Books Magazine

Terrible Things Happen in This Book

By Robert Bruce @robertbruce76

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.

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