Although only a quarter into the book, Kesey has already presented an interesting scenario. The narrator is quite unreliable, and there are many times that I cannot tell what is really happening and what Chief thinks is happening. He does, however, create some amazing metaphors. It becomes confusing sometimes, but it offers an intriguing perspective on how some actions may be interpreted by those with a mental disorder. The book is in first person, and the narrator sometimes goes on and on about barely relevant subjects, and goes off on tangents quite a bit. However, he is a good narrator in the sense that he is quite an observer. Pretending to be deaf and mute allows him a better chance at observing the going-ons at the asylum. There are some points, though, where I have to reread a section to understand what is going on.
The characters all have some sort of mental affliction, but it is not enough to make them unrelatable. Most of the disorders are simply exaggerated emotions, reactions, or habits that many people have. I don’t understand why Randle Patrick McMurphy is in the asylum. He appears to be the most sane of any of them. I suppose he has a gambling addiction and is always cheerful, but those don’t seem like reasons why someone would be in a mental asylum.
The novel does not deal with anything outside the institute, so everything Chief describes is in the building. He mentions a few locations outside the asylum, before he was admitted, most of which are recognizable, at least to me, due to the fact that it is set in Oregon. Characterization and setting descriptions are amazing, albeit being a little hard to understand. The plot, so far, has moved fairly slowly, but the descriptions are engaging to read, and I cannot wait to continue this intriguing, and mildly confusing, novel.