One Flew East, One Flew West
The first thing I will say is I cannot believe I have waited this long before opening this book. It’s reputation goes before it and has landed itself on every “books to read before you die” list going. I guess I was going against the grain in avoiding it. I always find I can’t trust a list that includes Tess of the D’Urbervilles as a book to read before you die – I should state at this point that there is nothing wrong with Tess of the D’Urbervilles it is a book well ahead of its time and the writing is superb, but it is not for me.
Anyway, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey is phenomenal. I have never seen the film nor had I ever read the book. It was merely by chance that I picked it up. But I am so glad I did!
The novel is based on patients in an Asylum, whose lives change when a new patient, R.P. McMurphy is admitted. The existing patients live in fear of “The Big Nurse” Nurse Ratched who likes to rule with a firm hand. But McMurphy doesn’t want to be ruled.
The whole book is a fine balance of making the sane look insane and the insane look sane. It makes you question who are the ones who should be questioned . You will doubt the truth and second guess sanity in the space of a sentence. It’s a celebration of the fight against authority. It’s just perfect. It is very well written and the literary structure is brilliant!
This book will reach so many people on so many levels. The only thing I will note; if you like chapters you’re in the wrong place. This book has 4 parts and no chapters.
I absolutely adore this book. Not many books get me at first read but this one really did.
If you haven’t read it yet, go, beg, borrow or buy a copy, find somewhere quiet, and read until you’re done. I would quite happily say that this book has wriggled its divine little way into my top 5 and is unlikely to leave.
P.S. Watch out for a heart breaking ending. The injustice you will feel is ridiculous!