Ken Kesey (1935–2001) was an American writer best known for penning the novel ''Literature/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest'' (which was adapted into the award-winning film of the same name), as well as the less famous but equally lauded Pacific Northwestern epic, ''Sometimes a Great Notion'' (which was itself adapted into a film directed by and starring Creator/PaulNewman).
If that's all you know about Ken Kesey, though... you're in for [[Music/TheGratefulDead a long, strange trip]].
To some, Ken Kesey's crowning achievement is not the composition of two classic 20th century novels, but instead his leadership of the [[NewAgeRetroHippie Merry Pranksters]] and his role in the spread of [[TheSixties late-1960s]] psychedelia[[note]]Both the culture and the drugs.[[/note]]. Ideal places to find information on the adventures of Kesey and the Pranksters are ''The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test'' by Tom Wolfe, and to a lesser extent ''Hell's Angels'' by Creator/HunterSThompson and the poem "First Party at Ken Kesey's with Hell's Angels" by Creator/AllenGinsberg.
He was recently caricatured in ''Film/AcrossTheUniverse'' as "Doctor Robert."
!!Tropes associated with him include:
* TheAllConcealingI: ''Somtimes a Great Notion'' has a strange example. The entire novel is written in the first-person, but the narrator can vary, and there are no explicit indications that the narrator has shifted. There are, however, subtle clues, such as the new narrator mentioning the previous narrator in third person.
* EverybodyMustGetStoned: In case you hadn't figured it out yet, he was ''quite'' the advocate of psychedelics.
* HippieBus: Kesey and the Merry Pranksters toured in a bus (actually several buses over the years), named 'Furthur', and helped to publicize the idea of hippies in converted schoolbuses.
* NewAgeRetroHippie: One of the central figures of the hippie subculture, in fact.
* TheOtherRainforest: ''Sometimes a Great Notion'' is a "burly," "brawling" novel about a family of loggers in Kesey's home state of Oregon. Regarded as the "''Literature/MobyDick'' of the Pacific Northwest," it is SomethingCompletelyDifferent from ''One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest''.
* TitledAfterTheSong[=/=]LiteraryAllusionTitle: ''Sometimes a Great Notion'' takes its title from the song "Goodnight, Irene", popularised by Lead Belly. ''One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'' takes its title from a nursery rhyme, which is quoted in the epigram of the novel.