One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a 1975 novel by Ken Kesey that has become one of the most widely read and studied pieces of literature in modern times. The story follows Randle McMurphy, an inmate at Oregon State Hospital, who rebels against Nurse Ratched, a tyrannical head nurse. Through his rebelliousness, he helps to empower other inmates to stand up for themselves and push back against oppressive authority figures.
The book explores themes such as mental illness, power dynamics between people in positions of authority versus those without any power, rebellion and conformity, among others. It also serves as a critique of American society during the 1950s-1970s period when it was written; issues like racism were still prevalent in this time frame, which are subtly explored throughout the narrative. As well as being hailed for its literary merit upon release. With many critics citing its bold use of language and unique take on social conventions, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest has been adapted into numerous media forms, including theatre productions, films (both starring Jack Nicholson), television series and musical adaptations, due to its universal appeal across generations since it was first released 45 years ago.