Sometimes a Great Notion

by Ken Kesey

Readers are likely to think the title was the last "Great Notion" this author came up with. The frequent foul, obscene, blasphemous cuss words get very wearisome quickly. Incompetence with grammar technique and constant flashbacks—and forwards--make reading an unwelcome chore. Most troubling is this joker’s rotten attitude toward women and sex in general. According to the author humans are no more than sexual animals living without the constraint of commitment or tradition or caring relationships. The reader not only has to learn about but live through (vicariously experience) voyeurism for several titillating chapters. The second worst thing is that the author’s reputation for advocating the use of drugs is plainly evident in passages in this book that advocate his use of joints because he "deserves it, needs it and numbs his senses." To top it off the book has several racial slurs with stand out like a bad cough. A reader would be hard pressed to find a book that would be a greater waste of time.

One of the seven novels challenged for classroom use

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