by Ken Kesey
Viking; 384 pages; $18.95
Before he became a character in American literature, Ken Kesey was a novelist. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962) and Sometimes a Great Notion (1964) put him in the company of the young and the promising. He was a big man (a former wrestling champ at the University of Oregon) with a big talent. His family roots were in farming and logging; the rest is classic American tumbleweed. From Wallace Stegner's writing classes at Stanford, Kesey drifted to the San Francisco Bay Area, the playpen of countercultures. A bit young to...