Sometimes a Great Notion (Ken Kesey 1935-2001) - Viking Press - 1964 - 599 pages

I had this paperback book in my library (or box or shelf) for over 30 years always planning to read it because it was the second novel by the great author of One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest.  Little did I know that this novel was even better than Cuckoo's Nest (1962) and is perhaps one of the best American novels of all time.  Kesey was a marvelous storyteller and a great inventor of novelistic style.  In this book, Kesey throws numerous narrators at the reader, often four or five on the same page.  And he does so with such clarity and ease that the flow is never diminished.  In the early 1960s, brothers Hank and Lee Stamper meet after a dozen years in a small logging town in Oregon where the Stamper family has the only logging contract.  The entire town of union workers and their families have turned against the Stampers in an effort to prevent the completion of the contract.  It is regrettable that Kesey went off on his various adventures and did not write another novel for 25 years.  Thus were readers robbed of his literary genius.  [JAM 2/1/2012]