The Devil Tree: A Novel

Front Cover
Grove Press, 2003 - Fiction - 206 pages
A searing novel from a writer of international stature, The Devil Tree is a tale that combines the existential emptiness of Camus's The Stranger with the universe of international playboys, violence, and murder of Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley. Jonathan Whalen's life has been determined from the start by the immense fortune of his father, a steel tycoon. Whalen's childlike delight in power and status mask a greater need, a desire to feel life intensely, through drugs, violence, sex, and attempts at meaningful connection with other people -- whether lovers or the memory of his dead parents. But the physical is all that feels real to him, and as he embarks on a journey to Africa with his godparents, Whalen's embrace of amoral thrill accelerates toward ultimate fulfillment. Now in a Grove Press paperback, Kosinski's classic, acclaimed as "an impressive novel ... it should confirm Jerzy Kosinki's position as one of our most significant writers" -- Newsweek "Savage ... [Whalen is] a foolproof, timeless American character." -- Mary Ellin Barrett, Cosmopolitan
 

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THE DEVIL TREE

User Review  - Kirkus

A novel about psychic attrition and fission by the author of The Painted Bird and most recently Being There which is about the dislocation and divisiveness of a young man, Whalen, while also featuring ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - drinkallsolution - LibraryThing

There is a review on this site that points out the similarities between this and 'American Psycho' and while I would agree that the analysis of the two main characters differs, this is the far more ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Jerzy Kosinski was born in Lodz, Poland on June 8, 1933. In 1939, he was separated from his family when the Nazi's invaded Poland and he wandered through villages for six years, surviving by his wits. In shock, he remained mute from the age of nine to fourteen. He was finally reunited with his family. He moved to the United States in 1957. His first novel, The Painted Bird, was published in 1965 and received France's Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger. His second novel, Steps, won the National Book Award in 1969. His other novels included Being There, The Devil Tree, Cockpit, and Blind Date. Blind Date tells the story of the Manson killings, which is where he would have been if he had not been stuck in JFK Airport dealing with improperly tagged luggage. He committed suicide on May 3, 1991 at the age of 57.

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