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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

A timeless Classic thrills new Generations

The novel One Flew Over a Cuckoo¿s Nest is a dark, classic book that describes the journey of ex-prisoner Randle Patrick McMurphy and how he shakes up the life of a mental hospital after being sentenced as a patient himself. He claims to be insane but quickly shows his ...
The novel One Flew Over a Cuckoo¿s Nest is a dark, classic book that describes the journey of ex-prisoner Randle Patrick McMurphy and how he shakes up the life of a mental hospital after being sentenced as a patient himself. He claims to be insane but quickly shows his rebellious persona by challenging authority in the ward with his dramatic way to take over. The book maps his constant battle with the big nurse Ratched who is the overseeing power of the institution. Their combative ways is an eye-opening and compelling story line that shows the era of the 1960¿s was way different from today. The repetitive themes found in the book are standing up for one¿s self even if it is against a higher power and of course surviving the cruel, brain frying punishments executed in the disturbed ward. McMurphy is a brute and forceful man that has to push nurse Ratched¿s boundaries and break the rules to keep him from actually going crazy. I found myself riveted with the storyline and always wanting to turn the page to read what scheme McMurphy had dreamt up next to put into action. His interactions with the other patients was humorous and gave a clear picture of what life must have been like living with such twisted and physiologically disturbed people. McMurphy might not be considered the stereotyped ¿Hero¿ but is a timeless character who you want to see succeed nevertheless. Author Ken Kessey was not disillusioned into creating tragic endings. It is not a book for a younger audience or a feel good time. This book can measure up into being one of the greatest horror stories written and a perfect read during the Halloween season. If you enjoy this book as much as I did, I would recommend the following novels that give off the same eerie but page turning thrill; 1984 by George Orwell, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Go ask Alice by Anonymous, or 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. This book was an impeccable piece of writing with a shining 5 star quality. It is a longer read but the pages fly as the novel steadily peaks to the climax and shocking ending.

posted by Meagan_Traver on November 29, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

One Flew Over The Cukoo's Nest

One Flew Over The Cukoo's Nest is a novel by Ken Kesey. In this classic novel of the 1960's, Kesey's hero, Randle Patrick McMurphy, a convict rebel, enters the world of a mental hospital and takes over. McMurphy rallies the other patinents by trying to over rule the cru...
One Flew Over The Cukoo's Nest is a novel by Ken Kesey. In this classic novel of the 1960's, Kesey's hero, Randle Patrick McMurphy, a convict rebel, enters the world of a mental hospital and takes over. McMurphy rallies the other patinents by trying to over rule the cruel and manipulative, controlled leadership of Nurse Ratched. He gambles, promotes riots among patients and smuggles in wine and hookers. This novel is truely captivating. Many aspects of it are based on occurrences author Ken Kesey witnessed while working in an insane hospital in the 1950's-60's when experimentation of meth, LSD, etc. were in vogue. Juxtapposed the experimentation of EST and lobotomies. When the patients became united against the common evil of the ward's employees headed by Nurse Ratched their bonds grow deep. The characters despite their common problems, are likeable and surprisingly realistic, for example at the beginning the character Chief Broom feigns deaf and dumb. Under the leadership of McMurphy he comes out of his shell and becomes a part of this society. An unexpected ending adds to the book's costant thrill factor.

posted by Anonymous on May 3, 2007

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2007

    One Flew Over The Cukoo's Nest

    One Flew Over The Cukoo's Nest is a novel by Ken Kesey. In this classic novel of the 1960's, Kesey's hero, Randle Patrick McMurphy, a convict rebel, enters the world of a mental hospital and takes over. McMurphy rallies the other patinents by trying to over rule the cruel and manipulative, controlled leadership of Nurse Ratched. He gambles, promotes riots among patients and smuggles in wine and hookers. This novel is truely captivating. Many aspects of it are based on occurrences author Ken Kesey witnessed while working in an insane hospital in the 1950's-60's when experimentation of meth, LSD, etc. were in vogue. Juxtapposed the experimentation of EST and lobotomies. When the patients became united against the common evil of the ward's employees headed by Nurse Ratched their bonds grow deep. The characters despite their common problems, are likeable and surprisingly realistic, for example at the beginning the character Chief Broom feigns deaf and dumb. Under the leadership of McMurphy he comes out of his shell and becomes a part of this society. An unexpected ending adds to the book's costant thrill factor.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Chief Bromden, the half- Indian narrator, is a 10- year patient

    Chief Bromden, the half- Indian narrator, is a 10- year patient at a psychiatric hospital in Oregon. He suffers from hallucinogens and delusions. He fears the world is dominated by conformity. He pretends to be deaf and dumb. Randle McMurphy is the novel’s protagonist. He is a scarred, tattooed rebel that was transferred to the hospital from a prison work farm. He feels that the hospital is more comfortable than any prison he has been to. Nurse Ratched, the antagonist, is the head nurse of the ward. She is a woman with no femininity. She destroys the self- esteem of the patients, by draining their humanity. The main conflict in the story was Miss Ratched draining the humanity from the patients on her ward. While the Nurse is trying to weaken them, McMurphy is trying to lead the patients to rebel. In addition, Chief Bromden is trying to regain his old self as an individual. McMurphy had an encounter with the lifeguard, and discovered the meaning of being committed. 
    I like when McMurphy leads all of the patients on the ward to rebel. For example, when Nurse Ratched changes the television schedule, in contrast they stare at the blank screen, being defiant. Furthermore, I like how Bromden begins to regain his self confidence. For example, he speaks for the first time in 10 years, expressing all of his thoughts to McMurphy, as if he were his therapist. However, I do not like the flashbacks that occur during the story. For example, when Chief Bromden explains about his father, it takes the reader off topic, when wondering what is going on in the hospital. I would recommend this novel because Ken Kesey brings the story to life. The dull lives of patients living under a ward are made into a stimulating story.   His details of the characters’ and the hospital’s description create a picture. 

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  • Posted June 16, 2012

    Didn't love it

    I didn't love this book. On one level, I enjoyed the story and thought it provocative, but the characters were a little flat and remote. It was worth reading, but I don't think I'd read it again as I would with many other classics.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2012

    Interesting, A Must Read Chief Bromden, the narrator of One Fle


    Interesting, A Must Read
    Chief Bromden, the narrator of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, is a ten-year patient of the Oregon Psychiatric hospital. He has extreme paranoia, as is evident from the start of the book. He suffers from hallucinations and delusions. He is dominated by what he refers to as the “Combine”, controlling society and forcing people into conformity. He pretends to be deaf and dumb, and tries his hardest to be left alone by the rest of the ward’s patients. The patients, all male, are divided up into two “groups”, the Acutes, who have a chance of being cured of their insanity, and the Chronics, who cannot be cured. All patients are dominated by a leading female figure, Nurse Ratched, a former army nurse. Bromden and Ratched have entertaining confrontations throughout the book. When Randle McMurphy arrives from a work farm, all other patients suspect that he merely pretended to be insane to escape the farm. Bromden immediately senses that something is different about him as he introduces himself as a heavy gambler. The book continues as Bromden recounts the events about McMurphy. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a book that shows the true meaning of laughter, the importance of expressing sexuality, and depicts women as “threatening”.
    The power of laughter is a strong theme in this book. Patients in the ward go day by day with little laughter and excitement. The ward is boring, dark, and days go by the same as always. However, when McMurphy enters the ward, patients hear real laughter for the first time. In one point in the book, Bromden recalls from his childhood, “I forget sometimes what laughter can do.” Another message in this book is the importance of openly expressing sexuality. Many of the patients in the ward have much different sexual identities because of past relationships with women. Nurse Ratched continues to have a very controlled ward, and this contrasts with her wishes. Many of the men in the ward see Nurse Ratched as overpowering and demanding, and she shapes the men’s ideas about women.
    One of the things that I didn’t like in the book One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was the “openness” of the book. This book is an adult book, and many of the messages in the book are not appropriate for young readers. I did not like how “sexual” the book was, and that bothered me while I was reading the book. It was distracting from the true meaning of the book. I really liked and appreciated the character development in this book, and it was obvious that the author spent much time developing the characters to make them as strong and driven as possible.
    I would recommend this book to older readers, not necessarily to younger readers. This becomes obvious while reading the book. I would also recommend this book to people who enjoy complex books. Overall, I would give this book 7 out of 10 stars.

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  • Posted May 8, 2012

    The Insane Fighting the System. Ken Kesey's "One flew ov

    The Insane Fighting the System.
    Ken Kesey's "One flew over the cuckoo's nest" is a story about an institution for the insane and its patients who decide to fight against the totalitarianism society created by the head nurse, Mrs. Ratched. The story is narrarated from Mr. Bromden's, often referred to as "Chief", perspective. At the beginning of the story, Chief notices a new man that just got transferred to the ward. This man is Randle McMurphy who began to change things as soon as walked in. McMurphy decides he doesn't like being bossed around and watching the other patients get pushed by Mrs. Ratched and her staff, so he decides to fight against the system. Throughout the story, McMurphy turns the ward upside down through his mischief and disobedience. The reader observes as he changes each character from the inside-out. He teaches the other patients how to be brave and manly, while they teach him about friendship and a little bit about responsibility. As the motion of the plot accelerates, you begin to wonder if Mrs. Ratched's system is even beatable and there is a surprising but yet unavoidable twist. The theme of this novel is the concept of fighting the system. This concept is intertwined with the motives of the character and of the plot itself. I liked the perspective of the Chief, but I disliked how it was sometimes difficult to understand his concept of reality. I recommend this book for readers 16+ because of the content and concepts. This is a classic book that may not be a liesurely read, but should be read at least once in one's lifetime. Overall rating is 3 stars.

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  • Posted May 8, 2012

    One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest is a classic novel about a phsyc

    One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest is a classic novel about a phsyc ward run by a strict, manipulating woman. She has all of the patients on "puppet strings" until a man named McMurphy comes in and turns things upside down. He encourages things like gamblig and questions everything done on the ward. The speaker in the book is a patient in the ward and his view on things leaves the reader wondering whether the things going on in the ward are as crazy as they seem or if it's just his halucinations. I like the fact that the book makes you fall in love with or truely hate certain characters. The only thing I dislike about the book is that it takes so long to finally get into. Things don't start heating up for a while. Overall, I would strongly suggest reading this book!

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  • Posted February 29, 2012

    Uninterested but Decent

    It's a bit cuckoo calling one of the best books ever written 'decent,' but that's how I feel about it. While I adored McMurphy as the main character, everything else seemed to be faced with an either interesting or safe route for the plot and more often than not chose safe. I will admit, there are plenty upon plenty of unexpected twists and turns product of McMurphy's unquenchable thirst to be free, but I find myself watching the story from outside of a glass box, pressing my face against the glass and begging to be let in. I can't quite put my finger on it, but something in the story takes me away from the whole experience. The human mind and it's inner workings have always fascinated me, so when I picked up this book, my hope was that I'd feel exactly like one of the mental patients and with the atmosphere it sets up, they come so close, but they miss it.
    On the bright side, the serious moments are indeed serious and many of the book's points made tear up a bit. McMurphy, as I said before, is an amazing lead character. The conflicting personalities are even more conflicted when the different mental conditions are introduced and the main antagonist isn't an evil woman, but seriously cares for her patients and has good reasons for her controlling ways.
    The story is by no means bad, but missed out on some key strategies that would've made it that much better. I respect the story for its originality and phenomenal characters. It might just be my opinion, but I'm not the biggest fan of this story. I'd sooner recommend A Clockwork Orange for those who are interested in the human mind and its struggle with free will.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2011

    Highly Reccomended

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo¿s nest by Ken Kesey is a novel that takes place in a mental hospital in the late 50¿s. The new patient in the ward, Randall McMurphy, wreaks havoc through his rebellion. The chaos he creates makes for a very entertaining and exciting plot. A recurring theme is the dominance of the women of the staff that run the ward, and the various and subtle ways they emasculate the male patients. I found this aspect of the novel interesting, because the dominance of patriarchies as opposed to matriarchies seems to be highlighted in most literature. I wouldn¿t recommend this book to anyone who is shy or afraid to read crude topics, because sexual and violent references are abundant in this novel. However, for me, these aspects gave the novel a realistic and vibrant tone, and I would definitely recommend it to any adventurous reader.

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  • Posted December 11, 2009

    Pretty Good

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, published in 1962, was Ken Kesey's first foray into the literary world. Fame and recognition soon followed after the publication. This book questions our own prejudices and perceptions of the mentally ill, flip-flopping stereotyped roles between the patients and non-patients.

    The book takes place in an insanity ward under the rule of a tyrannical nurse who manipulates the emotions of the patients and staff alike to abide to her will. McMurphy, an influential rebellious figure, joins the ward and challenges the status quo by developing conflicts between him and the nurse. All of which cause noticeable disruptions. Everything is scrutinized by an indian.

    The book was a pretty slow start and was hard to read without forcing myself to. After the first couple chapters it started to get a little more intense. This book was big in it's time, but I probably won't read it again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2007

    A reviewer

    This book was okay, I personally woud not read it again or recommend it to someone. To me, the whole book was very confusing and it really had to no point. I know that the things Ken Kesy wrote about was from what he experienced from him volunteering to do the whole drug experiment, but the book really didnt get to a point and it just drugged on and on.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2007

    One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

    The 50¿s and 60¿s were eras of Beatniks, peace signs and experimentation. There were two different sides of society the light side and the dark side. The light side was filled with dancing, music and experimentation of society. The dark side was a side of experimentation with drugs and testing on humans not knowing what the turnout was going to be. Ken Kesey¿s, One Flew Over the Cuckoo¿s Nest is a prime example of this darker side. Kesey¿s novel has a basic theme of women power. The novel is based from the persona of a man living in a psyche ward being ruled by the antagonist ¿Nurse Ratched¿. Nurse Ratched performs inhumane procedures such as lobotomies and electroshock therapy not knowing if the outcome will be for the better. Kesey uses very good description and is very clear and thorough throughout his writing. He knows exactly what he¿s taking about and the tone he wants too set.''Six forty five the shavers buzz and the acutes line up in alphabetical order at the mirrors, A, B, C, D¿. This is a perfect example of the description he uses and you get a sense that you are there watching. Even though this isn¿t a novel I¿d choose off the shelf it¿s a novel that would 100% completely satisfy someone who enjoys this genre and style of writing. Kesey knows what he¿s writing about and writes from a first hand account of the situations

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2007

    One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

    The 50¿s and 60¿s were eras of Beatniks, peace signs and experimentation. There were two different sides of society the light side and the dark side. The light side was filled with dancing, music and experimentation of society. The dark side was a side of experimentation with drugs and testing on humans not knowing what the turnout was going to be. Ken Kesey¿s, One Flew Over the Cuckoo¿s Nest is a prime example of this darker side. Kesey¿s novel has a basic theme of women power. The novel is based from the persona of a man living in a psyche ward being ruled by the antagonist ¿Nurse Ratched¿. Nurse Ratched performs inhumane procedures such as lobotomies and electroshock therapy not knowing if the outcome will be for the better. Kesey uses very good description and is very clear and thorough throughout his writing. He knows exactly what he¿s taking about and the tone he wants too set. Six forty five the shavers buzz and the acutes line up in alphabetical order at the mirrors, A, B, C, D¿. This is a perfect example of the description he uses and you get a sense that you are there watching. Even though this isn¿t a novel I¿d choose off the shelf it¿s a novel that would 100% completely satisfy someone who enjoys this genre and style of writing. Kesey knows what he¿s writing about and writes from a first hand account of the situations

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2007

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    In the 1960¿s, a time of peace and free love there was a secret hidden from society. Shock therapy, dehumanization, and lobotomies were all a part of this secret. Ken Kesey¿s, ¿One Flew Over the Cuckoo¿s Nest¿ gives a glimpse into the dark side of the beat generation. ¿One Flew Over the Cuckoo¿s Nest¿ is set in a mental institution in the 1960¿s. The story is told through the eyes of one of the patients in the ward, Chief Bromden. This book goes into detail about the numerous dangerous procedures, such as lobotomies and shock therapy that were performed on the patients in hopes to make them ¿normal¿. If you enjoy a slightly depressing yet very interesting story, this book is for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for a quick and easy read you should probably leave this book on the shelf.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2007

    One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

    In the captivating novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo¿s Nest, Ken Kesey takes you on a journey through a mental ward in the 1960¿s. Throughout this journey, you learn about the issues in the ward abuse, sex, drugs, and problems with authority. Kesey¿s writing brings these things to life. The visuals you get while reading are amazing. The narrator in this story, Chief Broom, helps tell the story through his perspective. For example, Broom refers to the ward as The Combine representing all the conspiracies going on inside the institution. However, the narration can get drawn out and a bit wordy. ¿ Yes. This is what I know. The ward is a factory for the Combine. It¿s for fixing up mistakes made in the neighborhoods and in the schools and in the churches, the hospital is. When a completed product goes back out into society, all fixed up good as new, better than new sometimes, it brings joy to the Big Nurses heart¿¿

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2006

    Frustrating!!!!!

    This book is set in the early 1960's in a mental health ward and contains many charactors with day to day routines, some are truly funny,sad, and fiesty all mixed into one. I found it frustrating because the author jumps from charactor to character and reading of mental health treatments and poor conditions endured by the patients bothersome to me. In the end it will leave you wondering does good over come evil.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2004

    One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

    I thought 'One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest' by Ken Kesey was a good book and well written. This is a story about men on a mental ward in the 1950's. The main conflict is between a patient, Randle McMurphy, and the head domineering Nurse. The narrator, Chief Bromden has been on the mental ward for 15 years. He fakes being a deaf mute so he can listen and know what is going on without getting himself in trouble. I think this book is very depressing because of the way the patients (individuals) were treated by the administration (society).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2002

    Characterization shows how we run from trouble

    Nobody is responsible for another persons actions; we all have to deal with the consequences of what we do; as characterization shows in ¿One flew Over the Cuckoo¿s Nest,¿ by Ken Kessy, many people try and take the easy way out. They try and run and not face their problems. This book is about a restless man by the name of Randle Patrick McMurphy. McMurphy is a patient at an asylum because he pleaded insanity rather than going to prison for his crimes. During his time at the ward, he tries to get the other patients to rally up against the Big Nurse. While at the ward he promotes gambling and smuggles in women and alcohol. At first his defiance is all in good sport, but towards the end it turns into a grim struggle between the nurse who has full authority and McMurphy who only has his own will. Kessy makes McMurphy a loveable kind of guy that we like even though he is a criminal. McMurphy is humorous and seems innocent which makes it hard to dislike him. McMurphy wouldn¿t deal with the consequences so he took the easy way out. Chief Broom is hiding from his problems in a world of silence. He is taking the easy way out by just ignoring everything around him. Both his and McMurphy¿s characters reveal that, in our society, people will do anything to avoid the consequences of their actions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2002

    if some one steals your Hershy kisses call the FBI

    True, the pacing, and pasting is in a nonlinear fashion, but it's ok, becuase it's a wholistic read. Besides some books are best when a littel scattered ( if not shamfully done.) It gives a form, a feel that is not acomplished otherwise.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2002

    Alright

    This book has a great amount of detail in it, which I liked, and the ending was great. However, I didn't like the way it started off; the first chapter might be a little confusing if you haven't seen the movie. It didn't have great prose, and I sometimes got confused as to who was talking.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2001

    Great Book!

    This was a really good book and I would recommend anyone read this book. This book tells alot of real good details of the mental hospital and what goes on in there that people don't know about. This big nurse as she is called is very rude to the people and treats them like they are nothing. She is what makes this book good. But you will see for yourself when you read it. So good luck and enjoy the book.

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