by Jerome Charyn
published by self
Jerome Charyn has a distinct style that really brings out the humanity of the protagonists of his historical fiction novels. Jerzy Kosinski is the perfect subject for Charyn. Unlike his other novels, Kosinski is not the narrator of Jerzy; rather, his story is told by other figures from his life. And his story is not for the faint of heart - it is raw, gritty, and, quite frankly, depraved.
An interesting technique that Charyn uses in Jerzy is to tell the story in reverse chronological order. The first character who narrates Kosinski's life is one he did not meet until closer to his death; the very last section, concerns Kosinski's childhood. Telling the story this way is like peeling back layers to show the real inner-workings of Kosinski and how he grew.
Jerzy is perhaps the most disturbing of all of the Jerome Charyn's novels I have read so far, and that unnerved me which made it hard for me to get into, or even just concentrate on, the story. Charyn is a very talented writer, but, as Jerzy shows, his writing is not for everyone.