One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

It’s totally awesome book Tuesday! This week I introduce you to “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey.

I wanted to do this one because I just watched the second episode of American Horror Story: Asylum today, and it got me thinking about this book too. As a side note, I’m indifferent about this season for American Horror Story, but that’s a whole other topic all together!

So, I introduce you to “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey. Here’s the synapsis:

“In this classic novel of the 1960s, Ken Kesey’s hero is Randle Patrick McMurphy, a boisterous, brawling, fun-loving rebel who swaggers into the world of a mental hospital and takes over. A lusty, life-affirming fighter, McMurphy rallies the other patients around him by challenging the dictatorship of Nurse Ratched. He promotes gambling in the ward, smuggles in wine and women, and openly defies the rules at every turn. But his defiance, which starts as a sport, soon develops into a grim struggle, an all-out war between two relentless opponents: Nurse Ratched, backed by the full power of authority, and McMurphy, who has only his own indomitable will.”

So, let me break it down for you.

The point of view is from the Chief, where he acts deaf and dumb, so we get a lot of cool perspectives on things. Mind you, he’s “insane” himself, so we get some twisted narration when his view gets cloudy. It’s an awesome read though.

Anywho, McMurphy is a pretty funny guy. You’ll get good laughs out of him. Even though his motives are kind of questioned with his ways on the ward, I still enjoyed his character. Speaking of…

The plot! Ratched is explained as this robotic person, and likes to run her ward like a machine. Which is funny, since she’s a nurse and you’d think the doctor would be in charge; but alas, that’s not the case. So when McMurphy comes in, he immediately makes a bet with the other patients that he’ll be able to make Ratched pissed off by the end of the week. Since she’s basically impossible to break.

As we see these two at a slight battle, it’s first pretty amusing. And then, of course, things start getting serious. McMurphy finds out how serious the place is, and plans for escape start being plotted on the ward. Of course I won’t give anything away, but that’s just a deeper jist of what’s going on in this book.

Here’s some quotes:

“You can’t really be strong until you can see a funny side things.”

“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.”

“That ain’t me, that ain’t my face. It wasn’t even me when I was trying to be that face. I wasn’t even really me them; I was just being the way I looked, the way people wanted.”

“They can’t tell so much about you if you got your eyes closed.”

“He knows that 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.”

“You had a choice: you could either strain and look at things that appeared in front of you in the fog, painful as it might be, or you could relax and lose yourself”

“He knows that there’s no better way in the world to aggravate somebody who’s trying to make it hard for you than by acting like you’re not bothered.”

“ ‘Billy here has been talkin’ about slicin’ his wrists again, so is there seven of you guys who’d like to join him and make it therapeutic?’ ”

That’s this week’s book! Keep on reading!

-Sara R.


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