Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey

By Ken Kesey

The great moment novel from the mythical writer of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Sailor Song is a wild-spirited and highly strong story of an Oregon logging clan.

A sour strike is raging in a small lumber city alongside the Oregon coast. Bucking that strike out of sheer cussedness are the Stampers: Henry, the fiercely very important and overpowering patriarch; Hank, the son who has spent his lifestyles attempting to dwell as much as his father; and Viv, who fell in love with Hank's exuberant machismo yet now reveals it donning skinny. after which there's Leland, Henry's bookish more youthful son, who returns to his kin on a undertaking of vengeance -- and reveals himself pleasant it in methods he by no means imagined. Out of the Stamper family's rivalries and betrayals Ken Kesey has crafted a unique with the mythic impression of Greek tragedy.

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The shed, although tumbledown, is really rather handsome when looked at with a sympathetic eye, the wood of it weathered to a silky, silvery grey, like the handle of a well-worn implement, a spade, say, or a trusty axe. Old Brides-in-the-Bath would have caught that texture exactly, the quiet sheen and shimmer of it. Doodle deedle dee. Claire, my daughter, has written to ask how I am faring. Not well, I regret to say, bright Clarinda, not well at all. She does not telephone because I have warned her I will take no calls, even from her.

The waves were depositing a fringe of soiled yellow foam along the waterline. No sail marred the high horizon. I would not swim, no, not ever again. Someone has just walked over my grave. Someone. The name of the house is the Cedars, as of old. A bristling clump of those trees, monkey-brown with a tarry reek, their trunks nightmarishly tangled, still grows at the left side, facing across an untidy lawn to the big curved window of what used to be the living room but which Miss Vavasour prefers to call, in landladyese, the lounge.

I was too ambitious. She says she cannot get her fingers around the notes. Your mind, more like, I do not reply. Recreant, recreant thoughts. I wonder that she never married. She was beautiful, once, in her soulful way. Nowadays she wears her long grey hair, that formerly was so black, gathered into a tight loop behind her head and transpierced by two crossed pins as big as knitting needles, a style that is to my mind suggestive, wholly inappropriately, of the geisha-house. The Japanese note is continued in the kimono-like belted silk dressing-gown that she wears of a morning, the silk printed with a motif of brightly coloured birds and bamboo fronds.

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