The Painted Bird

  • by Jerzy Kosinski
  • Narrated by Fred Berman, Michael Aronov
  • 10 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Originally published in 1965, The Painted Bird established Jerzy Kosinski as a major literary figure. Called by the Los Angeles Times "one of the most imposing novels of the decade" it was eventually translated into more than 30 languages.
A harrowing story that follows the wanderings of a boy abandoned by his parents during World War II, The Painted Bird is a dark masterpiece that examines the proximity of terror and savagery to innocence and love. It is the first, and the most famous, novel by one of the most important and original writers of this century.

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What the Critics Say

"One of the best. . . . Written with deep sincerity and sensitivity." (Elie Wiesel, The New York Times Book Review)
"Extraordinary... literally staggering...one of the most powerful books I have ever read." (Harper’s magazine)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Extremely difficult

While I made it through this book - I did not enjoy it. I understand the author is making a point about the horrors of war on a civilian population - but the increasing depravity and horrid descriptions of the atrocities inflicted on animals, the protagonist, women, and a few men - were terrible to listen to. At the end, there is no satisfying conclusion to the story and it seemed sadistic and I felt a little dirty and disgusted at having listened to it all the way through. I would NOT recommend listening to this book. There was one scene in particular where I had to go into the bathroom and retch - it was that horrific.
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- Colleen

Too miserable for me

I liked the writer's style and especially enjoyed the surrealistic moments, and the narrator was odd but perfect for the piece. However...I had to stop listening at chapter 8. The litany of cruelty to innocence is just too miserable to me. I was thinking, "OK, I get it already!" and had two thirds of the novel yet to go...really didn't need to have any more animals tortured and children abused in depressing detail to get the point. Skip to the end...
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- Jen Terry "jenniwren"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-30-2010
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books