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The Painted Bird (Kosinski, Jerzy) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 9. August 1995

4.7 von 5 Sternen 27 Kundenrezensionen

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Many writers have portrayed the cruelty people inflict upon each other in the name of war or ideology or garden-variety hate, but few books will surpass Kosinski's first novel, The Painted Bird, for the sheer creepiness in its savagery. The story follows an abandoned young boy who wanders alone through the frozen bogs and broken towns of Eastern Europe during and after World War II, trying to survive. His experiences and actions occur at and beyond the limits of what might be called humanity, but Kosinski never averts his eyes, nor allows us to.

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“One of the best. . . . Written with deep sincerity and sensitivity.”—Elie Wiesel, The New York Times Book Review

“A powerful blow on the mind because it is so carefully kept within the margins of probability and fact.”—Arthur Miller

“Of all the remarkable fiction that emerged from World War II, nothing stands higher than Jerzy Kosinski’s The Painted Bird. A magnificent work of art, and a celebration of the individual will. No one who reads it will be unmoved by it. The Painted Bird enriches our literature and our lives.”—Jonathan Yardley, The Miami Herald

“Extraordinary . . . literally staggering . . . one of the most powerful books I have ever read.”—Richard Kluger, Harper’s Magazine

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Format: Taschenbuch
In The Painted Bird, Jerzy Kosinski tells of the wanderings of a young boy during World War II. The boy, six years old, becomes the object of brutality and prejudice, all of which stems from a combination of peasant superstition and Nazi hatred. The peasants have no limit to their heartlessness: they beat the boy, molest him, and they nearly succeed in killing him-all for the color of his skin (just like Lekh's painted bird). In their minds the boy is nothing more than an ethnic curse to their village, one who could potentially incite the Germans to slaughter everyone within earshot. Just when the boy senses that the peasants will destroy him, he flees to the next village, and the whole process starts anew. In his wanderings he learns judgment and the ability to discern crescendos of violence.
The book is replete with gruesome images: bunkers filled with hungry rats that devour a living body with the efficiency of a school of piranhas; broken Jewish bodies moaning beside the train tracks; a dead woman melting under the heat of her burning shack. Death. The book is replete with it. In the midst of such desolation, the boy longs for stability and friendship and the confidence of trust. But he is disillusioned and betrayed each step of his journey, and the lessons of evil change him in ways he does not know.
The Painted Bird has torn me away from my cozy world and has shown me another sphere where people treat human life as though it is not human. The book is certainly gripping and a little disturbing; it has left in me an uncomfortable feeling that I cannot shake. I guess one hallmark of the successful book is its ability to do this.
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Format: Taschenbuch
My byline refers not only to the fact that both Conrad and Kosinski were Polish authors writing in English. There are also similarities in Marlowe's journey into the darkness of the Congo and Kosinski's young narrators' voyage through the surreal landscape of wartime Eastern Europe. Both investigate the darker regions of the human psyche. Both are the antithesis of a "picaresque" novel. Both are told from the point-of-view of a relatively innocent narrator, whose original naivete is transformed by the scenes he witnesses into an understanding of the "horror" and a comprehension of man's capacity for evil. I read The Painted Bird over 30 years ago and many of its images still remain vivid in my imagination. I will never forget the couple caught copulating (you'll have to read Kosinski's description yourself - I'm not going to go there) and the boy-narrator's harrowing account of being thrown into a pit of excrement. I'm a bit surprised, having taught high school English myself, that this would be recommended to a young reader, even though I read it when I was about sixteen. It definitely wasn't on my school's list of recommended reading. I don't agree with some reviewers here that the book is pornographic. Far from it. The sex depicted is hardly meant to arouse. Kosinski's later work might have fallen into that category (he did a lot of short-story writing for Playboy and Penthouse), but this is far too brutal a work to be anywhere near titillating. If you would like to take a harrowing walk into the heart of darkness, and are equipped to handle visions of one of the most depraved landscapes you are likely to encounter in literature, then this book's for you.
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This truly a brilliant book, no other author that I've ever read was able to capture the art of description like Kosinski. Though it will make you sick to your stomach and callenge you to question man's treatment of man, the things you will gain from the expierence will stay with you for a lifetime. I recomend all teenagers who have every question who they are or why they are here to read this book. Any adults who wander why the world is the way it is or who have never wander before should this book, because after reading it you'll never stop wandering. This book answers many question about the human soul and is a great experiment with the human phsyche. But for as many question it may answer, twice as many will be asked of the reader. It is a piece art the requires input as well as output. You become that little boy, you experienec horror, saddness, pain, loss of faith in God and in you own family. But it will also bring you to turns with mortality and let appreciate the good fortune you most likely expierence. I suggest you read this book and share it with you friends.
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This is certainly not a pleasant book to read. Nothing very good happens to our 6 year old narrator as he goes from gypsy village to gypsy village and witnesses one thing more horrible than the next. There are some absolutely horrifyingly graphic, disgusting shows of man's brutality but you almost becomed numbed by reading it. By the time you hit the seen with the invaders at the end who rape and torture the women, it doesn't even seem as bad as half of the other stuff. More importantly, you can see how the boy cannot go back to living with his family now that his childhood is lost. An important book although don't expect any fun here.
For my taste, I prefer the gut renching agony of Primo Levi's Holocaust memoirs and novels. At times you forget you are reading about humans since the behavior borders on primate like. I'm not sure mankind has improved that much in the intervening time between the close of WW II and the present. This is kind of like reading a Lord of the Flies with eastern European gypsies and villagers.
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