"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx

Saturday, January 8, 2011

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

I think it's safe for me to say that I don't appreciate books centering around mental health issues. I'm adding this one to the following list of books:
-The Bell Jar
-My Lobotamy
-The Virgin Suicides
It may be that good ol' lack of sympathy and compassion that makes me the 'mental-health-issue book hater', but I'm more inclined to think it's all the crap filled in to make the reader 'understand' where the troubled character is coming from. The compelling part of that theory is: Isn't part of the mystery and difficulty with mental illness that people who are not suffering the same misfortune can never really understand it? You can put put sheafs and reams of typewritten pages about how the character thinks the hospital is a machine and all the employees robots. And ulitmately (here's a shocker...) I don't care. Not only do I not care, I can't empathize with it, I don't understand it, and it's boring. So if something important slips in I'll probably miss it because I'm trying to scan through the lengthy description of the 'controllers' that are being installed in patients while they're sleeping. Now, through all that hatred I can understand the necessity of some of that. You do have to read through some of it to get a feel for what the character thinks is happening to him otherwise readers would be blindsided by his actions. What I'm not sure is necessary is the length and detail of these descriptions. There were parts of this book that I really liked. Things that made me sit up in my chair. They were just so hard to find in all the other monotonous droning....

You will find an official plot line description at:

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