Leigh's Reviews > The Painted Bird

The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosiński
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Jul 17, 08

bookshelves: subject-war, subject-war-wwii, genre-novels, _polish-lit, 1950-1974
Read in November, 2005 — I own a copy

One of the most difficult books I've ever read. There's been a lot of furor over the autobiographical "truth" of this novel, and even over the identity of its author, but it certainly feels like an aesthetically true piece of writing. It's morbidly grotesque, unremittingly malevolent, and emotionally deadening in its litany of atrocities: narrator enters town, narrator is abused, narrator leaves town, over and over again. In no way an enjoyable read, and surprising only in the creativity of its cruelty.

(Note of interest: reputedly, Kosinski was supposed to be at Roman Polanski's house on the night in 1969 when the Manson Family murdered five people there. He missed it thanks to a baggage delay at the airport.)
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