One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (30th Ann. Ed.) Review
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Read by the author
Two cassettes -– 5½ hours

It’s amazing how an artist’s death can inspire people to further appreciate his or her work, isn’t it? When Ken Kesey died, I was already intrigued by the famous hippie author, since my brother’s friend had been working on filming a documentary with him. So when Kesey died, I decided that I needed to read some of his work. The first book that came to mind, of course, was One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I’d seen the movie, but I’d never read the book. And when I saw the 30th Anniversary Edition of the book on cassette -– read by the Kesey himself –- I quickly snatched it up.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, for those of you who have managed to avoid the story, is about the residents of a psychiatric hospital –- as told by Chief Bromden, an Indian who’s faked being deaf and dumb so he won’t have to deal with life on the ward. One day, however, a new patient shows up. Randall Patrick McMurphy (“Mac”) is a fiery redhead who got himself transferred to the ward to escape the hard labor of a jail sentence. Mac stirs up the ward. He teaches the other patients to enjoy life and stand up for themselves while he continuously angers the ward’s big, controlling nurse.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest explores what it means to be sane –- as well as the price of being different and shaking things up. It’s definitely a classic. And this audiobook is a classic told in the way it was meant to be told -– by the man who created it. It’s an excellent story by a great (and definitely eccentric) author.

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