Tag: Classics

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: Book Review and Movie Comparision

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Author: Ken Kesey
Published: 1962
325 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Tyrannical Nurse Ratched rules her ward in an Oregon State mental hospital with a strict and unbending routine, unopposed by her patients, who remain cowed by mind-numbing medication and the threat of electric shock therapy. But her regime is disrupted by the arrival of McMurphy – the swaggering, fun-loving trickster with a devilish grin who resolves to oppose her rules on behalf of his fellow inmates. His struggle is seen through the eyes of Chief Bromden, a seemingly mute half-Indian patient who understands McMurphy’s heroic attempt to do battle with the powers that keep them imprisoned. Ken Kesey’s extraordinary first novel is an exuberant, ribald and devastatingly honest portrayal of the boundaries between sanity and madness.

Kim’s Review:

Reading this book was a given for me. I had already seen the movie; plus I learned that they had used a working psych hospital and real patients for the movie. I found this gorgeous edition of the book and started reading. What a ride! I’ll admit that there’s not tons of action and the plot itself can be a little slow going, but the emotions and thinking and discussions and strategizing all make up for it!

This is one of those stories that has to be experienced in order to be understood. I will say this, the best thing to remember is that the narrator is a chronic psych patient. As long as that’s constantly understood, the perspective, surprisingly and ironically, makes much more sense! This is a book that will stick with you and you’ll be mentally gnawing on it for a good while after you finish! I also believe that everyone working in the mental health system should read this book! It’s so good, that I actually recommend it to everyone!

Now here is Kim’s Video Comparison of the movie:

 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier

Jamaica Inn
Author: Daphne du Maurier
Published: 1936
307 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

The coachman tried to warn her away from the ruined, forbidding place on the rainswept Cornish coast. But young Mary Yellan chose instead to honor her mother’s dying request that she join her frightened Aunt Patience and huge, hulking Uncle Joss Merlyn at Jamaica Inn. From her first glimpse on that raw November eve, she could sense the inn’s dark power. But never did Mary dream that she would become hopelessly ensnared in the vile, villainous schemes being hatched within its crumbling walls — or that a handsome, mysterious stranger would so incite her passions … tempting her to love a man whom she dares not trust.

Kim’s Review:

I first read this book back when I was in college. I was working on campus during the summer and I’d spend my lunches in the library reading and exploring … I know, I was a nerd. I had already read Rebecca in high school so I knew du Maurier was a great author.

Jamaica Inn is almost as good as I remember! It’s suspenseful, gothic, and kinda scary. I’ll admit that Mary felt a little overdramatic at times, which is why I gave it 4 stars, but when the problems were revealed, most of her reactions became justified. I also found it amusing that du Maurier was obsessed with gender in this book. Every other conversation was, “were I not a woman,” or “if you were a man”. Thankfully, it was mostly said in jest or “what if” scenarios, but it added an interesting perspective to a classic gothic tale. The plot also moved steadily and had a good twist, that I suspected, but was not obvious.

I’m pretty sure that Jem Merlyn was one of my first fictional crushes; he’s adorable! I enjoyed my rereading and I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Jane Eyre-esque stories.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Graphic Novel Review: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde & The Body Snatcher

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde & The Body Snatcher
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson

Illustrator: Robert Smith
Published: May 1, 2016
160 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

The dark tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson was first published in 1886. The novella went on to become one of the most well-known horror stories of all time and has been adapted for numerous film, TV and stage productions. Here it is retold in graphic format through Robert Smiths visually arresting illustrations.

Also included is the short story The Body Snatcher, a fictionalised account of the exploits of Mr Burke and Mr Hare, two real-life grave-robbers who operated in Edinburgh in 1828.

Kim’s Review:

Anyone who hasn’t read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde needs to drop what they’re doing and go read it right now! It’s a classic tale of horror and the duality of man. Does a man have both angel and demon living within him? Do the actions of his inner demon define him? Obviously, the best is the original short story, but this graphic novel is a pretty good substitute. Normally I don’t like graphic novels, but I decided to give this one a try. I enjoyed it. The art is not Michelangelo by any means, but it’s engaging and colorful and conveys the plot nicely. The Body Snatcher story is also a good one and doesn’t take long. Both stories are creepy and perfect for a quick horror fix. Overall, this book is a good one for those who like graphic novel adaptations!

 

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