5 January 2016

One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

Title: One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
Author: Ken Kesey
Pages: 325
Genre: Classic, Psychology, Mental Health, Contemporary
Book Description:
In this classic 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 this defiance, which starts as a sport, soon develops into a grim struggle, an all-out war between two relentless opponents: Nurse Ratched, back by the full power of authority, and McMurphy, who has only his own indomitable will. What happens when Nurse Ratched uses her ultimate weapon against McMurphy provides the story's shocking climax.





My Opinion: 
Narrated by an Indian everyone believes to be deaf and stupid, we follow the acts of rebellion caused by the newcomer, McMurphy. Thanks to his charismatic nature, he introduces the patients to things they never thought possible.

As you know, I’m a huge fan of psychology based novels and this is, by far, one of the greatest I’ve read! When Kesey was younger, he worked as a janitor in a mental hospital, which adds to the story line in making everything much more realistic. The plot is fantastic and incredibly well written. There are scenes of humorous rebellion and saddening consequences which provide an all rounded effect to the novel. The ending really surprised me however it was my favourite part, full of joy and sorrow.

My favourite character had to be Bromden. He was adorable and brave and despite everyone’s view of him, he still managed to succeed. I also found McMurphy to be captivating, hilarious and full of spirit. As I was reading this, I really felt that he came alive in my imagination. Even Nurse Ratched was portrayed fantastically, with her controlling attitudes and strict hospital rules.

Overall this is a really good read for anyone interested in mental health. The themes of differing status in gender running through were interesting and I found myself doing more research into it afterward. To be able to understand the real messages, you have to be committed in reading, however I would definitely recommend this as a must read novel!

Favourite Quotes: 

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

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Never before did I realize that mental illness could have the aspect of power, power. Think of it: perhaps the more insane a man is, the more powerful he could become. Hitler an example

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The stars up close to the moon were pale; they got brighter and braver the farther they got out of the circle of light ruled by the giant moon

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They can't tell so much about you if you got your eyes closed

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Good writin' ain't necessarily good readin'


Rating  
5 out of 5 stars 

Based on this novel, a film was released starring the charming and young Jack Nicholson. This is a fantastic portrayal of the novel, following closely to the plot line and getting the characters spot on (really good casting)! Since it's quite an old film, it's short so I would really advise you to watch it, even if you don't read the book! Here's the trailer if you're interested:



Next book I'm going to review:
Dear Thing by Julie Cohen