Semi-autobiographical 1965 novel written by Jerzy Kosinski. It details the bizarre cruelty that a young boy endures in Eastern Europe during WWII. Above all, it is a book about the loss of innocence and the quest for survival in the face of unspeakable horror.

In the novel, a dark haired boy becomes separated from his parents and wanders aimlessly through the woods, living constantly at the mercy of numbskulled peasants who, taking him for a gypsy or a Jew , brutalize him. The novel portrays the many manifestations of evil and the depths human isolation.

It's been said of the novel that Kosinski never averts his eyes from the graphic terror in his book, nor does he allow his reader to. It was Kosinski's first and most famous novel.