-The Mad Hatter, Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland
I finished Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest yesterday afternoon. Chief Bromden, the looming deaf-mute from the acclaimed 1975 film, charts the arrival of robust, life-loving Randle McMurphy to a mental institution efficiently managed by an entity called the Combine. Catalyzed by McMurphy's humor and friendship, minds long lost in fog slowly remember what it's like to be human beings with valid desires, and what exactly it costs to opt out of the world.
The narrative bleeds the reality Bromden witnesses and the nightmare of his own insanity, culminating in a crisp view on the subtle dynamics of good and evil. It's a book that lingers, held fast by the rambling, whimsical prose of the silent witness, the moving complexities of the characters, and a story whose framework we all know well. What is it to be crazy? What is it to be strong? What is it to be alive? Of course it helps to pepper the tale with gambling, hookers and the occasional (well-deserved) drunken binge with the guys.
Oh hell, I'll make it easy for you to check the book and the film out yourself: