For all intents and purposes, Jerzy Kosinski was on the fast track for fame under fire with the publication of his third novel, The Painted Bird. “Of all the remarkable fiction that emerged from World War II, nothing stands higher than Jerzy Kosinski’s The Painted Bird. A magnificent work of art, and a. The Painted Bird Poster. A young Jewish boy somewhere in Eastern Europe Writers: Jerzy Kosinski (novel), Václav Marhoul (adaptation) | 1 more credit».
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Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Originally published inThe Painted Bird established Jerzy Kosinski as a major literary figure.
Called lainted the Los Angeles Times “one of the most imposing novels of the decade,” it was eventually translated into more than thirty languages. A harrowing story that follows the wanderings of a boy abandoned by his parents during World War II, The Painted Bird is a dark story that examines the proximity of terror and savagery to innocence and love. It is the first, and the most famous, novel by a writer who is now discredited.
Paperbackpages. Published August 9th by Grove Press first published To see pxinted your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Painted Birdplease sign up. What do you think is the main lesson learned by the boy and the many iconic symbols such as the significance of the “comet”?
See all 3 questions about The Painted Bird…. Lists with This Book.
Mar 07, Paul Bryant rated it liked it Shelves: What kind of a shitstorm do we have here? For bire reason I thought this was the story of a kid caught up in the Holocaust, i. Fat chance of that.
The parents appear to have been a little over-optimistic. For the next five years he hops from one panited peasant village to another, being taken in by a series of grotesque caricatures – psychopaths, sadists, rapists the lot of them. Did I say Polish peasant? They sat around and gleefully told each other that at last the Jews were getting their comeuppance. ALL of the six extermination camps as opposed to concentration camps were in Poland.
Back to the book. Actually, there are about ten big problems, but the biggest is burd. Is all this stuff to be believed?
The Painted Bird
I mean, come on, Jerzy! This phantasmagoria paintec bestiality, rape, murder, torture, more rape, incest, beating, this unceasing onslaught directed against this small boy? Without saying a word Garbos hird to beat me unexpectedly p I did as I was told but he continued the beatings. You get the idea that this must have been one aggravating revolting brat of a kid.
No one even smiles at him until page In this way The painted Bird resembles something like Justine by de Sade — no plot, no characters, just lots of gruesome vignettes strung together. The reader is stultified. Such a sensational novel brought Kosinski a lot of attention, and when you koainski a look at this guy, he turns out to be very interesting. JK let it be understood that TPB might be autobiographical, and most of its first readers and painhed accepted it as such — right now Amazon quotes the Merriam-Webster Encyclopaedia of Literature: No brutality, no ghettos for JK.
So the best guess might be that JK took most of the stuff in his novel from unidentified Polish-language accounts of survival during the war, then paid translators to help him render the material into English. But you can see their point — this jegzy an anti-Polish novel — no, an anti-Polish-peasant novel — no, an anti-Polish-peasant-during-WW2 novel — well, definitely one of those.
In the end, this novel is a failure. Kosinskii it’s a brave, reckless, dangerous, blazing failure. I was watching Reds the other week and was mightily impressed by the actor playing Zinoviev. He had a hell of a face, hell of a haircut and a delivery that made his few scenes the most memorable of the 3 hour movie.
And yes, that actor was Jerzy Kosinski. View all 56 comments. The cover of the Mass Market Paperback edition from the s of The Painted Bird features a small section of Hieronymus Bosch hell-landscape — dressed in sickly green and wearing a white hood, a creature with a man’s body and head of a long-beaked bird walks on crutches carrying a large wicker basket on its back, and in the basket a small black devil with spiky fingers touches the shoulder of a wary young boy as he whispers into the boy’s ear.
This is an apt cover for Jerzy Kosinski’s fictiona The cover of the Mass Market Paperback edition from the s of The Painted Bird features a small section of Hieronymus Bosch hell-landscape — dressed in sickly green and wearing a white hood, a creature with a man’s body and head of a long-beaked bird walks on crutches carrying a large wicker basket on its back, and in the basket a small black devil with spiky fingers touches the shoulder of a wary young boy as he birc into the boy’s ear.
This is an apt cover for Jerzy Kosinski’s fictionalized autobiographical novel set in Poland during the reign of Nazi terror in World War I first read this harrowing tale thirty-five years ago. Palnted have read many dark, disturbing novels filled with brutality of every stripe, including such works as Malamud’s The FixerDostoyevsky’s The House of the Deadand Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelagobut, in my view, perhaps because the narrator is a ten year old boy, no novel has its main character live through a more painful hell than in The Painted Bird.
Several months after reading this novel, the author himself made a visit to a large bookstore in Philadelphia for a book-signing, so I had an opportunity to actually meet him – a small man with a thin, high pitched voice and sharp, chiseled fine features, a man who struck me as being both sensitive and friendly.
He jerzzy my words of thanks and told me, when asked, that he was heading to New Orleans and expected to have some exciting times. Anyway, that was then. Several days ago I saw my local library had a copy of The Paunted Bird audio book and immediately checked it out.
I started also rereading the printed book as I listened to the audio.
The Painted Bird – IMDb
The reader, Fred Berman, did his homework – his accent and inflection and manner of speaking is spot-on Jerzy Kosinski. If you are unfamiliar, this story is of an orphan bkrd with black eyes and sharp nose, labeled gypsy-Jew, forced to wander from village to village, subjected physically to beatings, rape, tortures, as well paijted murder attempts, while subjected psychologically to ths treated as a messenger of the devil and an evil spirit who casts spells with a glance from his black eyes.
The boy is so traumatized from unrelenting abuse, he completely losses his capacity to speak for many months. The abuse reaches such a pitch, at one point he reflects on the nature of evil: The minds and souls of people were as open to these forces as a plowed field, and it was on this field that the Evil Ones incessantly scattered their malignant seed. If their seed sprouted to life, if they felt welcomed, they offered all the help which might be needed, on the condition that it would be used for selfish purposes and only to the detriment of others.
From the moment of signing a pact with the Devil, the more harm, misery, injury, and bitterness a man jeryz inflict on those around him, the more help he could expect.
Just goes to show how extreme was his direct experience of the forces of evil. If you are up for an unforgettable experience of terror expressed in the clear, vivid literary language of a fine writer, then you are paintdd for The Painted Bird. I suspect that whenever I articulate my thoughts or translate my impulses into words, I am painter the real thoughts and impulses bire remain hidden. View all 32 comments.
Sep 18, Emily May rated it it was ok Shelves: This book is one of my dad’s favourite books of all time, I don’t know how many years he’s been telling me to read it now and we’ve always had similar opinions on books before. But The Painted Bird did not live up to my expectations and the whole idea of it just left a very bad taste in my mouth.
Pretty much anyon Warning: Pretty much anyone who’s ever had some level of kosiinski education will have heard of some of the atrocities committed during the Holocaust, no matter how many times you read about human beings burning the ejrzy of other human beings and watching people slowly starve to death because of their race, religion or other factors, it is still just as shocking and horrifying.
Also, all six extermination camps – as opposed to concentration camps – were located in Poland. Rather than correcting his audience, Mr Kosinski rode the wave of popularity and did nothing to change these misconceptions. I suppose if someone wanted to give me a million for something I hadn’t done I’d probably take the money and bjrd too, so I don’t really care that the author wasn’t more vocal with the truth of this book. Just to compare this with S.
Pointless, mindless, disgusting scenes of violence that seem to me to be nothing but shock tactics. After a while of reading all these disturbing scenes, you start to feel like you’re in a Saw movie, like the author is trying to create scenarios that are each more repulsive than the last just to play with the characters a bit more, make their lives a bit worse.
Like raping a woman with a glass bottle and koinski kicking her abdomen until the glass shatters and she bleeds to death. And I do not mind reading gross scenes of violence as long as I feel it contributes something and isn’t just there to jerzyy me wide-eyed long enough that I forget the book isn’t very well written and there’s been no character development. Paintde find it somewhat insulting kosinskj all those people who genuinely suffered during the holocaust that Kosinski would use it in a such an awful, emotionally-manipulative way.
I feel like if I’d really wanted to experience violence, torture and rape without being moved in any way, then I could have just watched Game of Thrones. At least that has hot men for me to look at. View all 35 comments. Kosinskk is also from time to time subject to equivalent cruelty by the invading German Army, not because he is either a Gypsy or a Jew but because he is an orphan with no obvious productive contribution to military efficiency.
After a period of understandable confusion, the boy tries desperately to make sense of his new reality. His first attempts involve treating his situation kosjnski terms of some rational standard: Cruelty increases without apparent cause or reason.
Running away, the boy learns how to survive alone in a forest wilderness. But his isolation makes him vulnerable to capture by either the peasants or the Germans. Without communal protection he becomes doomed to a life of excruciating slavery. He then discovers what he thinks is both community and an explanation of his plight in the Christian religion. Prayer, he believes, is the answer to his suffering.
If he koinski build enough credit with God, he will be delivered from injustice. But pray as he might nothing improves.
In fact he is subject to extreme sexual abuse. He concludes not only that there is inherent, possibly irresistible evil in the world but that the odds apparently favour those who side decisively with the Demon who embodies kosinskj.