Happy Thanksgiving to all my blogger buddies across the pond.
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST by KEN KESEY.
....... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Part 1): They're out there.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 69): He'll still get up from time to time and wag his head and let us know how tired he is, but it's not a complaint or excuse or warning anymore - he's finished with that; it's like an old clock that won't tell time but won't stop neither, with hands bent out of shape and the face bare of numbers and the alarm bell rusted silent, an old, worthless clock that just keeps ticking and cuckooing without meaning nothing.
A difficult book for me to review as I keep having to restrain myself from comparing it with the 1975 film version starring Jack Nicholson which incidentally is very true to the book but not nearly as harrowing.
Set in a mental hospital, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest follows the exploits of a ward full of patients and the staff who 'care' for them.
Narrated by'Chief' Bromden who is believed to be both deaf and dumb, the story largely concentrates on new patient Randle Patrick McMurphy, the effect his arrival has on the other patients and his battle with the tyrannical, brutal 'big nurse' Ratched.
Funny, riotous, and yet of ultimately shattering consequences, this is a novel that deals with mental illness in a honest and truthful way, a novel that does not shy away from certain things and as such is sometimes a difficult read.
Really all about a power struggle, rules and regulations, this is an eye-opener of a read that strives to look at the powers that keep the patients (us?) imprisoned.
Full of wonderful, occasionally scary, characters, we got to know a lot more about 'The Chief' Bromden than we ever did in the film version, catching glimpses into his life prior to his incarceration in the hospital, we also got an insightful view of how he believed the hospital regime was a machine.Then of course there's Nurse Ratched, totally controlling and seemingly without compassion, I spent a lot of time pondering just what exactly her life story was, just what had made her the heartless individual she appeared. And as for McMurphy? Hmm, a lovable rogue who had certain traits to his character that I found less than appealing, he nevertheless always seemed to come good in the end.
As I said not always a comfortable read, the descriptions of Electric Shock Therapy are truly harrowing, but despite all of this a well worth while read that I highly recommend.
A free book from some magazine or other, I only paid packaging and postage, this was the 96th book read for my 100+ Reading Challenge.