“What can you pay for the way a man lives? What can you pay for what a man is?” – Chief Bromden
When I attended university, oh so many years ago, I had the chance to speak with Ken Kesey on the phone. He had agreed to have a chat about the Merry Pranksters for a presentation I was due to give. I put off calling him because I was nervous of asking the wrong questions or coming across as ill-informed about the counter-culture movement. I kept putting off the call and eventually I let too much time elapse from my initial enquiry to his office and I missed my chance to speak with him.
I regretted this a few weeks later when he passed away. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a wonderful novel, influenced by Kesey’s experimentation with LSD it is a fairly conventional narrative and it is lucid in its hard hitting damnation of the “system”. It is a powerful and poignant book and it is one of my favourites.