The Painted Bird Author:Jerzy Kosinski Amazon.com Review — Many writers have portrayed the cruelty people inflict upon each other in the name of war or ideology or garden-variety hate, but few books will surpass Kosinski's first novel, The Painted Bird, for the sheer creepiness in its savagery. The story follows an abandoned young boy who wanders alone through the frozen bogs and brok... more »en towns of Eastern Europe during and after World War II, trying to survive. His experiences and actions occur at and beyond the limits of what might be called humanity, but Kosinski never averts his eyes, nor allows us to.
Semiautobiographical novel by Jerzy Kosinski, published in 1965 and revised in 1976. The ordeals of the central character parallel Kosinski's own experiences during World War II. A dark-haired Polish child who is taken for either a Gypsy or a Jew loses his parents in the mayhem of war and wanders through the countryside at the mercy of the brutal, thickheaded peasants he meets in the villages. He learns how to stay alive at any cost, turning survival into a moral imperative. Full of graphic scenes depicting rape, torture, and bestiality, the novel portrays evil in all its manifestations and speaks of human isolation as inevitable.« less