Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey

By Ken Kesey

The wonderful moment novel from the mythical writer of 1 Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Following the marvelous good fortune of his first novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey wrote what Charles Bowden calls "one of the few crucial books written through an American within the final part century." This wild-spirited story tells of a sour strike that rages via a small lumber city alongside 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 unique with the mythic influence of Greek tragedy.

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Sometimes a Great Notion

The remarkable moment novel from the mythical writer of 1 Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Following the dazzling luck of his first novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey wrote what Charles Bowden calls "one of the few crucial books written via an American within the final part century. " This wild-spirited story tells of a sour strike that rages via a small lumber city alongside the Oregon coast.

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Sample text

And so does she, Draeger realizes, greeting her; more than I do. Odd . . that I could have thought I understood so much. “Mr. Draeger . ” The girl indicates a chair. ” “I want to know what happened,” he says, sitting. ” She looks down at her hands, shaking her head. ” She raises her head and smiles at him again. “Honest; I’m afraid I really can’t explain ‘and why’ ”—her smile wry but not all derisive as the grins of those other fools had been, wry, but sincerely sorry and somehow quite sweet. —surprised by the rapid beating of his heart and the uncontrolled rising of his voice.

If I didn’t make a miscalculation . ” A different bloom. Petaled with wonder. ” And perhaps, therefore, more to all fools. He stops the car, skidding the whitewalls against the curb in front of the Sea Breeze Cafe. Through the rushing windshield he can see the whole length of Main Street. Deserted? Just rain and tomcats. He flips up his collar and steps out without taking time to put on his overcoat, hurries across to the neon-filled front of the Snag. Inside, the bar also looks deserted; the juke-box is lighted, playing softly, but there is no one in sight.

No. Don’t scowl, Mr. Draeger. Really. I didn’t quite believe it myself . ” She knows what I’m thinking! “. . but I gradually came around. Here. ” She opens the book; the smell reminds her of the attic. (Oh, the attic. He kissed me good-by and my sore lip . ) “This is the family history, sort of. ” (I’ve got around to admitting . . ) She pushes the book across the table toward Draeger; it is a large photograph album, awkward with old prints. Draeger opens it slowly, hesitant since his experience with those binoculars.

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