Monday, April 5, 2021

Eight novels featuring twisted medicine

Shelley Nolden's debut novel is The Vines. Her obsession with forbidden North Brother Island in New York City's East River, as well as her personal health history and passion for equality, heavily influenced the creation of this historical fiction thriller.

At CrimeReads Nolden tagged eight favorite novels that break the “do no harm” medical oath, including:
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

The wrenching classic novel, which sits atop numerous best fiction lists, transports and profoundly haunts. When Randall McMurphy, a free-spirited, wildly rebellious con man, fakes insanity to beat a prison sentence of hard labor, he believes he’s pulling the ultimate hustle and that his time behind psychiatric facility bars will be a breeze. Housed with a cast of heartbreakingly damaged and traumatized men, whose minds and hearts have been left to slowly decompose at the hands of a cruel and sadistic nurse, McMurphy tries, and temporarily succeeds, to breathe life and spirit into their dark lives. In an unforgettably dehumanizing twist that shocks and tortures, McMurphy pays for his “sins” with the sickening, twisted, and perverse use of a legal medical treatment.
Read about the other entries on the list.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is on Richard Zimler's list of ten top novels about pariahs, Kim Hood's top ten list of interesting characters who just happen to have a disability, Rebecca Jane Stokes's list of seven books for fans of Orange Is The New Black, Gavin Extence's list of ten of the best underdogs in literature, Melvin Burgess's list of five notable books on drugs, and Darren Shan's top ten list of books about outsiders for teenagers.

--Marshal Zeringue