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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: 50th Anniversary Edition
     

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: 50th Anniversary Edition

4.7 3
by Ken Kesey, Robert Faggen (Introduction)
 

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Ken Kesey's bracing, inslightful novel about the meaning of madness and the value of self-reliance

Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately shattering, Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest has left an indelible mark on the literature of our time. Turning conventional notions of sanity and insanity on their heads, the novel tells the unforgettable

Overview

Ken Kesey's bracing, inslightful novel about the meaning of madness and the value of self-reliance

Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately shattering, Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest has left an indelible mark on the literature of our time. Turning conventional notions of sanity and insanity on their heads, the novel tells the unforgettable story of a mental ward and its inhabitants, especially tyrannical Big Nurse Ratched and Randle Patrick McMurphy, the brawling, fun-loving new inmate who resolves to oppose her. We see the story through the eyes of Chief Bromden, the seemingly mute half-Indian patient who witnesses and understands McMurphy's heroic attempt to do battle with the powers that keep them all imprisoned.

Hailed upon its publication as "a glittering parable of good and evil" (The New York Times Book Review) and "a roar of protest against middlebrow society's Rules and the invisible Rulers who enforce them" (Time), Kesey's powerful book went on to sell millions of copies and remains as bracing and insightful today as when it was first released. This new deluxe hardcover edition commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the original publication of the novel on February 1, 1962, and will be a must have for any literature lover.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A work of genuine literary merit . . . What Mr. Kesey has done in his unusual novel is to transform the plight of a ward of inmates in a mental hospital into a glittering parable of good and evil."
—The New York Times Book Review

"[A] brilliant first novel . . . a strong, warm story about the nature of human good and evil . . . Keysey has made his book a roar of protest against middlebrow society's Rules and the invisible Rulers who enforce them."
—Time

"The final triumph of these men at the cost of a terrifying sacrifice should send chills down any reader's back. . . . This novel's scenes have the liveliness of a motion picture."
—The Washington Post

"An outstanding book . . . [Kesey's] characters are original and real. . . . This is a tirade against the increasing controls over man and his mind, yet the author never gets on a soap box. Nor does he forget that there is a thin line between tragedy and comedy."
—Houston Chronicle 


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 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670023233
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/19/2012
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
126,582
Product dimensions:
6.24(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.96(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Sketches

Psychedelic sixties. God knows whatever that means it certainly meant far more than drugs, though drugs still work as a pretty good handle to the phenomena.

I grabbed at that handle. Legally, too, I might add. Almost patriotically, in fact. Early psychedelic sixties...

Eight o'clock every Tuesday morning I showed up at the vet's hospital in Menlo Park, ready to roll. The doctor deposited me in a little room on his ward, dealt me a couple of pills or a shot or a little glass of bitter juice, then locked the door. He checked back every forty minutes to see if I was still alive, took some tests, asked some questions, left again. The rest of the time I spent studying the inside of my forehead, or looking out the little window in the door. It was six inches wide and eight inches high, and it had heavy chicken wire inside the glass.

You get your visions through whatever gate you're granted.

Patients straggled by in the hall outside, their faces all ghastly confessions. Sometimes I looked at them and sometimes they looked at me. but rarely did we look at one another. It was too naked and painful. More was revealed in a human face than a human being can bear, face-to-face.

Sometimes the nurse came by and checked on me. Her face was different. It was painful business, but not naked. This was not a person you could allow yourself to be naked in front of.

Six months or so later I had finished the drug experiments and applied for a job. I was taken on as a nurse's aide, in the same ward, with the same doctor, under the same nurse—and you must understand we're talking about a huge hospital here! It was weird.

But, as I said, it was the sixties.

Those faces were still there, still painfully naked. To ward them off my case I very prudently took to carrying around a little notebook, to scribble notes. I got a lot of compliments from nurses: "Good for you, Mr. Kesey. That's the spirit. Get to know these men."

I also scribbled faces. No, that's not correct. As I prowl through this stack of sketches I can see that these faces bored their way behind my forehead and scribbled themselves. I just held the pen and waited for the magic to happen.

This was, after all, the sixties.

Ken Kesey

Meet the Author

Ken Kesey was born in 1935 and grew up in Oregon. His books include Sometimes a Great Notion, Kesey's Garage SaleDemon BoxSailor Song, and Last Go Round (with Ken Babbs). He passed away on November 10, 2001.

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: 50th Anniversary Edition 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fluttershy got up the next morning. She hoped it had all been some terrible dream, just a nightmare. But she could feel the dirt below her, still sodden with her tears. Shakily, she stood up. She crept along, looking for shelter. Finally she found a cave. It was damp abd cold, but there was no sign of any animals living there. So she went inside. She thought of her friends. There was Rarity, the fashionable, genorus drama queen. And honest, hard- workin Applejack. There was also Dashie, aka Rainbow Dash, who had been her friend since they were little fillies. She was so loyal. Then, of course, Pinkie Pie, who was always cheerful. And Spike too. He was such a cute widdle baby dragon. And what was funny was that he had a ' secret' crush on Rarity. And lastly Twilight. She was vey smart. She sat there, feeling so lonely. And now hungery. Her stomache growled. Oh, she was so hungery... Meanwhile... Mcintosh packed up his bag. Soon, he would venture off into the Everfree forest, in search of the lost pegasi. Applejack tried to convince him not to go, but he knew he had to. Or else Fluttershy might die.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Woohoo