In this classic novel of the 1960's, 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 Big Nurse. 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: Big Nurse, backed by the full power of authority...McMurphy, who has only his own indomitable will. What happens when Big Nurse uses her ultimate weapon against McMurphy provides the story's shocking climax.
Ken Kesey (1935-2002) was born in Colorado and grew up in Oregon. As a young man he exhibited the charisma and imagination that would later make him an icon and one of the founders of the American counterculture. He received a scholarship to attend Stanford University, where he enrolled in the creative writing program. His first book, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, was followed by Sometimes a Great Notion. His bus trip from California to New York City with his friends, who called themselves the Merry Pranksters, became the subject of Tom Wolfe's book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.