Sometimes A Great Notion

Sometimes A Great Notion

Book - 2006
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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 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 more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more 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.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2006
ISBN: 9780143039860
Characteristics: xix, 715 p. ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Bowden, Charles


From Library Staff

An oedipal journey set in the dark forest of Oregon's west coat by the ultimate Merry Prankster himself, Ken Kesey. First published in 1964.

From the critics

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Feb 25, 2017

I read this book years ago and thought it was incredible. I used to own it, then lent it out and it never came back - I hope whoever got it loved it so much they couldn't bear to return it! I'm going to read it again and see if it's as amazing as I remember.

Dec 16, 2015

Is this the definitive Oregon novel? Big, brawny and almost palpably soaked in coastal rain, Ken Kesey's ambitious, sprawling, thick follow-up to "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" is at least one of the top contenders for the title. For fans of "East of Eden," Thomas Wolfe & logging.
PS-I really want to open a food cart called Sometimes a Great Taco.

multcolib_central Aug 08, 2014

One of the first pieces of american literature takes place on the Oregon coast. This engrossing multi-layered tales sentences glide past, pulling the reader into the gripping story. Kesey doesn't play favorites with his characters, all have a complex story to tell.

Apr 18, 2014

a very rewarding book, it starts a bit slow then gets moving, this is kesey's true masterpiece, you won't regret it

Jun 01, 2012

I have read this title only once, but plan to re-read it because I found it very rewarding. One notable feature of the book is the large number of characters, each with a personal history that is well-developed and deeply intertwined with the histories and futures of the other characters. This book left me with a profound sense of perspective on life. This title, although not as famous as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, reaches its reader more deeply because its circumstances, although piquant, relate in some way to the simple motions of life that every person experiences. Very highly recommended.

johnmarkeberhart Oct 25, 2010

I hadn't re-read this book for several years. I remembered it being long, and dense at the beginning especially, and challenging. But my experience with it this time was more rewarding than ever. This book is about a lot of things -- the nature of work and its place in our lives, the almost absurd complexities of interpersonal communication, and even the question of whether we're fated to act in certain ways based on our upbringing. Mostly, though -- it's just a great, great story. And I've rarely seen character development this deep. Even beyond the two central figures of Hank and Leland Stamper, these people practically jump off the page and sit down over coffee (or a beer in the Snag) with you. Kesey, at his best, wrote books that were big, brawling, larger or at least as large as life itself. Highly recommended.


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Mar 30, 2017

"That's the one thing that everybody else in the world can do, ain't it, Willard? Is is the hassle".

Jun 01, 2012

"Never give an inch."


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