Steps

Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction

From the esteemed author of the classics The Painted Bird and Being There comes this award-winning novel about one man's sexual and sensual experiences, the fabric from which his life has been woven.

Jerzy Kosinski's classic vision of moral and sexual estrangement brilliantly captures the disturbing undercurrents of modern politics and culture. In this haunting novel, distinctions are eroded between oppressor and oppressed, perpetrator and victim, narcissism and anonymity. Kosinski portrays men and women both aroused and desensitized by an environment that disdains the individual and seeks control over the imagination in his unforgettable and immensely provocative work.

Reviews from Goodreads.com

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By Michael (Brooklyn, NY) · ★★★★★ · March 19, 2007
This book is super dark and sexual. It's fun to read on the subway when you're surrounded by people who don't realize the dirty stuff you're reading. Also, just for the record, a girl reading "Steps" on the subway is automatically hot; I just thought I'd mention this in case you're a girl and you... ...more
By Lee (Philadelphia, PA) · ★★★★☆ · November 25, 2012
Have had this since 1997, a crusty old paperback taken for free or not much more from a neighbor's yard sale. Read some in the past but never persevered to finish. Recommended for fans of dark, violent, realist fables. Call it skewed yet scarily/stuntedly straightforward post-traumatic stress syn... ...more
By Anittah (Philadelphia, PA) · ★★★★★ · July 28, 2008
From my Amazon.com review:

Riveting, gripping, amazing. If art is, in part, the dance between artist and audience, then Steps is art in its highest form. I found myself dancing & reacting in ways I wish I hadn't; found myself physically aroused by portions of the text that I found intellectual... ...more
By Bill (Columbus, OH) · ★★★☆☆ · February 28, 2015

"Steps" starts out as a classic: brief tales of sexual exploitation and humiliation occasionally varied with anecdotes of nonsexual dominance and submission, narrated in many different settings by men (or one man?)in different professions and circumstances who share the same clinical--dare I say... ...more
By Jigar (Bombay, India) · ★★★★☆ · December 17, 2014
"I was traveling farther south" tells the narrator of the first vignette. This line hints as aimless traveling. Maybe he is on the run. We are not sure. We know he has considerable money with him but we are again unsure of the means with which he acquired it. He stops in one village, finds a poor... ...more
By Adam (Vancouver, BC, Canada) · ★★★★★ · September 16, 2010
Huh. I reread this with the express hope of afterwards being able to articulate what hit me so hard about this book the first time I read it.

Now I find myself even more convinced that this is a masterpiece, yet struggling to find the words to write either an extensive or pithy summary of my reac... ...more
By Lee (Florence, Italy) · ★★☆☆☆ · September 01, 2013
Whilst I can see how my, I dunno, 12 to 15-year-old self thought that this was really cool--as a virgin all of the "sick/perverse/degraded" sex was mysterious and the existentially alienated, detached narrators of the terse, unemotional prose and the violence was as alluring as a James Bond movie... ...more
By Jeremy (Denver, CO) · ★★★★★ · July 19, 2014
Steps is like something a younger, hornier Haruki Murakami might write. You've got these terse, surreal little vignettes that are sort-of-but-not-really linked together, and all of which share this dark, creepily sexual sensibility. A bunch of odd little nothings, though not without their charms.... ...more
By Guillermo (Monterrey, Mexico) · ★★★★☆ · February 28, 2015
Llegué a este libro por la entrada que Salon le publicó a David Foster Wallace en abril de 1999 Overlooked, donde mi héroe nos otorga breves opiniones sobre 5 novelas de los 60 que han sido “imperiosamente menospreciadas”.

Dice algo así: “ganó como un gran premio cuando fue publicada, pero ahora n... ...more
By Diana (Conway, AR) · ★★★★★ · November 26, 2010
Lately, I've been reading all of Milan Kundera's books. I was at the used bookstore the other day and saw this book on one of the shelves. It looked like an easy, light read, so I bought it. I got tired of Kundera's dialogue and decided to take a reading break. I thumbed through the pages of Step... ...more