PLEASE NOTE. As of June 2004 these
pages and the links herein are no longer being updated or maintained. Disclaimer
: Oakland Unified School District is not responsible for the content of external
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.