Books Like One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest
Most people remember One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest as the award-winning 1975 film starring Jack Nicholson, but long before it came the 1962 novel on which it is based. The author is Ken Kesey, who wrote about Randle Patrick McMurphy, a newcomer to a mental hospital who sets his sights on taking over. Initially, Randle openly flaunts his defiance of the rules and regulations for fun, but Nurse Ratched, the woman who runs the ward with an iron grip does not take this lightly. What ensues is a battle of wills that leads up to one of the most shocking conclusions in literature. If you are a fan of the story, then be sure to check out the following books like One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest.
by Anthony Burgess
A Clockwork Orange is a 1963 novel by Anthony Burgess. Unlike One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, it is set in a nightmarish version of the future and the protagonist is a 15-year old sociopath named Alex. After engaging in a ton of violence and illegal activities Alex eventually ends up sentenced to prison. A few years into his 14-year prison sentence Alex is chosen for an experimental version of aversion therapy, which is designed to make offenders sick if they so much as think of committing violence. The therapy is so successful that Alex is released from prison, but he considers suicide and eventually ends up in a mental institution. The book also later received a film adaptation that was directed by Stanley Kubrick.
by Ned Vizzini
It's Kind of a Funny Story was published in 2006 and was based on the author, Ned Vizzini's, own hospitalization due to depression. The narrator of the story is a 15-year-old boy, Craig Gilner, who seems to have it all. His family is from a middle-class Brooklyn neighborhood and Craig managed to study hard enough to gain admission to the very prestigious Executive Pre-Professional High School. It is there where things begin to fall apart as Craig is unable to cope with the stress of the school along with other personal matters. After he seeks help due to his suicidal thoughts Craig is admitted to a psychiatric hospital, much to his surprise. The book was later turned into a film adaptation starring big names like Zach Galifianakis, Zoe Kravitz, and Emma Roberts.
by Clare Allan
Poppy Shakespeare is a 2006 novel by Clare Allan, who spent a lot of time in a mental health institution herself. This is her debut novel and tells the story of "N" who is a longtime resident of the Dorothy Fish mental institution and Poppy Shakespeare, who is a new arrival. Poppy claims that she is sane and demands that she is released, but the only way to prove it is with legal aid. Unfortunately, because legal aid is so costly, the only way to afford it is with state benefits. This results in Poppy having to feign mental illness in her effort to get released. Thanks to the help of "N" Poppy sets out to work the system in this darkly funny novel.
by Nathan Filer
The Shock of the Fall was published in 2013 and it is the debut novel of Nathan Filer. What is interesting about this novel is that Filer came up with the idea while training to be a mental health nurse. However, it wasn't until many years later, after he had completed his degree in mental health nursing and then studying creative writing that he wrote the novel. The story is about Matthew Homes, a young man who lost his brother Simon when he was nine years old. Many years later Matt is committed to the Hope Road Day Centre mental hospital by his parents after an incident where he hallucinates his brother giving him instructions. It is during his stay at the hospital that Matt begins to remember what happened to Simon on the evening he passed away.
by Janet Frame
Faces in the Water is a 1961 novel by Janet Frame, but the story of the author is almost as harrowing as One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. The novel is about Istina Mavet, a woman who has been committed to a psychiatric hospital. The story follows Istina as she goes from being well enough to leave the hospital to being told that she is beyond any hope of curing. Throughout it all Istina observes not just her fellow patients, but also the unsympathetic hospital staff. The author herself dealt with similar issues and underwent years of psychiatric hospitalization. The only thing that saved her from a lobotomy was her debut publication of short stories winning a national literary prize literally days before the scheduled procedure.