Sometimes a Great Notion

Sometimes a Great Notion The magnificent second novel from the legendary author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo s Nest Following the astonishing success of his first novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo s Nest Ken Kesey wrote what Ch

  • Title: Sometimes a Great Notion
  • Author: Ken Kesey Charles Bowden
  • ISBN: 9780143039860
  • Page: 131
  • Format: Paperback
  • The magnificent second novel from the legendary author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo s Nest Following the astonishing success of his first novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo s Nest, Ken Kesey wrote what Charles Bowden calls one of the few essential books written by an American in the last half century This wild spirited tale tells of a bitter strike that rages through a smaThe magnificent second novel from the legendary author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo s Nest Following the astonishing success of his first novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo s Nest, Ken Kesey wrote what Charles Bowden calls one of the few essential books written by an American in the last half century This wild spirited tale tells of a bitter strike that rages through a small lumber town along the Oregon coast Bucking that strike out of sheer cussedness are the Stampers Out of the Stamper family s rivalries and betrayals Ken Kesey has crafted a novel with the mythic impact of Greek tragedy.For than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English speaking world With than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up to date translations by award winning translators.

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    • [PDF] Download ☆ Sometimes a Great Notion | by ☆ Ken Kesey Charles Bowden
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    About "Ken Kesey Charles Bowden"

    1. Ken Kesey Charles Bowden

      American writer, who gained world fame with his novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo s Nest 1962, filmed 1975 In the 1960s, Kesey became a counterculture hero and a guru of psychedelic drugs with Timothy Leary Kesey has been called the Pied Piper, who changed the beat generation into the hippie movement.Ken Kesey was born in La Junta, CO, and brought up in Eugene, OR Kesey spent his early years hunting, fishing, swimming he learned to box and wrestle, and he was a star football player He studied at the University of Oregon, where he acted in college plays On graduating he won a scholarship to Stanford University Kesey soon dropped out, joined the counterculture movement, and began experimenting with drugs In 1956 he married his school sweetheart, Faye Haxby.Kesey attended a creative writing course taught by the novelist Wallace Stegner His first work was an unpublished novel, ZOO, about the beatniks of the North Beach community in San Francisco Tom Wolfe described in his book The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test 1968 Kesey and his friends, called the Merry Pranksters, as they traveled the country and used various hallucinogens Their bus, called Furthur, was painted in Day Glo colors In California Kesey s friends served LSD laced Kool Aid to members of their parties.At a Veterans Administration hospital in Menlo Park, California, Kesey was paid as a volunteer experimental subject, taking mind altering drugs and reporting their effects These experiences as a part time aide at a psychiatric hospital, LSD sessions and a vision of an Indian sweeping there the floor formed the background for One Flew Over The Cuckoo s Nest, set in a mental hospital While writing the work, and continuing in the footsteps of such writers as Thomas De Quincy Confessions of an English Opium Eater, 1821 , Aldous Huxley The Doors of Perception, 1954 , and William S Burroughs Naked Lunch, 1959 , Kesey took peyote The story is narrated by Chief Bromden Into his world enters the petty criminal and prankster Randall Patrick McMurphy with his efforts to change the bureaucratic system of the institution, ruled by Nurse Ratched The film adaptation of the book gained a huge success When the film won five Academy Awards, Kesey was barely mentioned during the award ceremonies, and he made known his unhappiness with the film He did not like Jack Nicholson, or the script, and sued the producers.Kesey s next novel, Sometimes a Great Notion 1964 , appeared two years later and was also made into a film, this time directed by Paul Newman The story was set in a logging community and centered on two brothers and their bitter rivalry in the family After the work, Kesey gave up publishing novels He formed a band of Merry Pranksters , set up a commune in La Honda, California, bought an old school bus, and toured America and Mexico with his friends, among them Neal Cassady, Kerouac s travel companion Dressed in a jester s outfit, Kesey was the chief prankster.In 1965 Kesey was arrested for possession of marijuana He fled to Mexico, where he faked an unconvincing suicide and then returned to the United States, serving a five month prison sentence at the San Mateo County Jail After this tumultuous period he bought farm in Pleasant Hill, Oregon, settled down with his wife to raise their four children, and taught a graduate writing seminar at the University of Oregon In the early 1970s Kesey returned to writing and published Kesey s Garage Sale 1973 His later works include the children s book Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear 1990 and Sailor Song 1992 , a futuristic tale about an Alaskan fishing village and Hollywood film crew Last Go Around 1994 , Kesey s last book, was an account of a famous Oregon rodeo written in the form of pulp fiction In 2001, Kesey died of complications after surgery for liver cancer.

    893 thoughts on “Sometimes a Great Notion”

    1. after reading: Oh my. Oh my goodness what an incredible book. Absolutely stunning. Sometimes A Great Notion (which, btw, gets its title from the Ledbelly song "Goodnight Irene") is the story of the Stamper family, renegade loggers in Oregon in maybe the fifties. It's an incredible family—Henry, the patriarch, the crazed, stubborn old goat who started the logging business; his son Hank (stoic, serious, earnest, proud, charming) and Hank's cousin Joe Ben (brimming with enthusiasm and joy and goo [...]

    2. "Sometimes I lives in the countrySometimes I lives in townSometimes I take a great notionTo jump into the river an’ drown"I know little about Oregon State, what little I do know is that it's damp almost all of the time, has it's fair share of trees and woodland, and it's where 'The Goonies' and 'Stand by Me' were filmed, and River Phoenix was born there. Ken Kesey's 'Sometimes a Great Notion' is quite simply a contemporary American masterpiece, set on the rain soaked Oregon coast, the fictiona [...]

    3. I didn’t want to read this one. Its long. Its by some acidhead hippie. Its only famous because Kesey is famous. He has fans because of his lifestyle, not his literary merit. Its about a group of loggers on strike? Ugh, sounds boring. But I gave it a shot and was blown away….The storyline didn’t grab me right away but Kesey’s writing did. He had talent and this book is creatively ambitious. Every character has a turn at first person voice and the speaker can switch several times, sometime [...]

    4. Hands down the most underappreciated American novel ever! I think it should be up there with "Moby Dick" "Grapes of Wrath" etc. In fact, I think it is better. it's hard to imagine Ken Kesey, hippy acid head that he was would be able to so write so poignantly and beautifully but he absolutely pulled it off, his other famous novel "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest" doesn't even hold a candle to "Sometimes a Great Notion" It's rather long and it is written in a "Faulkneresque" style where POV's switc [...]

    5. If V. Woolf hada) grown up within sight of the Coastal Range, andb) enormous, swinging testes,then this book would be sold in a 3-pack with "Mrs Dalloway" and "The Waves" today. It's such literatoor, but it's so masculine and so blue-collar also. God I love it. The beautiful, funny slang; the creepy, right-on descriptions of the menacing landscape It's got man vs. land and man vs. man. Who could ask for anything more?

    6. You know how George R.R. Martin changes narrative voices between chapters? Well, this book does that, but within paragraphs. In the first hundred pages, there were a few paragraphs that had, internally, four different perspectives. And I thought, what have I gotten myself into? Is this pretentious? Is it precious? And more to the point, can I put up with this for 700 pages?Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to t [...]

    7. I must admit that the premise for this novel – a strike in the logging industry during the 1960s – didn’t exactly set my heart aflutter with excitement, but I loved Kesey’s writing so much in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest that I really wanted to give this one a chance. That turned out to be an excellent decision.The crux of this novel, to me, was the complicated relationships that we have with one another and the deep rooted hurt that lives quietly within us. Our parents, our sibling [...]

    8. Ken Kesey, Sometimes a Great Notion (Bantam Windstone, 1964)I really, really wanted to like this book. An underread novel by an acknowledged American master of letters with a core of fans who consider it one of the best novels of the last century. What could be better? Well, to put it in as few words as possible, Kesey's writing style.One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest works, and works so well, because it's tight. It's terse. It says what needs to be said. Kesey knows what he wants to say and says [...]

    9. I'm going to divide my review of this into 2 sections: me as a reader, and me as a writer:I love reading books that straddle that line between profundity and enjoyment. In "Notion", Kesey tackles some difficult themes--union busting, technology infringing upon humans involvement with the means of production, sex and family politics/roles, revenge, alcoholism, social stigmas--yet the book never feels didactic or preachy. He avoids this because of the tone with which he wrote the book: it's fun to [...]

    10. Living in the Willamette Valley I had several occasions to see Ken Kesey -- in downtown Eugene, at the MacDonald Theater, and even at the Saturday Market. He enjoyed a local following that elevated him and his friends to an almost rock-star status. My husband had gone to high school with his son and described a Ken Kesey separate from the Merry Prankster charter member and that public persona.One late spring afternoon, we were driving from Springfield towards Pleasant Hill, and came up on a big [...]

    11. I had picked up and put down this book so many times, trying, without success, to make it through the first 100 pages. It was only until a co-worker and i decided to form a "one-off" book club in order to read it before a theater adaptation by a local company that i made any real progress. even with a clearly defined reason in hand, the first 100 pages can be taxing; it's best to read slowly, savoring the flavor of the words even if you can't quite grasp all the meanings. however, hang on becaus [...]

    12. If you have yet to read One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, put this down and pick that up. If you have read One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, realize before you begin reading Sometimes a Great Notion that this is not that.In case you missed my biasedness, I like Ken Kesey’s first novel. A lot. So, I went into Sometimes a Great Notion expecting nothing short of greatness. And after finishing his second novel, I would say that it didn’t quite meet my lofty prospects. But that isn’t to say t [...]

    13. So I'm going to be 33 in April and I've read a lot of great books. I think I'm going to dedicate a huge chunk of this year into reading the most important books in my life. Sometimes a Great Notion is one of those books.One can use words like "amazing" "enlightening" "sprawling" "heroic" and "pure" to describe this book but it barely gets at it. This book is why I read fiction. Along with other books like Infinite Jest, The Fountainhead, The Sirens of Titan, Bright Lights Big City, and Please Ki [...]

    14. I hated this book for a long time. The opening is difficult to get through, and I needed to start reading it three times over the last few years just to build up enough momentum to get through it. No doubt about it, Sometimes a Great Notion is a difficult novel. But I also think it is a great novel. Once I got the hang of the stream of consciousness and how the narrator switches from character to character, I realized how worthy of a read this book is. And once I reached the middle of it I reali [...]

    15. I have to be honest, I really wanted to like this book. The best intentionsPart of the problem may have been Kesey himself. It's a strong storyline, the irascible Stamper family that will abide by the rules of no other man. They're a richly drawn cast, full of flaws, secrets, and mistrust, but their unbreakable self determinism defines them. It's a strong start, but he confounds it by overwriting the minutia, underwriting the big events, and chasing a questionable narrative machination to the br [...]

    16. I live in the Northwest. My bookish friends have said to me, “What? You live in the Northwest and you’ve never read SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION?!” Well now I have. The 628-page classic, written by Ken Kesey of the Merry Pranksters group, has become seared into my brain. Published in 1964, the plot revolves around the fictional Stamper logging family who reside along the Oregon coast.The setting is the mid-1900s, when loyalty still meant something. The logging industry, as dangerous as ever, a [...]

    17. Written in that no-nonsense way that great American writers do so well, that seems effortless yet still full of similes and all the other tricks of the trade. Like sitting around a campfire listening to an old-timer telling his life story, his face taking on the expressions of every character he describes, the darkness of night around the golden fire making you edge closer and closer, mouth gaping, eyes wide. Gave me the feeling I used to get watching The Waltons on a lazy Sunday in my youth.It [...]

    18. Rain Rain Go Away. This is a wet novel. Set in the rainy season in Oregon you get pruned fingers flipping through the pages. It's lovely. The writing is lovely. I was constantly thinking of turning down corners to mark passages only to turn the page and find something more beautifully written. This can come off as a man's story at first, it's about loggers and brothers, sons and fathers, but I'm not a man and I was completely caught up from the middle to the end. (You have to be patient in the b [...]

    19. It's hard to know where to begin - the back of my edition proclaims, "The earthy, torrid story of a lusty, yelling, Paul Bunyan of a man and his battles with society." (In fact, it proclaims that all in caps.) That sort of describes an aspect of the book, but mostly it's kind of like those ads for action movies where they play up the love story angle to try to get the women to come and see it - you know how they cut together the 5 minutes of time actually devoted to the supposed love story and t [...]

    20. The friend who recommended this book to me that it was a little difficult warned me. I was completely at sea for the first 30 or so pages. Kesey’s style is lyrical and non-linear. Eventually the characters and settings fell into place and that was when the book became completely engrossing. Kesey switches between inner monologues, dialogue and description frequently. He also switches between characters, often within the same paragraph. It’s a unique style that gives the reader and all encomp [...]

    21. A book starts with a human arm giving the finger suspended from a flag pole. And it ain't the game of thrones. You know its gonna be good. Amazed. Tried to read this in my early 20's or late teens after Cuckoo's Nest and the now questionible "Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test."Wasn't ready for a book that truly captures the NATURE of coastal Oregon, let alone loggers in a grand Shakespearean manner. Really loved every second of this book this time. Kesey could have taken that LSD and run wild with it, [...]

    22. Kesey's masterful novel about a logging family in the Pacific Northwest and the impact of a strike in collision with their never-say-die attitude towards the world, has been somewhat overshadowed by the success of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and that is unfortunate, for it is one of the best novels written about the west and the western mindset. Belongs on the shelf with Stegner's Big Rock Candy Mountain, Denis Johnson's Dead Again, and Steinbeck's East of Eden. A movie was made from it wit [...]

    23. By far my favorite book ever I read it again about every 3 years. I've worn out half a dozen copies (and given away as many), and would just about trade my soul for a hardcover version -- just can't afford it. Yes, it's extremely difficult, and it took me a few tries to get going, but the opening description of the river and the Stamper house on the bank had me hooked and I kept coming back. Once I acclimated to the shifting viewpoints I could barely put it down. There is one passage of observat [...]

    24. This book is mind blowingly amazing. The first 100 pages are a real slog, but once you're in the story is like a river current that won't let you go. A quintessential Northwest read, I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a moving, memorable and challenging read.

    25. The StoryThe struggle and ultimate acquiescence to nature (and reckoning with ultimate power [God]) is the theme of this huge, rollicking, informative and most interesting story: Nature seen in the ever-present rain and wind, the rivers, the trees, seasons, the moon and the entire animal kingdom. Namely, the indomitable Hank Stamper with his relentless self-denial and muscular struggles against the virgin hardwoods, represents the iron against many have struck and lost. His attempts to dominate [...]

    26. When you mention the novelist Ken Kesey most people respond with a reference to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, especially after the Academy Award-winning film version directed by Milos Forman and starring Jack Nicholson added to its' fame. But Sometimes a Great Notion, with its portrayal of family and labor discord in waterlogged Oregon timber country, resonated with many readers in the Northwestern United States and elsewhere. I read it several years ago as example of literature about busines [...]

    27. This is my favorite book ever. I read it twice in a row in 2008, pretty much spent the entire year reading just this book. It's a masterpiece. It rocked my socks off, and every other garment I was wearing, in a way that made it impossible to look at books and reading the same way again.It's about a logging family that is continuing to work despite a strike by the logging company that employs most of the town. They need help to finish this contract job, so brothers Joe Ben and Hank Stamper send a [...]

    28. There were a lot of things I enjoyed in "Sometimes A Great Notion". I was intrigued by the fact that the narration shifted from first person to third person to first person (but from another's character's perspective) all on the same page. I loved the idea of a bar, mentioned early on, with a Woman's Christian Temperance Union "RememberOne Drink Is Too Many" sign out front (which if I ever own a bar I will definitely acquire). I loved picturing what it must be like living on this river, so isola [...]

    29. A tale of revenge, jealousy, self-discovery, defiance, pride, community, independence and redemption; this book has it all. Whether you identify with the prodigal Leland, the stoic Hank, or the lost Viv, Kesey's emotionally charged but ultimately unbiased portrayal of the struggle of family vs community and family vs itself will exhilarate. Through seamless stream of consciousness(es) you begin to inhabit the hive-mind of the Oregon logging community. The motivations of even the most insignifica [...]

    30. I had finished college in the spring of 2005 and had landed a job in Oregon. Coming from Wisconsin, Oregon was a foreign world to me. Over the summer before my move, I picked this book up. It does a great job capturing the essence of the Oregon coast. Kesey masterfully interweaves the small town mentalities with larger then life characters. A recurrent theme in the book is the geese flying overhead. Kesey uses it as a harbinger of upcoming events in the book. I moved to Oregon in early fall and [...]

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