Not too many books take you into the world of mental illness.
It is told through the eyes of a mental patient named .
Chief Bromden. He is a northwest Indian, who is disturbed with hallucinations about .
machines taking over the world he knows. The mental hospital is in Oregon; a Nurse .
Ratched, has machine like control of everyone and everything in the ward. The only hint .
of her humanity is the fact that she posseses very large breasts, which she keeps tucked .
away under her neat-as-a-pin white uniform. The Chief has been there the longer than .
anyone except for Ratched. He uses this to his advantage by making the other people in .
the ward think he is deaf and dumb. .
Life in the ward is quiet until a new patient is admitted. His name is Radall .
Patrick McMurphy and he is a redheaded brute who smells of sweat, work, dirt and dust. .
He starts in by disrupting everything familiar in the ward, the silence, the admitting .
showers, and the way the black boys bully the patients around. He quickly makes friends .
with everyone including the Chronics who are vegetable like patients. McMurphy is a .
gambling man who insist that he wanted to come to the ward for an easier life than the .
one he had at work camp where he previously stayed. One of his first bets with the other .
patients is to make Ratched lose control of the ward without giving her an excuse to .
punish him. McMurphy leads the patients through numerous confrontations with the .
staff. He soon learns he can't leave the hospital without Ratched's approval, so he begins .
to obey her rules. .
By raising hopes he hasn't fulfilled, he leaves the patients worse off than before. .
One becomes so depressed he drowns himself. McMurphy plans a fishing trip for the .
ward and talks to Chief about it. The Chief speaks for the first time in years about the .
Combine: his world of the machines, the government, his own mother, who destroy .
freedom in favor of machine like conformity.