Orion Reads
a diary of books etc.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

One Flew East, One Flew West

and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Hmm, here seems to be a sign of how crippled my psyche has become: i both regret not reading Ken Kesey's masterpiece earlier because it's, well, a masterpiece, and also regret having now read it, because now it's no longer out there waiting for me to enjoy it again. .. Or something like that. Basically The Cuckoo's Nest floored me with its honesty and more significantly its insight into the relations between people, and between people and the world. Plus it's very well written. (why do i want to write "well-written" ?)

I've been putting off reading this book for years, figuring that it wouldn't be so awesome. I think i got that impression from watching the movie on TV as a kid with my pops.

For them as don't know, it's a story about a wild and wooly con man & brawler (with red hair and an Irish name, making him sort of a Brody O'Shenanigans) who gets himself commited to a mental hospital in order to get out of regular prison. In the hospital he finds an enemy in the form of the Head Nurse, who represents the will of the system to crush the individuality and spirit of you and me. They duke it out. It's amazingly good.

Gonna try to summarize it with just one quote here,
where our hero McMurphy has just learned than many of the people living crappy lives inside the hospital are there by choice, and could sign themselves out any day they pleased but don't.
The narrator here is the narrator of the entire book, a commited half Indian (american) who can hear and speak but pretends he can't:

I dropped back until I was walking beside McMurphy and I wanted to tell him not to fret about it, that nothing could be done, because I could see that there was some thought he was worrying over in his mind like a dog worries over a hole he don't know what's down, one voice saying, Dog, that hole is none of your affair - it's too big and too black and there's a spoor all over the place says bears or something just as bad. And some other voice coming like a sharp whisper out of way back in his breed, not a smart voice, nothing cagey about it, saying, Sic 'im dog, sic 'im!


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