tattered yellow paged 70's copy directly labels him as the hero of the book on the back cover a man that pretty much shakes the men up to the supposed feminization of American culture and how it's destroying their identities as males Read here a huge characterization of the male ego is to dominate the female with opposites all aroundHow is this man so easily labeled a hero? Have we forgotten he has been charged and convicted among other things with rape of a female minor? And the main reason he's in the asylum is to skimp out on his prison sentence? How is that masculine if I am to continue on with the stereotypes the book itself perpetuates and yet backpedals when necessary? Why do we consider him the main character when the story is being told in the first person by a Native American? Can you not be a man a hero unless you're white? Or perhaps it was because he was so docile?In the end the supposed hero of the book teaches men that to cast off impending feminization one must be violent towards women; muscle them out of the way destroy them if they're relentless If you are unable or fearful of doing so you're better off killing yourself than being only half of a man Oh but wait there's a special lesson for the ladies themselves too; To steer clear of the eventual rape assault murder or torture and yes it will happen simply sexualize yourself That's the only way to be safe and isn't it convenient securely a woman So much for individualization and going against cultural norms gentlemen You're a dime a dozenBefore we glorify such a book we have to sit down and figure out what exactly masculinity is outside of a cultural setting before we can complain that culture itself is taking it away Are we to allow a cowardly violent looking out for Number One individual give us this definition fair and balanced?It's one thing for him to say it it's another for us to listen

  4. says:

    I just watched an interview with Stephen Fry and he mentioned this book Read it a long long time ago Read it for highschool already I think Remember being shocked and amazed Scary funny dark and wonderful at the same time Un be lievable And I just realized this is one of the best and impressive books I ever read Definitely a top tenner ever

  5. says:

    My friend Ed was recently updating his books with reviews on here and this book popped up in my feed It's my husband's favorite moviebook of all time and I realized that I had never picked the book up I've watched bits and pieces of the movie in the three thousand times that my husband has watched it but I had never experienced it first handI'm guttedWhy have I not just sat down and watched the film that was made from this book? I'm completely off my rocker Randle Patrick McMurphy That guy who plays crazy to get out of a work detail Goes into the mental hospital and completely owns it He gets the inmates to smoking drinking having women and fishing He makes them back into the men that they were I wanted to reach over and touch the place where he was tattooed to see if he was still alive He's layin' awful uiet I told myself I ought to touch him to see if he's still aliveThat's a lie I know he's still alive That ain't the reason I want to touch him I want to touch him because he is a man The evil in this book Nurse Ratched I usually have a fond spot for the villains but this woman scares me She has got to be one of the top baddies of all time I still have goosebumps from her I've always been hit or miss on books that are called classics and that's probably why I have not tried some that now I'm beginning to reconsider Because if they are like this one I'm definitely missing out Thanks Ed for pointing out this most wonderful book to me He'd shown us what a little bravado and courage could accomplish and we thought he'd taught us how to use it

  6. says:

    I first read this book in 2007 after I became a daytime outpatient at Our Lady of Peace my city's mental health facility I had a nervous breakdown after losing my teaching job I went 5 days a week; I ate lunch there I was so medicated they transported me Somehow this book and movie and especially the character of McMurphy was how my dad related to me during this trying time Mental health is a trigger issue with me It's not understood today It certainly wasn't understood in the '60s Let's just keep them caged sedated and manipulated Make them feel guilty about their problems Take away comfort and leisure No friends no family no fun no fresh air Yeah that sounds healthyAddendum 21318 just bought this on audible 50th anniversary edition read by John C Reilly Got me thinking of my dad asking his McMurphy how Ms Ratchett was today That was probably the roughest patch of my life but I would never have changed a thing I learned so much about myself and became so much stronger in spirit However I realize that if I had lived in an earlier time period my outcome could have been much gloomier and permanent I’ve been reading various other mental health books lately and sadly some things never change as advanced medicine has become We just can’t seem to grasp the BRAIN AUDIO REREAD # 19How many of us have been told dragons do not exist then been dragged to their lairs?How many of us forget sometimes what laughter can do?I think out of all the characters out of all the books Billy the most breaks my heart Tag teamed by his mother and Nurse Ratchett he never had a chance in life All he wants in life is love and he proves himself to be such a gentleman As I drove home from work this morning listening to this book I glanced at my speedometer; I was driving 40 mph on the interstate It was during the gas station scene when the gang learns being insane can still mean being powerful That’s when I finally realized how much hope McMurphy instilled in these terrified suppressed lives which makes the last couple of hours of the story all the tragic McMurphy gave these men another glance at happiness reminded them how to be assertive inspired a little self worth again He basically he showed them they were men they were deserving of humane treatment They were not anyone’s “ Boys” even at Billy’s age the youngest at 31 They didn’t didn’t deserve the underhanded demeaning manipulations and insinuations of a sadist But these these new emotions did not germinate and bloom only malice and grief took root Very few books hold my heart through years as this one does I appreciate Kelsey’s honesty on the pages

  7. says:

    “All I know is this nobody’s very big in the first place and it looks to me like everybody spends their whole life tearing everybody else down” Ken Kesey One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s NestThis is a book I had little interest in reading A novel set in an insane asylum? No thanks I spent four years of my legal career defending indigent clients facing commitment before our local Board of Mental Health It was an experience I had not trained for prepared for or frankly could have imagined before I started It was an eye opening glimpse into the world of mental illnesses Underfunded and understaffed hospitals Patients with deep paranoiac beliefs their minds spinning webs within webs within webs Patients who suffered terrifying hallucinations I was once told while interviewing a client that I appeared to him as a skeleton Patients capable of sudden violent changes of moods The one piece of advice I ever received sit next to the door Always sit next to the door Patients who were stigmatized ostracized alienated from families and friends One of the lasting takeaways from those years is a healthy skepticism of the way mental illness is portrayed in popular culture Typically we’re either dealing with a psychopathic killer ala Michael Meyers or a person whose mental illness is portrayed as a moral failing a character flaw that can be overcome with a better attitude ala Hurley in LOST or the entire cast of Dream Team With those prejudgments in mind I likely would have ignored Ken Kesey’s counterculture classic One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest I imagined it as shallow hijinks with a plot that struck me as a bit like Cool Hand Luke getting involuntarily committed But then it was chosen by the Eastern Nebraska Men’s Biblio and Social Club and the choice was out of my hands Even so I hesitated until just a few days before our meeting Grudgingly I opened the first page and read the first odd discombobulating lines “They’re out there Black boys in white suits up before me to commit sex acts in the hall and get it mopped up before I can catch them” Suffice to say Kesey had my attention Those words are spoken by Chief Bromden the tale’s first person narrator Bromden known as Chief Broom is a Columbia Indian who has convinced everyone on the ward that he is deaf and dumb Because of this perception no one pays attention to him He is able to see things others wouldn’t be allowed to see and hear things other wouldn’t be allowed to hear And so he is able to relate the story of Randal P McMurphy a red haired Steve Mcueen type with a personality disorder who shows up on the ward and engages in an epic battle of wills with the Nurse Ratched aka the “Big Nurse”Side note I watched the movie after reading the book Jack Nicholson is a fine actor He is not Randal P McMurphy Chief Bromden is a fascinating choice as narrator because he is not – at least initially – the central focus Instead Bromden barely figures in the early plot serving mainly to describe McMurphy’s attempt to upend the ward that Nurse Ratched runs with an iron hand The action flows around him like water around a rock One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest unfolds episodically with Ratched and McMurphy trading figurative blows notching both victories and defeats as they struggle for the soul of the other patients Kesey’s Bromden has an inimitable voice and is a classic unreliable narrator “it’s the truth even if it didn't happen” prone to long hallucinatory digressions that serve as a jarring reminder that his brain chemistry is different from that of others There were times when his phrasing is so breathtakingly brilliant that it takes you out of the story – after all this is supposed to be Bromden talking not literary star Ken Kesey Mostly though the hypnotic progression of events leading to the shocking endgame leave little time for such uibbles The power play between Nurse Ratched and McMurphy is a classic pitting of “the Man” versus “the Rebel” It was published in 1962 and the authoritarian antiauthoritarian dialectic is part of the larger context of those times However Kesey is also critiuing the mental health establishment He once worked in a psychiatric ward and famously experimented with a host of psychoactive drugs His observations and insights are baked into Bromden’s story By the time Cuckoo’s Nest came out electroshock therapy and lobotomies had started to lose their luster as panaceas though they were certainly still employed Thus Kesey’s critiue isn’t focused specifically on the primitive barbarism that marks the history of psychiatry though the barbarism is certainly present; rather he focuses on the insidious oppression he felt he observed The patients on the ward are controlled but controlled in such a subtle fashion that most don’t know they are being coerced It is McMurphy who arrives to show them the light though because we can never get in his head we never know his angle; we don’t know either whether he has a diagnosis or is merely malingering It’s always great when a novel is worthy of deeper exploration When it has layers upon layers However at the end of the day there also needs to be some level of entertainment factor That’s what makes this so memorable It is filled with scenes that come alive in the imagination and stay in your memory There is for instance a big set piece where the inmates take a “field trip” on a fishing boat The scene is played for big laughs but also subtle poignancy When I read it it gave me a rare exhilaration like I felt the first time I watched The Shawshank Redemption McMurphy laughs Rocking farther and farther backward against the cabin top spreading his laugh out across the water – laughing at the girl at the guys at George at me sucking my bleeding thumb at the captain back at the pier and the bicycle rider and the service station guys and the five thousand houses and the Big Nurse and all of it Because he knows you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy He knows there’s a painful side; he knows my thumb smarts and his girl friend has a bruised breast and the doctor is losing his glasses but he won’t let the pain blot out the humor no ’n he’ll let the humor blot out the painThe ending too is unforgettable and near perfect The movie has made this denouement iconographic but I think it works far better on the page than on the screen To be sure One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is flawed at times especially in tone There are several ugly strains running throughout the book including casual racism misogyny and violence against women I’m not going to defend this by saying the book is “a product of its time” I will note though that some of it is idiomatic meaning it is the product of the imperfect world view of the storyteller Still several scenes which were probably meant to elicit certain responses definitely don’t play as well today These unsettling aspects do not fatally detract from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Indeed the sense of unsettledness is pervasive almost a calling card The humor and the violence and the sadness and the joy and the discomfort are all of a piece They do not mesh together perfectly just as they do not mesh perfectly in real life That for me is why this is a masterpiece

  8. says:

    one flew east one flew westOne flew over the cuckoo’s nestThis classic book gave birth to a movie which won a truckload of Academy Awards This means the majority of readers are familiar with one or the other and I thought a very brief review would be enough; something along the lines The book is very good Seeing that some people miss the point of the story I had to ramble a little than this short sentence sorry A ward of a mental hospital in Oregon was ruled by an iron hand of its head nurse Ratched She even had power over the doctor of the ward The patients were completely under her thumb until a rebellious guy called McMurphy was committed for the treatment He decided to challenge the nurse's rule for completely selfish and not so selfish reasons I mentioned the movie This is one of the rare and very precious occasions when the movie was as good as the book In case you have not seen it but like the book drop everything and do it now Those Oscars I mentioned in the beginning they are well deserved I also believe Jack Nicholson was born to play McMurphy No actor in the world dead or alive could do a better job I really did not want to use the movie stills in my review as countless other people did it in theirs but I also thought it is impossible to talk about the book without mentioning the movie By the way I saw it before reading the book Later when I read it I realized I cannot put it down even though I knew what would happen next at any moment This should tell something about how good the book is Another points for the book I really hate stories told in present tense This time it took me about one uarter of the tale to realize this one was in present tense as well; I simply had not noticed that before being busy literally living in Nurse Ratched's ward When my mother got her hands on this one she was sure she would not like it being a doctor and as such familiar with goings on in psychiatry hospitals Several pages later I realized I had to wait for her to finish it to resume my own reading her having an advantage of seniority and all Unlike the movie the book is told from Chief Bromden POV this by the way made a nice surprise in the middle of the movie He is without a doubt mentally disturbed in the beginning and as such it is possible to see him as an unreliable narrator; this would open a can of worms and a whole new level of speculation what if not everything he told really happened? Aside from his obvious delusions that is I will not go there We now come to the main reason I decided to write a longish review the Nurse Ratched I heard two types of argument 1 She is a strong woman doing what she thinks is best and as such cannot be a villain thus McMurphy is the one2 If the Nurse is a villain how comes there is no other strong woman on a good side? My answer for the first argument would be yes she is undoubtedly a strong woman Being a strong woman does not make one a good person by default The fact that she believes that everything she does is for the greater good makes her even scarier and she is scary no doubt about itFor the second argument I can only say that there is no place for a good strong woman in the story We are talking about a male ward so she cannot be one of the patients She also cannot be one of the nurses as the head nurse surely would not let a strong woman into her domain she really does not want a competition So to have another strong woman only as a tribute to political correctness would be pointlessI will stop here TLDR too long; did not read version of the review book great read it; movie great see it

  9. says:

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a groundbreaking book and it is a manifesto about the rights of man to have an individualitya guy has to learn to get along in a group before he'll be able to function in a normal society; how the group can help the guy by showing him where he's out of place; how society is what decides who's sane and who isn't so you got to measure upAre you different from the others? Then we’ll correct you make you fit and suitpeople will force you one way or the other into doing what they think you should do or into just being mule stubborn and doing the opposite out of spiteSociety strives to pull mentality of its members down to the level of total conformity and it tends to destroy those who try to be originalBut there are always those who wish to escape the cuckoo's nest

  10. says:

    I needed some time to get used to the writing style but letting the Chief an outside figure who due to his deafness doesn't intervene with the main storyline too much is certainly a stroke of genius and after a while I got used to his way of telling the storyAll the characters found a place in my heart and they are what make the book so remarkable and memorable I thought they were some unnecessary scenes but they were really minor so they didn't put a huge dent into my enjoymentThe end certainly came unexpected and surprising to me but I thought it was fitting and rounded the whole thing upDespite it not being one of those books that absolutely blew me away I know that it will stay in my mind for a very very long time maybe even forever