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Terrible Things Happen in This Book

Let’s talk about The Painted Bird.

If you read my preview, you’ll remember that our protagonist in this novel is an orphaned six-year-old boy during World War 2.

In the first 60 pages, said child witnesses the following incidents (note: these aren’t essential to the plot so no spoilers here…just illustrating the graphic nature of this book):

  • A farmer, who believes his wife is cheating on him with a teenage farm hand, gouges out the eyeballs of the farm hand with a spoon and proceeds to step on them.
  • A man falls into a dark pit filled with thousands of rats and is eaten alive–all the way to the skeleton within seconds.
  • A woman is brutally raped by a group of men to the point that she dies.

So, yeah, I don’t think this novel ever made Oprah’s book list.

Jerzy Kosinski had quite the freaky mind. How does one come up with this stuff? And, remember, this is a young kid witnessing all these incidents.

Kosinski originally pitched The Painted Bird as a memoir, but it was later discovered he pulled the story from several Polish novels.

Regardless, this is a crazy story. I’m sure I’ll have more to share soon.

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’m a little horrified by the fact that he pitched this as a memoir… why would you WANT to have these events be in your past? I get it would sell the book well… but yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

    June 10, 2016
  2. Good one!!!


    June 10, 2016
  3. This is one of those books that I honestly don’t “get” so I look forward to your views. While the book is powerfully worded in places, it’s so gratuitous and occasionally bizarre that it almost mocks the era and people whose story it claims to tell.

    It has been a while since I’ve read it, but it provoked one of the more interesting class discussions when I was at school. We followed it up with Cormac McCarthy who, for once, seemed almost tame by comparison.


    June 10, 2016
  4. I have not read this book. Not sure I ever will. Sounds horrific. Thanks for the heads up!

    This is why I read books that have been reviewed by other readers. It’s why I, myself, review.


    June 10, 2016
  5. Some authors quiet obviously need some therapy. In this case, he should go weekly. WHY would you want to pitch this as a memoir? It NEVER works out. You will eventually be found out! I imagine that if he’d actually published it as a memoir, he’d be discovered in about 13-minutes. NO one would believe it. Thinking I’ll just take a pass on this one.


    June 10, 2016
  6. I don’t think this one is for me.


    June 10, 2016
  7. Think I might give this one a read… Love a good gruesome book thanks for the review !


    July 17, 2016
  8. It’s not one I’m ever going to read then…


    July 20, 2016
  9. This sounds Great, I like to read this.


    August 4, 2016

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