The Painted Bird Criticism

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The critical response to the publication in 1965 of Jerzy Kosinski's The Painted Bird has been overwhelmingly positive but at the same time, extremely volatile. Many critics favorably compare the harrowing intensity of this novel to works by Franz Kafka and Albert Camus. Parallels are also made to The Diary of Anne Frank. Yet, the novel's graphic violence and bleak vision of humanity disturb some readers. The most vocal criticism came from Eastern Europe, where the book was banned for several years.

Oleg Ivsky applauded the novel in the Library Journal, commenting, "No matter how exaggerated and tendentious the horrors may seem in retrospect (especially cumulatively)—they all ring true. The simple, direct prose is as timeless as folklore." Ivsky "highly recommends" the novel for "discriminating readers with cast-iron stomachs." Andrew Field in Book Week echoes Ivsky's assessment when he writes, "So awful . . . is this book that I can...

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This section contains 872 words
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The Painted Bird from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.