One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Signet)
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An international bestseller and the basis for the hugely successful film, Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is one of the defining works of the 1960s.
In this classic novel, Ken Kesey’s hero is Randle Patrick McMurphy, a boisterous, brawling, fun-loving rebel who swaggers into the world of a mental hospital and takes over. A lusty, life-affirming fighter, McMurphy rallies the other patients around him by challenging the dictatorship of Nurse Ratched. He promotes gambling in the ward, smuggles in wine and women, and openly defies the rules at every turn. But this defiance, which starts as a sport, soon develops into a grim struggle, an all-out war between two relentless opponents: Nurse Ratched, backed by the full power of authority, and McMurphy, who has only his own indomitable will. What happens when Nurse Ratched uses her ultimate weapon against McMurphy provides the story’s shocking climax.
“A SMASHING ACHIEVEMENT...A TRULY ORIGINAL NOVEL!”—Mark Schorer
“Mr. Kesey has created a world that is convincing, alive and glowing within its own boundaries...His is a large, robust talent, and he has written a large, robust book.”—Saturday Review
something else?” “It is us.” He swept his hand about him in a soft white circle and repeated, “Us.” McMurphy halfheartedly said, “Bull,” and grinned and stood up, pulling the girl to her feet. He squinted up at the dim clock. “It’s nearly five. I need me a little shut-eye before my big getaway. The day shift doesn’t come on for another two hours yet; let’s leave Billy and Candy down there a while longer. I’ll cut out about six. Sandy, honey, maybe an hour in the dorm would sober us up. What do
man is being able to know what the mark wants, and how to make him think he’s getting it. I learned that when I worked a season on a skillo wheel in a carnival. You fe-e-el the sucker over with your eyes when he comes up and you say, ‘Now here’s a bird that needs to feel tough.’ So every time he snaps at you for taking him you quake in your boots, scared to death, and tell him, ‘Please, sir. No trouble. The next roll is on the house, sir.’ So the both of you are getting what you want.” He rocks
plays with it, then swoops down with the rest of the verse to finish it off. “ ‘So fare-thee-well, darlin’, I’m gone on my way.’ ” Singing! Everybody’s thunderstruck. They haven’t heard such a thing in years, not on this ward. Most of the Acutes in the dorm are up on their elbows, blinking and listening. They look at one another and raise their eyebrows. How come the black boys haven’t hushed him up out there? They never let anybody raise that much racket before, did they? How come they treat
walk the scaffolding around the falls with all the other men, scrambling around with water roaring green and white all around me and the mist making rainbows, without even any hobnails like the men wore. But when I saw my Papa start getting scared of things, I got scared too, got so I couldn’t even stand a shallow pool. We came out of the locker room and the pool was pitching and splashing and full of naked men; whooping and yelling bounced off the high ceiling the way it always does in indoor
side; and on the backs of his hands I saw that the cigarette burns had all but healed, and in their place were tattoos he’d drawn by licking an indelible pencil. “What about that, Harding? Where is he making muh-muh-money out of teaching me to dance?” “Don’t get upset, William,” Harding said. “But don’t get impatient, either. Let’s just sit easy and wait—and see how he works it.” It seemed like Billy and I were the only two left who believed in McMurphy. And that very night Billy swung over to