Sometimes a Great Notion (Penguin Classics) [Ken Kesey, Charles Bowden] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The magnificent second. Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey. Andrew Imbrie Dayton; May 1, This monthly feature invites readers to (re)discover a work that’s so rich and. The temptation with Ken Kesey has always been to dwell on the tie-died, acid- laced trips, both in a bus called “Further” and in his mind and.

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Sometimes a Great Notion: The Story of a Family Who Would Never Give an Inch

These characters are archetypical, this is a classic fable. Ken Kesey novelJohn Gay screenplay. It might even be my Desert Island novel! And the Scenes Gone By and the Scenes to Come flow blending together in the sea-green deep while Now spreads in circles on the sometimse.

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. This is what a great book should be!

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Sometimes a Great Notion was made into a film directed by and starring Paul Newman. I live in the Northwest. In association with his family, he is able to withstand a variety of pressures including the forces of nature, i. This novel is deceptively intricate and contains keenly observed power struggles between brothers, between white collar and blue collar, between workers and bosses, between husbands and wives, between dreams and cold hard reality and a twist on a good ole fashioned Oedipus complex thrown in for good measure.

Jan 20, Janet rated it it was amazing Shelves: Learn more More Like This.

Instead, it’s a muddle of confused and mumbled vows and half-hearted longings. Why does a notkon with such an awesome average rating have only 16, ratings? He is the only character sometimse the novel who is able to swim across the river, his most powerful and relentless adversary.

A century and a half of footloose, hardscrabble Stampers have beaten their way across the continent, finally staking a claim along the perpetually eroding banks of the Wakonda Auga River, where they are embroiled in a bitter fight with the union that protects their fellow townsmen.


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. 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.

Print Hardback and Paperback. Throughout the novel he is portrayed as a heroic small businessman who is able to deal with and withstand a variety of pressures. Top favorite Movies of All Time. Epic novel dealing with a number of major themes within the context of a family drama.

Jan 06, Joshua rated it it was amazing.

Mono Westrex Recording System. Viv Stamper Michael Sarrazin A great read all in all. Hank sees them through the same hole that Lee had used as a young boy to witness the sexual relationship between his mother and Hank. The book is full of loving descriptions of the beauty and bleakness of Oregon.

There are many confrontations among them. Kesey spent his early years hun American writer, who gained world fame with his novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nestfilmed I think it should be up there with “Moby Dick” “Grapes of Wrath” etc. Henry returns with a youthful new wife, Myra. 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.

Even the supporting cast have rich backstories, like the town prostitute Indian Jenny who calls men to her bed by throwing clamshells and then buying them drinks; Biggy Newton, the overgrown class bully who has been beating up and getting beaten up by Hank since they were in school together; Les Gibbons, an old drunk made bitter by a life of grudges; Boney Stokes, Henry’s alleged best friend, who wishes for his downfall more than anyone who hates him; Teddy the fat bartender who thinks he knows everything about the human condition as he waters down all the drinks.

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. But his books are worth reading.


Tell them the old bartender from the “Embarcadero” sent you. The characters are well described and consistently back-referenced, and Kesey has a fine sense of the dramatic and foreshadowing.

Sometimes a Great Notion

Jan 24, Robert Beveridge rated it ke not like it Shelves: The setting is the mids, when loyalty still meant something. Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey. I just reread this Classic for the fourth time, since first being turned on to it while visiting Oregon some fifteen years ago.

I’ve always been one for economy in literature, both in words and interpretation, but Kesey’s prose comes in torrents and leaves little doubt as to his intention. The viewpoint shifts constantly and erratically – within the same paragraph. Who could ask for anything grest We each have our own struggles and in that, we can closely relate with kesfy of these people.

All are players acting out their ultimate destinies, railing against the power of nature human and earthly.

Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey

But also a book that is not a quick read by any means. The main draw of the novel is to watch the conflicts between the Stampers and the town and between the members of the family themselves.

In Vinegaroon, Texas, former outlaw Roy Bean appoints himself the judge for the region and dispenses his brand of justice as he sees fit. Ya think he’s doing any good?

Dressed ekn a jester’s outfit, Kesey was the chief prankster. Audible Download Audio Books. The young Leland views them in bed together through a hole in the wall.

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. When the town finally thinks it has crushed Hank Stamper, there is only superficial joy, because his spirit was the sometimfs that had all given up too long ago.