“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is told from the point of view of ‘Chief’ Bromden, a towering, half Native American man stuck in an Oregon psychiatric hospital. Bromden observes the daily lives of the other patients, and watches as they passively suffer under the supposed ‘leadership’ of their main provider, Nurse Ratched. The patients’ normally uneventful lives are quickly ruffled by the arrival of a new patient, the loud and boisterous Randle McMurphy, who quickly has them questioning the iron rule of Nurse Ratched. As things in the hospital become more and more tense, Bromden is soon roped into McMurphy’s schemes.
This novel is an extremely enjoyable read. While “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” does start off slow, it quickly picks up and never slows down again. The characters are all unique and believable, and each one’s illness is well-researched. Each character helps to bring out the best and worst of the other characters, creating an interesting group dynamic. The plot is funny yet serious, as it deals with real issues of the time period and setting in a darkly humorous way. The mental hospital is an interesting setting, as it feels both spacious and cramped, and helps to bring across messages and ideas without them being forwardly said.
Overall, the author of this review highly recommends “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. It would make a great essay book or ‘book talk’ book, as it has lots of symbolism and deeper meanings. The author of this review believes this novel to be suitable for ages fourteen and up.