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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Cover

ISBN13: 9780451163967
ISBN10: 0451163966
Condition: Standard
All Product Details


Staff Pick

Narrated by the silent Chief Bromden, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest is set in a mental hospital in Oregon headed by Big Nurse. When the new patient Randle McMurphy shows up, he brings some much-needed relief. Funny, too! This is one of my favorite books.
Recommended by Nica,

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An international bestseller and the basis for a hugely successful film, Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was one of the 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 upside down, starting a gambling operation, smuggling in wine and women, and egging on the other patients to join him in open rebellion. But McMurphy's revolution against Big Nurse and everything 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 at once comic and tragic that probes the nature of madness and sanity, authority and vitality. Greeted by unanimous acclaim when it was first published, the book has become and enduring favorite of readers.


An inmate of a mental institution tries to find the freedom and independence denied him in the outside world.

About the Author

Ken Kesey was born in 1935 and grew up in Oregon. He graduated from the University of Oregon and later studied at Stanford with Wallace Stegner, Malcolm Cowley, Richard Scowcroft, and Frank O' Connor. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, his first novel, was published in 1962. His second novel, Sometimes a Great Notion, followed in 1964. His other books include Kesey's Garage Sale, Demon Box, Caverns (with O. U. Levon), The Further Inquiry, Sailor Song, and Last Go Round (with Ken Babbs). His two children's books are Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear and The Sea Lion. Ken Kesey died on November 10, 2001.

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OnceUpon, May 8, 2013 (view all comments by OnceUpon)
This book is a classic for a reason. It's so easy to connect to the characters (McMurphy and Bromden), which brings up important social issues that Kesey was trying to bring up such as 'how do we define people as crazy?' This book makes you think as well as sit back and take in a wonderfully written book that will never be out of date.
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emma.sue3, July 6, 2012 (view all comments by emma.sue3)
Book Review of Ken Kesey’s
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Ken Kesey’s, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, is a mind gripping, on your toes, suspenseful story. This story is definitely on a mature basis, a mental hospital and its patients find a way to rebel… creating a story you would never have imagined.
This book is in the first person point of view, from the narrator, who’s also a mental patient named Mr.Bromden. Almost everyone calls him Chief because he is Native American. He’s been in there almost his entire life and the whole time he’s had everyone convinced he is deaf and dumb. There is the Big Nurse, who runs the mental hospital and how things work; she has three black boy workers that let her boss them around. She’s horribly mean but has a fake personality that tries to fool you. Soon into the first couple chapters, the ward gets a new patient named Randle Patrick McMurphy (also goes by just McMurphy or Mack). McMurphy is a redheaded, rebellious gambler who gets the idea he can change the ward and how things are ran. Unknowingly, everything eventually falls to pieces.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest gives off a theme or trying to rebel, standing up for what you want/think is right for you. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest has many motifs, one being women. Women are a motif in this story because all the patients (who are male) have had hardships with women overpowering them in some way, especially the Big Nurse. Another motif is laughing. No one ever laughed; they had quiet snickers, until McMurphy. His laughter roared throughout the whole book and even at the end it was rare to hear of someone laughing.
Ken Kesey organizes this book by the crazy events that slowly start to build up. Starting with minor things like McMurphy trying to gamble money on the ward, to the end when McMurphy brings them on a trip. It’s told in a very chronological order. However he applies techniques like flashbacks with Mr.Bromden’s life and also, his crazy dream sequences.
The setting takes place in the ward. It’s exactly like you would picture it, bright. Everything is white; the floors, the ceilings, the walls, the Nurses’ outfit and even the black boy’s. The mood is uncomfortable at times…with the black boys making sex acts in the hall to the end with prostitutes. Although, the mood can also be light. There are times when things are fun on the ward…it’s not always crazy! The setting is very important to the novel because it’s half the reason everyone is so messed up… they just haven’t realized it because everyone is too scared to live in the real world.
My conclusion to this book is hard to even describe, I want to give a good description, showing everyone how great this book is without giving any of the juicy events away. Ken Kesey does a great job of keeping you on your toes and preparing yourself for the suspense at the end. The effectiveness he put into it, and the way he uses his words really grasps you and makes you want to keep reading. I believe he achieved his goal of making a rebellious man over take the ward and to me, I believe that McMurphy won.
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ReaderOfBooks, March 31, 2011 (view all comments by ReaderOfBooks)
This book is a classic. It's one of my favorites! R.P. McMurphy's rebellion against Nurse Ratched is funny, yet serious at the same time. The entire book deals with issues like being an outsider, fighting authority, and not backing down; McMurphy and Nurse Ratched fight each other and push each others' boundaries as long as they can, until they break. In the end, the reader is left to wonder if it was McMurphy or Nurse Ratched that really won the battle, and how they changed each others' lives.
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Product Details

Kesey, Ken
Signet Book
New York, N.Y., U.S.A. :
Novels and novellas
Mentally ill
Psychological fiction
Psychiatric hospital patients
Medical novels
Mentally ill -- United States -- Fiction.
Psychiatric nurses.
General Fiction
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
MM Picture Book
Series Volume:
no. 145
Publication Date:
February 1963
Grade Level:
from 12
7.54x4.31x.86 in. .48 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Used Mass Market
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Product details 336 pages Signet Book - English 9780451163967 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Narrated by the silent Chief Bromden, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest is set in a mental hospital in Oregon headed by Big Nurse. When the new patient Randle McMurphy shows up, he brings some much-needed relief. Funny, too! This is one of my favorite books.

"Synopsis" by , An inmate of a mental institution tries to find the freedom and independence denied him in the outside world.
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