Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Two Classic 50-Year-Olds

One of two classic humorous, yet with dark undertones, turns 50 this year.

Ken Kesey wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest based on his experiences as an employee in a psychiatric ward. His book, and the subsequent movie starring Jack Nicholson, captured the institutional madness (pun intended) of the psychiatric asylum system.

The book is an engrossing read, one of the first books I couldn’t put down. The movie is a classic, being inaugurated as one of the 100 best movies of all time in 1991.

The second book, also 50 years old, is Catch-22, the crazy anti-war book which coined a new term in the English lexicon from its title alone. It was another book I could not put down when I first read it in the early 1970s.

Both are highly recommended. Their story and their message are as valid now as then. And their writing is phenomenal.