Title: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Author: Ken Kesey
Page Count/Review Word Count: 292
This is a cracking novel, a true classic and the inspiration behind the epic film of the same name. Here, the book is better than the movie, but only slightly – oh, and I don’t think it matters whether you read the book or watch the film first, like it sometimes does.
Kesey’s characters seem more alive here, more real – he certainly did his research before writing this book, and so his writing feels vivid and evocative, and it never causes you to doubt its authenticity. It might not exactly be a masterpiece, but it is Kesey’s magnum opus, and in fact I don’t even know if he’s released anything else.
If you like a good, alternative modern classic, then this is probably the book for you – not only is it a fantastic read, but also it makes you look like a badass if you’re reading it in public, on your commute. It’s one of those books, which no-one seems to have read but which everyone knows about, and that says it all, really. It’s been overlooked, possibly because people would prefer to watch the film than to read a book, and it’s been overlooked unjustly.
One other thing to note – if I were you, I’d get the Penguin Modern Classics version, purely for the introduction by Robert Faggen and the illustrations and preface by the author. It adds an extra dimension to it, and I recommend reading that before you start on the actual novel – it’ll help you to put what you’re reading into perspective, and you’ll learn more about Ken Kesey along the way.