One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Ken Kesey


Ken was born in La Junta, Colorado, to a family of dairy farmers on september 17, 1935. He moved to Springfield, Oregon in 1946 and took part in numerous CIA psychoactive drug dests, which inspired him to write "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

Plot Teaser

While in the hospital, Chief Bromden narrates the strange and entertaining everyday escapades of the patients he sees around him. Things take an interesting turn when the once submissive, trained, orderly institution becomes a rebellious, symbolic uprising lead by the infamous Randle McMurphy.


In "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", every patient in the hospital must overcome their confused, lost self, while combating the iron fist of Nurse Ratched. Each patient has their own obstacles, but all see Ratched as the heart of the problem and the solution to their oppression.
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"While McMurphy laughs. Rocking farther and farther backward against the cabin top, spreading his laugh out across the water—laughing at the girl, the guys, at George, at me sucking my bleeding thumb, at the captain back at the pier and the bicycle rider and the service-station guys and the five thousand houses and the Big Nurse and all of it. Because he knows you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy."

This passage from the novel expresses the importance of optimism, and that you can't let negative forces gain too much power over you.

Who would like this book?

I would recommend that anyone over 14-16 should read this book. It provides great insight into the world of the kinds of people you don't normally associate with, while teaching a valuable life lesson in optimism and happiness.

Did I like this book?

After reading this book, I can safely say that it was one of the most inspirational, real, enjoyable novels i've read. I was hooked on every page, as every chapter describes a different venture in the hospital.