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