One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is the only book I was ever told I couldn't read. I wanted to read it when I was in the 5th grade and the school librarian said I had to have permission from my parents to check this book out. My Mom said no. It is by a beat writer my husband likes and he owned this copy. I'm not typically a fan of the beat writers, so I didn't jump right into this. It turned out to be better than I expected.
The story is told not by the patient who is the focal point of most of the action, but by one who is more of an observer. This gave the story a calmer pace and a more structured narrative than it would have had if we were in the mind of the ring leader.
The writing was quite good, spare and simple but filled with well drawn images and the speech of each character was just different enough that it was easy to follow what was happening in conversations. Some of it, especially the sequences during shock therapy, reminded me of Faulkner.
I have never seen the movie, but some reading I did about Kesey said he had been unhappy with the film rendition of his book, so I'm not sure I will.