Sunday, March 9, 2014

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 
By: Ken Kesey

Rating <3 <3 <3

Summary: An international bestseller and the basis for a hugely successful film, Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was one of the defining works of the 1960s. A mordant, wickedly subversive parable set in a mental ward, the novel chronicles the head-on collision between its hell-raising, life-affirming hero Randle Patrick McMurphy and the totalitarian rule of Big Nurse. McMurphy swaggers into the mental ward like a blast of fresh air and turns the place upside down, starting a gambling operation, smuggling in wine and women, and egging on the other patients to join him in open rebellion. But McMurphy's revolution against Big Nurse and everything she stands for quickly turns from sport to a fierce power struggle with shattering results. With One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Kesey created a work without precedent in American literature, a novel at once comic and tragic that probes the nature of madness and sanity, authority and vitality. Greeted by unanimous acclaim when it was first published, the book has become and enduring favorite of readers. 

Review: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was a novel following the life of a prisoner McMurphy who got himself moved from a working prison to a mental hospital in the 1960's.  It follows the up's and downs of his journey and growing relationships with other patients in the mental ward run by the ultimate villain Nurse Ratchet or 'The Big Nurse' who enjoys using her power in her role as caregiver to employ other sadistic caregivers and to inflict pain and mental, and physical anguish on the patients who are left in her care.  I decided to read this book because I have loved the movie since my early teens, and although the characters were colorful, and the plot was one that you did not want to put down, I did find the writing style confusing and somewhat monotonous throughout the second half and towards the end of the book.  I do think however if you are interested into a look into what psychological treatment might have been like for patients during this point in history (1960's) this might be a good reference to read, or I'd recommend the movie.  As far as the novel itself its not one of my favorites but it was alright.  For me as someone with multiple psychology degrees hearing how the author chose to have the patients describe themselves, and their disorders was very interesting, and hearing how their main caregiver used therapy to manipulate them for her own means to really in a way torture then psychologically was disturbing to me and just makes me want to help people in a positive way even more.

No comments:

Post a Comment