An international bestseller and the root for a hugely successful film, Ken Kesey‘s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest used to be one of the most defining works of the 1960s.
A mordant, wickedly subversive parable set in a mental ward, the novel chronicles the head-on collision between its hell-raising, life-affirming hero Randle Patrick McMurphy and the totalitarian rule of Big Nurse. McMurphy swaggers into the mental ward like a blast of fresh air and turns the place the other way up, starting a gambling operation, smuggling in wine and women, and egging at the other patients to sign up for him in open revolt. But McMurphy’s revolution against Big Nurse and the whole lot she stands for quickly turns from sport to a fierce power struggle with shattering results.
With One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Kesey created a work without precedent in American literature, a novel without delay comic and tragic that probes the nature of madness and sanity, authority and vitality. Greeted by unanimous acclaim when it used to be first published, the book has change into and enduring favorite of readers.