Day 2, NaBloPoMo: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

9780670023233MTitle: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Author: Ken Kesey
Genre: Allegorical | Counterculture | Protest
Publication Date: 1962, written in 1959
[First Read] | [Reread]


The story is set in an Oregon asylum, serves as a study of the institutional process and limits of the human mind.

It follows the experiences of Randle Patrick McMurphy, who faked insanity in order to serve out his prison sentence in the easy, laid-back comforts of a mental hospital- or so he thought.

With little medical oversight, the hospital ward is run by the tyrannical Nurse Ratche, her three black day-shift orderlies, and her assistant doctors.

Why I want to Read It:

I have heard such great things about this novel and after researching the reasons behind it being banned / challenged makes me want to read it even more. I am really interested in reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest because it talks about mental health and mental health institutions and I’m rather curious as to Ken Kessey treats the subject, considering he worked the graveyard shift in a mental health facility in California.

Why banned or challenged?

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest has been banned and challenged as early as 1971, according to the American Library Association. It has been labeled as “pornographic,” and the novel “glorifies criminal activity, has a tendency to corrupt juveniles and contains descriptions of bestiality, bizarre violence, and torture, dismemberment, death, and human elimination.” The latest challenge I could find was in 2000 when complaints were lodged by parents of students of the Placentia-Yorba Linda, California Unified School District (2000) stating that teachers “can choose the best books, but they keep choosing this garbage over and over again.”




2 thoughts on “Day 2, NaBloPoMo: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

  1. Enjoy it when you do – it is about mental health, but so much more besides. The film (which is one of my favourite films of all time) barely scratches the surface. Race, state of modern America, the judicial system, poverty. It is as rich as it is moving.


    • Thanks. I keep hearing such good things about it. I was talking to a coworker today and he chastised me having not read it. Not in a mean way and he gave me a homework assignment — read the first couple of chapters. He guaranteed me that if I do that I won’t be able to put it down.


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