Tag: KenKesey

jack nicholson and co. in one flew over the cuckoo's nest

7 Classic Books Made Popular By Their Movie Adaptations


Whenever a book becomes popular, the laws of pop culture thermodynamics ensure that it will receive a film adaptation. But what happens when a lesser-known book is enshrined in the people’s hearts by a turn in movie theaters? Option your books–they just might make it big!


  1. “2001: A Space Odyssey” by Arthur C. Clarke


2001: A Space Odyssey cover

Image courtesy of Wikipedia


Clarke and Kubrick worked together on the “2001” project together, with the two men collaborating on both the film script and the novel’s manuscript. Though not as trippy or visually stunning as the film classic, “2001” is nonetheless a quintessential SciFi read from one of the best in the genre. It’s also a little easier to understand, warranting several sequels before Clarke’s death. 


  1. “The Prestige” by Christopher Priest


The Prestige

Image courtesy of Goodreads


Fresh off directing “Batman Begins”, Christopher Nolan brought this magical thriller into the world, in the process alerting the masses to the source material by Christopher Priest. Though seeing the film first may spoil some of the twists, Priest’s world is intoxicating enough to draw in even the most jaded of readers.



  1. “Q&A” by Vikas Swarup 


Q&A cover

Image courtesy of Vikus Swarup 


An Academy Award winner for best picture, “Slumdog Millionaire” would never have existed were it not for Swarup’s 2005 tale of a poor young Indian man earning the big bucks on a popular TV game show. A diplomat by profession, Swarup was inspired by a rapidly modernizing India and real-life game show scandals to craft this funny and moving portrait of a kid and his tireless country.


  1. “A Beautiful Mind” by Sylvia Nasar


a beautiful mind cover

Image courtesy of Goodreads


Before the film “A Beautiful Mind”, Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Nash was almost solely known in math and academic circles. The immense critical and commercial success of the Ron Howard film, however, catapulted Nash’s story and the book it was derived from into the larger culture. Unlike the film, which took many liberties in its depictions of Nash, Nasar’s account is detailed and true to what really went down in its subject’s colorful and often-tragic life.


  1. “Fight Club” by Chuck Palahniuk


fight club cover

Image courtesy of Amazon


“Fight Club” the book did decently upon it’s 1996 publication, but it’s the 1999 film adaptation with Brad Pitt and Edward Norton that truly made Palahniuk’s work a household name. If you ever wanted to know where the very-twisted characters and concepts of that cult favorite came from, then look no further than the source.


  1. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey


one flew over book cover

Image courtesy of Wikipedia


“One Flew Over” was adapted into play only one year after its 1962 release, but it was the 1975 Jack Nicholson-starring film that truly cemented it in the world’s imagination. A pointed critique of contemporary psychiatry, the film’s haunting plot and imagery continues to draw new readers to the novel—even though Kesey reportedly disliked the finished film.


  1. “Mommie Dearest” by Christina Crawford


mommie dearest cover

Image courtesy of Wikipedia


What started life as a fairly trashy celebrity tell-all transformed into a cult classic for the ages with a 1981 film adaptation. Faye Dunaway’s ghastly performance as an off-her-rocker Joan Crawford helped this seriously flawed film survive far past its expiration date, while at the same time ensuring that Crawford’s daughter, Christina, would always find an audience for her account of her famous mother’s bizarre abuse.


Featured image courtesy of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.


7 Essential Literary Interviews

When we learn about an author, we understand more about his or her work. That’s why readers can’t get enough of literary interviews! Through these seven iconic interviews, some of history’s greatest authors and poorest liars stay with us forever. These captured moments are each required reading (or listening/viewing) for any true fan of literature.

Raymond Chandler, 1958 (Interviewed by Ian Fleming)

Part 2Part 3Part 4

This is a two-for-one deal, because legendary crime writer Raymond Chandler is being interviewed by spy novelist extraordinaire Ian Fleming. The conversation between the two men is fascinating. This is also the only known recording of Raymond Chandler’s voice.


F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1936

Image courtesy of biography.com

Edited version

By 1936, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s glamorous lifestyle had caught up with him. Injured and miserable at 40, he gave an interview to a reporter from the New York Post. The result is iconic and haunting. At times, it’s hard to believe that this is the same man who wrote The Great Gatsby.


James Frey, 2006

Full transcript

In 2005, James Frey was riding high. His memoir, A Million Little Pieces, was chosen by Oprah’s Book Club and became a monster bestseller. It topped the New York Times bestseller list for months.

Then, in 2006, everything changed. The Smoking Gun, a gossip and news website, published an investigation of Frey’s claims in his “memoir.” It turned out that he had made a lot of it up.

For the second time, Frey found himself on Oprah’s set. The 2006 interview, however, was very different from his first visit. The entire segment is uncomfortable, and the memory of Frey’s fall from grace has already outlived his literary fame.


Ken Kesey, 1966

When Ken Kesey, the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, was arrested for possession of marijuana in 1965, he fled the country. He returned months later, and was promptly sent to jail. Kesey answers a few questions about his perspective on the incident in this short, impromptu 1966 interview. His attitude and beliefs are emblematic of the 1960s counterculture that he was such an essential part of. The girl in the video is Carolyn “Mountain Girl” Garcia, who later married (and divorced) Grateful Dead singer Jerry Garcia.


Harper Lee, 1964

Full interview

Harper Lee is famously reclusive. She hasn’t spoken to a journalist in more than 50 years, declining every request for an interview. But Harper Lee has been interviewed – once.

In 1964, not long after To Kill a Mockingbird was published and the same year that the film version was released, Harper Lee sat down with Roy Newquist. The interview can be found in Newquist’s book Counterpoint, but it’s also hiding in a few places online – including in the link above.


J.K. Rowling, 1998

“Will there be many more Harry Potter books?” the interviewer earnestly asks in this low-fi 1998 Scottish television piece. At the time of this interview, the second book in the series had not yet been released and the idea of Harry Potter movies was pure speculation. This is a fascinating interview from a pivotal moment in Rowling’s career.


John Steinbeck, 1952

In this interview, Steinbeck discusses his most famous novel, The Grapes of Wrath, a little more than a dozen years after its publication. Steinbeck seems to join in the optimism of the American 1950s, remarking on how far the country has come since the depression. Steinbeck himself went further in the years that followed, winning the Nobel Prize for Literature a decade later.

Featured image courtesy of NY Daily News