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Manny Rayner's book reviews

I love reviewing books - have been doing it at Goodreads, but considering moving here.

Currently reading

The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution
Richard Dawkins
R in Action
Robert Kabacoff
Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies
Douglas R. Hofstadter
McGee on Food and Cooking: An Encyclopedia of Kitchen Science, History and Culture
Harold McGee
Epistemic Dimensions of Personhood
Simon Evnine
Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning (Information Science and Statistics)
Christopher M. Bishop
Relativity, Thermodynamics and Cosmology
Richard C. Tolman
The Cambridge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition
Julia Herschensohn, Martha Young-Scholten
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey Like most people who grew up in the 60s, I loved this book and, even more, the film version with Jack Nicholson. I was reminded of it yesterday when Not and I got to talking about the Winona Ryder movie Girl, Interrupted.

"Oh," said Not dismissively, "it's just a remake of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

But I completely disagree. In fact, I think it's the most coherent criticism I've ever seen of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and does a wonderful job of subverting the message. Throughout most of the movie, you are indeed tricked into seeing the world through Winona Ryder's eyes: she's a free spirit, who's been incarcerated in a mental hospital despite the fact that there is absolutely nothing wrong with her. In fact, she's saner than everyone around her, especially the Nazi-like staff. But you know what? In the end, she makes a surprising discovery. She's out of control, and these appalling fascists are actually trying to help her. She'd somehow missed this important fact.

Much as it pains me to say it, I suspect that Winona Ryder might be right and Jack Nicholson might be wrong. It's extremely disappointing.