Being There

Being There

Book - 1999
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A modern classic now available from Grove Press, Being There is one of the most popular and significant works from a writer of international stature. It is the story of Chauncey Gardiner - Chance, an enigmatic but distinguished man who emerges from nowhere to become an heir to the throne of a Wall Street tycoon, a presidential policy adviser, and a media icon. Truly "a man without qualities," Chance's straightforward responses to popular concerns are heralded as visionary. But though everyone is quoting him, no one is sure what he's really saying. And filling in the blanks in his background proves impossible. Being There is a brilliantly satiric look at the unreality of American media culture that is, if anything, more trenchant now than ever.
Publisher: New York : Grove Press, [1999], c1970
ISBN: 9780802136343
Characteristics: 142 p


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Mar 21, 2020

Young male gardener, raised in seclusion and unable to read or write, loves TV. His patron dies and he is thrust into the outside world but, by chance, becomes world famous, known for his wisdom. Fascinating, short comedy.

StevenOClark Aug 26, 2017

Brilliant I thought. Clever. Spare.

Apr 19, 2017

"Being There" is a satire on politics, politicians and society. Though published in 1970, its messages may resound even louder today. Is it possible that a large segment of our society, and others, could actually be bamboozled into supporting someone who says nothing of substance for higher office? Good question Kosinski.

May 12, 2015

A far better film than novel. This is a bit boring. The satire falls flat because no visual sense is created. Not very good.

Jan 12, 2015

The film is not as good as the book. Not at all.

Jun 22, 2012

I'm used to the Kosinski of The Painted Bird and Steps, so this was a nice light surprise coming from him. The satire also holds up beautifully - if I hadn't known, I never would have supposed this book was written forty years ago (not, at least, until I got to the Soviet ambassador). Fun stuff, anyhow. I'm looking forward to watching the film adaptation with Peter Sellers.

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