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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest | [Ken Kesey]

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is one of the most electrifying, most admired novels of our time. Set in the bleak confines of a state mental hospital and narrated by a half-Indian patient named Chief Bromden, it's the story of a titanic battle of wills between two unforgettable characters.
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Publisher's Summary

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is one of the most electrifying, most admired novels of our time. Set in the bleak confines of a state mental hospital and narrated by a half-Indian patient named Chief Bromden, it's the story of a titanic battle of wills between two unforgettable characters.

On one side is Big Nurse, who rules her ward with iron discipline. On the other is Randle Patrick McMurphy, a lustful, brawling, life-loving new inmate who refuses to knuckle under to Big Nurse's soul-destroying methods. In the end, McMurphy pays the ultimate price for his defiance, but not before the rebellious spirit has shown Chief Bromden the way to reclaim his future.

©1962 Ken Kesey; (P)1993 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"A glittering parable of good and evil." (The New York Times Book Review)
"A roar of protest against middlebrow society's Rules and the Rulers who enforce them." (Time)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (301 )
5 star
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4.3 (132 )
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4.2 (133 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Nina Arlington, VA, USA 08-29-08
    Nina Arlington, VA, USA 08-29-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Even better than I remember1"

    Like most, I remember this movie from many years ago. At that time, I was quite moved by it. And when I listened to the book, I was doubly impressed. Exquisitely written and pulls no punches. Try this one.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 09-13-12
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 09-13-12 Member Since 2008

    My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Did I really get the abridged version?"

    Geez, 3 hours is hardly more than a short story. Well, it's a powerful little book, but clearly the work of a young man. Part of the continuum in counterculture literature that began in the 1940s and had its zenith in the 1960s before petering out into new age pablum on one side and left wing diatribes on the other. This book was written with all the sincerity and passion of its times. I suppose it's essential reading to anyone who wants to get the full flavor of that era, but it's only one slice of the whole picture. Probably it should be read at different times of ones life because I guarantee you will see it differently at 20 than you will at 50.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    majordude 03-04-07
    majordude 03-04-07 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Masterpiece!"

    Ken Kesey says that he never watched the movie because he disagreed with Jack Nicholson playing the lead character. The book is definitely better than the movie. It's art.

    Ken breathes heavily in parts and that is distracting but it is interesting to hear how the author reads his own words.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Wigfall NYC, NY 06-17-10
    J. Wigfall NYC, NY 06-17-10 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Riveting!!!"

    Wow! I???d seen the movie some time ago in the 20th Century, but the book is electric. Told from the half Indian???s point of view and not Jack Nicholson???s McMurphy character, (which makes far more sense considering the story's outcome). There???s just so much more going on when you read/listen than when you watch. The imagination is the key thing and more importantly, the writing. Kesey is a brilliant folk story teller/writer who's prose is tight and riveting.

    I recommend this one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenda Fuller 08-07-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Book"

    Interesting and captivating story and the author's interpretation makes it that much more interesting. After hearing the book, I had to see the movie, yeah, the book is far better. The interview with Ken Kesey is a very enjoyable addition to the download.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Derek SEATTLE, WA, United States 02-22-12
    Derek SEATTLE, WA, United States 02-22-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "kool-aid cuckoo test"
    What did you like best about this story?

    Great character development


    What does Ken Kesey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Hearing the book through the authors voice reveals the intended emphasis and inflection that gives the characters their personality


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pavel Czech Republic 03-31-11
    Pavel Czech Republic 03-31-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Compared to the movie"

    I found the audiobook slightly less entertaining. I've read the whole book in the past, I guess it should be better to listen to unabridged version.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn M. Bashaw Elk Grove, CA 07-18-10
    Lynn M. Bashaw Elk Grove, CA 07-18-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Couldn't wait to get back in the car!"

    This was a great story and I really enjoyed listening to the narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    07-14-08
    07-14-08 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awesome"

    I love this book and the author reads it well.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Seals 07-30-15
    Jason Seals 07-30-15
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    "Great reading for a great book"

    A rare treat to have the author read the story just the way he envisioned. Not to mention it's a great classic in the first place.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Lottie
    GRAYS, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "I'm so glad I got this!"

    I have meaning to read/listen to this title for so long and felt ashamed that, as a book lover, I have never read it. You are in a mental institution and you see the cogs in the machine, and the big nurse pulling the lever. Until,that is a new patient arrives and his aim is to break down the whole operation. It is narrated by another patient that you feel yourself cheering for him at the end. A beautiful story about human soul and its obstacles through life and against oneself.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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