Everything that is great about 20th century American culture is on display in this novel. Unafraid. Unrelenting. It's that good. This was my second time around, and I could see myself reading it again in another fifteen years or so. This time I really enjoyed Chief's narrative focus, and appreciated all the varying depths of storytelling Kesey was able to engage in by using him. I enjoyed a little Hamlet-feel I hadn't before, not to mention a post-Moby Dick understanding. I watched the film again straight afterwards, and I used to say that the film was just as good. It's not. It's good, but it's just not in the same ball-park.
Why this book is important to read is that you really couldn't see it being published today. Not in this climate; 'climate change' is real, and ongoing. But what goes around, comes around. I'm optimistic. Chief gets out. He is re-made. It can be done again. Which makes this book more and more important, and more and more readable. The terror of McMurphy, you Dionysian ideal, you impossible thing, you ... man. There are panes of glass everywhere that need your fist. If not yours, another's.
- Jeremy, QBD Doncaster