OK, so call me crazy for doing a book review of a book that not only turned into a movie that won five Oscars, but also came out in the 60s and was on a lot of people’s reading lists in school. Hey, it is what I am reading and you’ll have to bear with me, I promise I wont spoil anything for you.
So before going on LSD fueled escapades with other notable authors, this guy Ken Kesey took a job with a mental hospital where he got the inspiration for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest. After that came the running from the law and drugs and stuff. So I think he knows what he’s doing when it comes to mental hospitals in the 60s and themes of challenging authority.
So first off, the story is told through the eyes of Chief Bromden who is at a mental hospital where everyone thinks he is mute and deaf. This gives him advantages over the other patients like sitting in on staff meetings letting us know exactly what is going on in the hospital.
In like a hurricane comes McMurphy, who was supposed to be working at a prison farm but was diagnosed with psychopathy for well, doing things, and sees the hospital as a paradise compared to work on the farm. Until he comes head to head with Nurse Ratched, head nurse at the hospital. Nurse Ratched has all the patients and staff around her finger until McMurphy shows up who wants to wage war in the ward for power in the eyes of the patients.
This book is, as expected, different from the movie which gives you more of a reason to read it. You become so involved with the characters that you are instantly glued to the pages. By the end you’ll be questioning who really belongs in the mental institution. Although this came out in the 60s, it’s themes are timeless.
Verdict: READ IT!