The magnificent second novel from the legendary author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Sailor Song is a wild-spirited and hugely powerful tale of an Oregon logging clan.
A bitter strike is raging in a small lumber town along the Oregon coast. Bucking that strike out of sheer cussedness are the Stampers: Henry, the fiercely vital and overpowering patriarch; Hank, the son who has spent his life trying to live up to his father; and Viv, who fell in love with Hank's exuberant machismo but now finds it wearing thin. And then there is Leland, Henry's bookish younger son, who returns to his family on a mission of vengeance - and finds himself fulfilling it in ways he never imagined. Out of the Stamper family's rivalries and betrayals, Ken Kesey crafted a novel with the mythic impact of Greek tragedy.
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A Cherished American Tome
This is my all time favorite novel. Kesey's revolutionary style must have flummoxed everyone back in '64. I was six years old then, growing up next door to Oregon in the state of Idaho. Reading this book in my post Marine Corps youth left me viewing Hank and Lee as two sides of my own personality. Consummate liberal and devout patriot, budding intellectual and blue collar son of a roofing contractor. I know what it means to fulfill a contract, but I appreciate the progress we all enjoy thanks to unions. I am awaiting God's call to write my own novel before I depart this Earth. I can only pray that I can do so half as well as Ken Kesey. This book is one of the keys to understanding the paradoxes of this existence. May this novel live forever.