Winter 1965 • Vol. XXVII No. 1 Book ReviewsJanuary 1, 1965 |

Notions Good and Bad

Sometimes A Great Notion by Ken Kesey. The Viking Press, $7.50. Bad Characters by Jean Stafford. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $4.95. Cabot Wright Begins by James Purdy. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $4.95. Ken Kesey's new novel is exuberant and wilful piece of writing. The two qualities seem in Kesey to belong together: the exuberance as expressed in the sheer outpouring of words, the wilfulness in his commitment to an epic action for which his curious style is not at all suited. This time his setting is lumbering territory in Oregon. The "great notion" of attempting heroism in an age in which heroic exploits are largely confined to the comics and television overtakes two brothers---the elder primitive and domineering, the younger sensitive, fighting to achieve manhood---and results in a final desperate, quixotic, yet perhaps successful attempt to take logs downstream by themselves while angry loggers on strike watch from the river bank. The novel is one long preparation for

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That Old Vitriola

By Paul Schwartz

Sometimes A Great Notion by Ken Kesey. The Viking Press, $7.50. Bad Characters by Jean Stafford. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $4.95. Cabot Wright Begins by James Purdy. Farrar, Straus and […]

Lost: One Mind

By Leonard Gross

Sometimes A Great Notion by Ken Kesey. The Viking Press, $7.50. Bad Characters by Jean Stafford. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $4.95. Cabot Wright Begins by James Purdy. Farrar, Straus and […]

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