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The Painted Bird
The Painted Bird | Jerzy N. Kosinski
15 posts | 29 read | 22 to read
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arubabookwoman
The Painted Bird | Jerzy Kosinski
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#7days7books Day 1 Thanks for the tag @Graywacke
A book that deeply affected or influenced you.
I read this when I was 16, in 1966, shortly after it was published. I have never forgotten it. It‘s the story of a 6 year old boy, separated from his parents, wandering the wilds of Eastern Europe during WWII trying to survive. It is brutal and horrific, but not necessarily realistic. It reminded me of a Hieronymus Bosch painting.

arubabookwoman I don‘t remember a lot of the details about the book so a few quotes from reviews: “Of all the remarkable fiction that emerged from WWII, nothing stands higher than [this book]. A magnificent work of art, and a celebration of the individual will. No one who reads it will forget it; no one who reads it will be unmoved. [It] enriches our art and our lives” Jonathan Yardley. 2y
arubabookwoman An Amazon review: “[The boy‘s] experiences occur beyond the limits of what might be called humanity, but Kosinski never averts his eyes, nor allows us to do so.” 2y
arubabookwoman This is not the cover I had. My cover was white with a psychedelic painting of a bird. I kept the book for many, many years, and it may well still be among my books which are now packed away. 2y
See All 8 Comments
Tanisha_A Your description of this has piqued my interest. 😍 2y
BarbaraBB Oh I have so many memories of this book too. I‘ll never forget the scene with the bottle 😱 2y
BarbaraBB And I think I had the same cover you are referring too. I‘ll look it up, I‘ve kept the book. 2y
arubabookwoman @Tanisha_A It's an excellent book. Just be aware it's horrific and not for the faint of heart. 2y
arubabookwoman @BarbaraBB The scene with the bottle was one I have specific memories of too. I was probably way too young to read that! 2y
27 likes1 stack add8 comments
blurb
Jinjer
The Painted Bird | Jerzy Kosinski
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It‘s 1939 in Eastern Europe. A 6-yo “Gypsy” boy has been separated from his parents. The white, superstitious peasants in the village where he was sent to be kept safe from the Nazis believe he is possessed by an evil spirit and that he can cast spells on them if they look him in the eye. They avoid him, run from him, and turn dogs loose on him.

32 likes1 stack add
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Jinjer
The Painted Bird | Jerzy Kosinski
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Ever started a book on Kindle and then said “This book is so good I have to get the real book”? That just happened to me with Painted Bird. And when I say the book is “good” I don‘t mean a feel-good story. This book is non-stop monstrous brutality. It‘s no pleasure to read but I‘m rooting for this kid. I tend to read ebooks too fast so I want a physical book in my hands.

Soubhiville Great endorsement! Stacked. 4y
Jinjer @Soubhiville 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 4y
29 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
peacegypsy
The Painted Bird | Jerzy N. Kosinski
Pickpick

It‘s harsh, but the lesson is one to be heeded.

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Ericmanciniwriter
The Painted Bird | Jerzy Kosinski
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Book mail from the indefatigable book nut and Litsy-master @shawnmooney

I don't know what's cooler: the book itself or the fact that the SEA MAIL stamps and Japanese lettering make me feel like I'm living in a Wes Anderson movie.

Thanks Shawn!

shawnmooney 😂😂Enjoy! 5y
Betty_Bookworm You are in Warren? I am in Tiverton! 5y
Ericmanciniwriter @Betty_Bookworm I am! Let me know if you're going to any east bay bookish events 5y
Betty_Bookworm 👍🏻 5y
Suet624 Oh, you're a lucky boy. 😁 5y
49 likes5 comments
review
shawnmooney
The Painted Bird | Jerzy Kosinski
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Bailedbailed

TRIGGER WARNINGS GALORE ON THIS, MY BAIL REVIEW: I abandoned this a quarter of the way in because of the violence. I can endure a lot but (AGAIN, TW, FOLKS) in Chapter 4 a man gouges his hired man's eyes out with a spoon for coveting his wife and in Chapter 5, the much-gang-raped village idiot and nymphomaniac Ludmila the Stupid is murdered by the village women by inserting and then shattering a bottle of manure inside her. I am done.

Books_Wine_Repeat This sounds seriously f__ked up! 😵😵😵 5y
saresmoore Gah! That's horrible! 5y
ValerieAndBooks Eww!! Definitely won't pick this one up then! 5y
See All 13 Comments
JanuarieTimewalker13 Smart to bail ! 5y
rachelm Yiiiiiiiiiiikes 5y
8little_paws WHAT 5y
DreesReads Sounds awful! I bailed on Salvage the Bones because it was so violent. 5y
ReadingEnvy Yep don't need to read this one wow. 5y
shawnmooney @AudreyMorris That's so interesting – I bailed on it early because it seemed to be more about dogs than people. 5y
DreesReads @shawnmooney you were smart and got out early! I got either 100 pages in, or halfway (I can't remember but have it in Goodreads). There is people/people violence, there is people/dog violence, there is dog/dog violence. There may be more, I realized "wtf is this and why am I reading it?" And quit. 5y
shawnmooney @AudreyMorris I am not usually bothered by violence if it is a work of serious literature and I feel like there is a point to my having to vicariously experience it. In fact I am pretty sure this is the first book I've ever bailed on because of violence. 5y
DreesReads I do tend to avoid violent books (especially mysteries, because they are often too much). But I loved the dragon tattoo series, they were well done. I also tend to avoid war books--yet war memoirs tend to be fine. I'm weird. 5y
Moray_Reads 😨😰 5y
28 likes13 comments
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shawnmooney
The Painted Bird | Jerzy Kosinski
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shawnmooney
The Painted Bird | Jerzy Kosinski
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saresmoore This immediately made me think of Havaa's Akim scarecrow. 5y
shawnmooney @saresmoore Wow....yes! 5y
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shawnmooney
The Painted Bird | Jerzy Kosinski
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Bibliogeekery Love that mural 5y
36 likes1 comment
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shawnmooney
The Painted Bird | Jerzy Kosinski
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saresmoore Ugh. 5y
26 likes1 comment
blurb
shawnmooney
The Painted Bird | Jerzy Kosinski
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Browsing through the 40,000 audiobooks available to me with my new premium membership of TuneIn last night I previewed the first half a chapter of this one – fabulously narrated with a lovely thick Polish accent – and now I've just ordered the paper copy to read conjointly. This will replace HHhH, which I bailed on today, as my war novel for whatever reading challenge that task belongs to.

ReadingEnvy Ooh I didn't bail on 4H but wished I had! 5y
shawnmooney @ReadingEnvy Oooh, we need to talk! And don't tell Thomas – my bail tweet made him cry this morning… 😂. Any experience with Kosinski? 5y
BarbaraTheBibliophage How much is TuneIn?? 5y
See All 9 Comments
ReadingEnvy @shawnmooney I don't know kosinski 5y
shawnmooney @BarbaraTheBibliophage I believe it's $8 US a month 5y
BarbaraTheBibliophage Wow! That's so reasonable. Thanks. 5y
CherylDeFranceschi This book is heartbreaking. And amazing. 😍😢 5y
LeahBergen I've been curious about this one for years but heard it was a tough one. I can't wait to hear your thoughts! 5y
saresmoore In the very brief description, there is the phrase, "terrible odyssey of suffering." And via audio, no less! Enjoy? 5y
39 likes9 comments
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SaraBeagle
The Painted Bird | Jerzy Kosinski
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blurb
SaraBeagle
The Painted Bird | Jerzy Kosinski
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Who needs fireworks? It's the same thing, right?

review
Elif
The Painted Bird | Jerzy Kosinski
Pickpick

This is an amazing book, full of strong feelings!

OSChamberlain I'm glad you feel that way! This book had such a strong impact on me, and it really bothers me when people say they couldn't get through it because of the violence!! 6y
2 likes1 comment