Colleen's Reviews > Sometimes a Great Notion

Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey
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Oct 29, 11


This book is my short list of all time favorites. I first read the book 42 years ago. At that time I was unfamiliar with the Pacific NW, having grown up in SoCal. To acquiant myself with the novel's setting, I drove about 800 miles north and camped along side the Siuslaw River east of Florence Oregon, my closest guess south of the location of fictional Wakonda. When the movie was filmed later, the director guessed north and placed the Stamper place on the Siletz River. While taking breaks from my reading, I picked Himalayan blackberries, had a bear invade my campsite, watched log trucks run up and down the highway, drank a beer or two in the local bars that invariably had Buy Union signs posted, and observed a community barely hanging on. I was hooked.
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The setting and the tale were intriguing, but Kesey's writing style is what put the book in my favorites. I am still amazed that he could change the Narrative Voice two or three times within a paragraph or even within a sentence. He uses italics, punctuation, and word usage to accomplish this, and the result flows nicely. I see that the book is available as an audiobook and I would be interested to know how a single narrator could convey this.
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