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The Painted Bird

234 pages, 1995



1382 books

The legendary, masterwork of Jerzy Kosinski depicts a broken post-war Europe. The Painted Bird, first published in 1965, established Jerzy Kosinski as a famous literary force. The narrative follows a dark-haired, olive-skinned youngster who was abandoned by his parents during World War II and journeys alone from town to village, often pursued and tortured, and only occasionally protected and cared for.

 Kosinski captures a Bosch-like world of horrific excess, where mindless violence and untempered anger are the norms, by juxtaposing puberty and the most severe of adult experiences. Kosinski's work is a narrative of mythological proportions, much more relevant to today's culture than it was when it was first published, thanks to its simple style and striking imagery. 

The Horrors of War

In The Painted Bird, Jerzy Kosiński paints a vivid picture of the horrors of war. He shows us how war can strip away humanity and leave only brutality in its wake. This is a book that will make you think deeply about the consequences of conflict and the importance of peace.

Survival and Resilience

The young protagonist of the book is a symbol of survival and resilience. Despite the unimaginable hardships he faces, he never gives up. This book will inspire you to find your inner strength and resilience in the face of adversity.

The Power of Storytelling

Kosiński uses storytelling as a powerful tool to convey his message. The narrative is gripping and the imagery is haunting. This book will make you appreciate the power of storytelling and its ability to evoke strong emotions.

Exploring the Dark Side of Humanity

The Painted Bird doesn't shy away from exploring the dark side of humanity. It shows us how people can be driven to cruelty and violence under extreme circumstances. This book will make you reflect on the nature of good and evil in humans.

The Impact of Isolation

The protagonist's isolation and loneliness are central themes in the book. Kosiński explores how isolation can affect a person's mental and emotional state. This book will make you think about the importance of human connection and empathy.

Quotes 3

The Painted Bird is a book that explores the darkest corners of human nature, a chilling and unforgettable masterpiece.

Elie WieselElie Wiesel - Holocaust survivor, Author

The Painted Bird is a powerful and thought-provoking exploration of the human condition.

Arthur MillerArthur Miller - Playwright, Essayist

The Painted Bird is a haunting and profound narrative that leaves a lasting impression.

Susan SontagSusan Sontag - Writer, Filmmaker
Elie WieselArthur MillerSusan Sontag


authorNeil Strauss

Neil Strauss