Tuesday, September 28, 2010

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey - Book Review #89

Tuesday, September 28, 2010
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
by Ken Kesey

Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately shattering, Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is the seminal novel of the 1960s that has left an indelible mark on the literature of our time. Here is the unforgettable story of a mental ward and its inhabitants, especially the tyrannical Big Nurse Ratched and Randle Patrick McMurphy, the brawling, fun-loving new inmate who resolves to oppose her. We see the struggle 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 awesome powers that keep them all imprisoned.
From goodreads.com

This was one of the hardest books for me to go through. However, it stands out from all other books I had difficulty reading. It wasn’t boring. It wasn’t dragging. The subject wasn’t uninteresting to me. It wasn’t difficult to read because of its language.

The thing is - I watched the movie some five or so years ago and I remembered it too well, even though I watched it only once. So I knew too well how it’s going to end and this knowledge as pressing on me like a huge cement block. With every page I read, I knew that I was getting closer and closer to that inevitable, shattering, devastating ending. I knew that and I couldn’t bring myself to read another page to bring this moment closer.

I didn’t have any delusions that book might end somehow differently than the movie. However, I still was rooting for McMurphy to make different choices, for everyone else to stick up to him, for Big Nurse Ratched to be different. But like Chief Bromden said it couldn’t have went any other way. What happened would have happened anyway, no matter what.

Despite the fact that I could only bring myself to read a couple of pages a day, I still liked this book. It has such a power stored inside its covers, like an explosion wave that blows you out, destroying everything on its way, once you open the book and read a word. This is the book about the difference between sanity and insanity. This is the book about the difference between freedom and slavery and where the line dividing these two lays. This is a book about choices between coping with situation and rebelling over it or maybe you will choose the third option of creating your own little world and living in it closing out everything from outside.

What else can I add? Read it, think about it, discuss it! This book will make you look differently on the choices you made, making and will make.


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