Banned Books Week: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Ken Kesey’s book was considered shocking when published in 1962, but is highly regarded today. The work served as the basis for a popular film in 1975 starring Jack Nicholson.

Alex Magilli, Administrative Assistant at the Chicago-Kent Law Review, ‘warns’ us about
this dangerous book in which the mad people are much saner than their keepers:

one-flew-overDon’t mess around with this book. It’s vulgar and vitriolic. The text is brimming with sex, drugs, and violence. It is anti-establishment, anti-morality, anti-whadda-ya-got. It is a scandalous romance of ne’er-do-wells and malcontents and wild American ideals. It’s a prosaic chastisement of obedience and a call to arms for the kind of Wild West-ism that a civilized society did well to build picket fences to keep out.

And the author!: a drug-addled incorrigible who was so Out There that Timothy Leary wanted nothing to do with him, but Hunter Thompson did; a symbolic baton-carrier who took the handoff from William Burroughs and followed Jack Kerouac in the relay race of American Youth Rebellion; an acid-dropping trouble-maker who could barely take time away from his institutionally-financed LSD experiments to finish writing his book. NOT AT ALL the kind of behavior we expect from our authors.

A dangerous work of beautiful prose and hallucinogenic mindscaping that questions if you’ve bothered to live lately; a painful reminder of lost concepts of camaraderie and pugnacity; sneering, brawling, mouthing-off, and punching-glass; a rare anthem to over-indulge. You’d do better to leave this one alone, unless you’re into those kinds of things. In which case heaven help us and god bless Randle Patrick McMurphy.

This entry was posted in Library Resources and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>