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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Signet) Mass Market Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: Signet
  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (February 1, 1963)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451163966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451163967
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 3.1 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (646 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From 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 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'Kesey can be funny, he can be lyrical, he can do dialogue, and he can write a muscular narrative. In fact there's not much better come out of America in the sixties... If you haven't already read this book, do so. If you have, read it again' SCOTSMAN --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Ken Kesey was born in Colorado in 1935. He founded the Merry Pranksters in the sixties and became a cult hero, a phenomenon documented by Tom Wolfe in his book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. He died in 2001.

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Customer Reviews

If you've seen the movie, that's all the more reason to read the book.
Carl A Olson
Through the voice of Chief Bromden, a mental patient in an asylum, the story tells of harsh treatment and the blurred line of what is sane and insane in this life.
Blair R. Glenn
Few books have the iconoclastic make up of Ken Kesey's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."
Neil The Unreel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

151 of 165 people found the following review helpful By Hassan Galadari on September 9, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This novel officially ends the 4-book reading that I had set forth to get my teeth into this summer. I must say, that it truly stands out from anything I had read before it, be it this summer or anytime for that matter. Ken Kesey weaves a tale that is smart, witty, sometimes insane and ultimately tragic. Though the setting is mainly in a mental asylum somewhere in Oregon, this story has a universal appeal to it that can be felt by anyone, anwhere in this world.
R.P. McMurphy is a sane man that, due to a brush with the law, opts for being committed in a mental asylum rather than be incarcerated with hard labor. Upon his entry in the secluded world of the asylum, he strips all the barriers formed and starts laying his own rules, in his own way. This leads to problems with the head honcho of the place. A big, gruesome, and menacingly evil Nurse Ratched, dubbed Big Nurse for her huge frame and even huger bosom. The rollercoaster, that patient McMurphy takes the inmates through, finally leads them to realize the ultimate goal. That man, no matter the situation, can always hold his destiny in his hands. This knowledge, achieved in the end, does not come without a price.
Set in the late 60s, early 70s, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a gem of modern literary works that came out at the time. It brought out a wonderfully-made movie, starring Jack Nicholson as McMurphy. The role defined him as an actor to be reckoned with. Though the mavie is seen through the eyes of McMurphy, the novel's perspective looks at things through the eyes of a big half white, half Native American inmate, that acts deaf and dumb in front of the asylum's staff. The narrative, because it is through the eyes of a mental patient, can at times be truly insane. That's where the fun really lies.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Leach HALL OF FAME on May 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
Counterculture icon and author Ken Kesey (1935-2001) wrote his first novel, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," in 1960. The book was a response to the author's experiences testing mind-altering drugs for the federal government and his later tenure as a nurse's aide in the same facility. In the introduction to the novel, Robert Faggen places this seminal novel in its proper context, arguing that this book incorporates several themes of the 1950's: the Cold War, the plight of the Native Americans, the reliance on psychiatry as a cure all for social problems, and the vestigial remnants of McCarthyism. Even if you could care less about how Kesey's book fits into American cultural history, you could hardly fail to miss the overarching theme of his novel: the tensions between the individual and the state, between those trapped in an industrial society and those who wish to live in freedom. There is a film version of this book starring Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher that adequately captures Kesey's stark visions.
The author's tale takes place in a mental asylum at an unknown time. Perhaps this is because time has little importance to the inmates in the facility. The people in this particular ward of the hospital fall into categories of `acute' or `chronic,' depending on whether they have hope of recovery or are irrevocably ill. The days are full of drudgery, an endless round of medications interspersed with playing cards against the background of canned polka music. Everyday the acute patients meet for group therapy that really doubles as a McCarythyesque tattling session. The name of the game is acquiescence to the myriad rules and regulations of the institution. Those inmates who violate the rules earn a trip to the disturbed ward or a quick trip to the electroshock chamber.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By C. Hughes on February 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
I had the pleasure of reading this classic a few months ago after I chose it off a list of books for an english paper. Little did I know that I had made a great choice. I have always enjoyed books that centered on individuality and rebellion's against the rest of the society. This book is no different. It follows the story of Randall McMurphy, who throughout the novel tries in every which way to disobey those with power in order to find a way out of the mental hospital for himself and to help the other members of the ward in escaping as well. He becomes a teacher for the ward, a helper for them. Many characterize him as a Christ like figure, as Kesey does provide enough evidence that he may have been notioning such an idea from the beginning through language, character descriptions, and events that parallel events from the Bible. This novel has become one of my favorites and opened up my heart to other classics such as The Great Gatsby and Catch-22. If it were not for "One Flew Over," I'd probably still be content with more recent novels. Thank you, Mr. Kesey, for such a fantastic book. It reads rather quickly and leaves you with a satisfied feeling at the end. "One Flew Over" has one of the best endings I've read in a very long time, possibly ever. I did not believe it would end as it did, but it makes complete sense when you sit back and think of the novel as a whole. Well done, Kesey, your effort is well appreciated and strongly recommended!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Scott Bundy on June 12, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a great book and I'm sure you can read the other reviews for insight into why it is so great, but the Kindle edition isn't very good. It's like they ran the book through a cheap OCR and just threw it at Amazon. There are lots of scanning errors. 'He' often comes thorough as 'I Ie' and the letter 'c' and 'e' appear to be interchangeable in multiple places. Avoid the Kindle edition.
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