Adam's Reviews > The Painted Bird

The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosiński
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's review
Sep 27, 09

bookshelves: fiction
Read in September, 2009

Jerzy Kosinski would likely have gone entirely unknown to me had it not been for the recommendation of Irish George at Backstreet Books in Chiang Mai Thailand. I've read plenty about the holocoust in my youth, never really enjoyed stories about war, and believe enough in stereotypes that I wouldn't dare bore myself to death with a dreary Eastern European author.

Good thing it came to me via recommendation then!

I figured I couldn't argue with Irish George and was even happier to receive a discount upon purchasing the book. Likely as a result of him recommending it to others, none of whom were willing to go through with it!

Though incredibly dark and twisted, the Painted Bird was also remarkably vivid and riveting. Following a young orphan through war torn Europe could not have been more interesting as Kosinki really brings the reader in to the book.

Part of what I think I enjoyed so much about this was it's straight forward, no-nonsense language. In the forward (labled the 'afterward'), Kosinski admits that English is not his first language yet he felt compelled to use it for his first novel. The reason he claims was that being a second language, he would be able to employ it to tell a story void of emotion or personal agenda. What a great idea but how impossible of a feat! To be honest, the simplicity of the story seems to me to convey such a deeper emotion. Seeing the world through a child's eye should not take a professors brain to unravel.

Great book, super interesting, vivid account of life during, but not necessarily in, WWII. Not sure what else Kosinski has written but I'm interested in looking in to more. . .
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