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Blind Date

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  1,008 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Blind Date is a spectacular and erotically charged psychological novel that shows Jerzy Kosinski, author of Being There and The Painted Bird, at the height of his power. George Levanter is an idea man, a small investor, an international playboy, and a ruthless deal-maker whose life is delivered in a series of scorching encounters, each more incredible than the last. From M ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 17th 1998 by Grove Press (first published December 31st 1977)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Greg
Aug 02, 2010 Greg rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An auto-biographical masturbatory jizz fest.

Lots of writers write about themselves. Lots of writers who peaked in the late 1960's through 1980's made an industry out of writing about themselves. Philip Roth and Charles Bukowski are the two that pop right to mind, but I know there are lots more. Sometimes they are pretty clearly the author (as in when Philip Roth shucks the Nathan Zuckermann persona and starts writing about a character named Philip Roth you don't need an PhD in Contemporary Amer
...more
Vit Babenco
Jerzy Kosinski was the one that successfully dealt in human pathology and was highly praised for his literary deviation. And even during his most romantic moments Jerzy Kosinski managed to remain pathological.
“Oscar remarked that she could be an ideal blind date, and if he encountered her walking alone in the city at night, he would break her eye. Breaking the eye was what he called rape, he explained. Noting Levanter’s surprise, he admitted that he had been raping girls and women for three or f
...more
Kristen Shaw
Aug 31, 2010 Kristen Shaw rated it really liked it
Somtimes reading Kosinski is like having your brain shredded. And just when you think you've healed from one strange and discomforting passage he hits you with the next. Fortunately, this strategy works well in "Blind Date." This is probably my favourite Kosinski. It is funny and horrific and interesting throughout. Although Kosinski has what I feel is a very "masculine" voice, in "Blind Date" issues of sex and gender and ownership are dealt with in fascinating, albeit frequently disturbing, way ...more
Ethan Miller
Apr 16, 2013 Ethan Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an old favorite from Jerzy Kosinski. I'm not sure if it would universally be considered a 5 star or even considered one of his best to other fans but it holds a special place in my literary heart and a dark, confounding resonance that echoes and repels against the moral foundations in my mind. Kosinski was THE premiere 'psychological' writer in the 1970s, sold untold millions of books world-wide, and lived an incredible, nearly unbelievable life that is the basis for many of his books, e ...more
Mike
Oct 19, 2015 Mike rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Dużo fajnych historyjek z pogranicza Wilka z Wall Street i Jamesa Bonda, ale cała bałaganiarska formuła i dość prosty język (sprawiający, że ta lektura jest leciutka jak piórko) nie są dla mnie nijak do skumania. Kasy zabrakło autorowi czy dobrze się zasłonił tym "Malowanym Ptakiem"?
Mike Gilbert
Dec 13, 2014 Mike Gilbert rated it liked it
Shelves: literature
Kosinski writes such interesting books - vignettes really - slices of life. Generally short and tightly bound, his books often have unusual plots. Not unusual as speculative fiction might be, but rather unusual in terms of their content. They follow a character through a portion of his or her life and explore their world.

In this case, that character is Levantar, a refugee from behind the Iron Curtain who has a made a life for himself in America as an investor. Levantar is not, however, your typi
...more
TC
Jun 14, 2013 TC rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is only the second book of Kosinski's I've read, but I see a pattern already: a story made up of amusing anecdotes and grotesque behavior thrown into a blender of international intrigue that reminds me of Chuck Barris' claims that he used to kill for the CIA. It's all nonsense, and it's all told in a staccato and bland manner, with only a smattering here and there of imagery intended to be artful, except it practically has a neon sign on it announcing it as such. The story also seems cliche ...more
Carmine
Mar 27, 2009 Carmine rated it liked it
This interesting, short novel is the first thing I've read by Kosinski, and i finished it before I knew much of anything about him or the controversies that bedeviled his work. It resembles much good east European fiction in it's strange, erotic and violent episodes, and you see flashes of writers like Grass, Kafka, and Kundera (given the past accusation of plagiarism against Kosinski, this is not to suggest that he steals from them).

But the book is wholly his own, and in crafting the misadvent
...more
Pečivo
Sep 25, 2015 Pečivo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: svíčková
Takovej východoevropskej Henry Miller - příběh ruskýho mrdáka George Levantera, kterej vypraví svůj příběh od emigrace z Ruska, kde za Stalina pracoval jako instruktor lyžování, přes epizodu ve Švýcarsku, kde pracoval jako instruktor lyžování, až po jeho čas v Americe, kde se živil jako investor.

Když říkám Henry Miller, tak to samozřejmě znamená, že všude mrdal jak zjednanej a příběh sám o sobě je pátý pres devátý. Mrdani je popsáno velmi dobře, i kdyz si nevybavuju, že by mi někdy houpnul. Auto
...more
Edward
Nov 25, 2009 Edward rated it liked it
George Levanter, the protagonist of Blind Date, is enshrouded in a fog that never really dispels. Philanthropist, hero, odious amoralist, fetishist, loner, genius, freak, Mcgyver--who the hell is this guy? Kosinkski drops in on Levanter at various times in his life and presents seemingly arbitrary snippets of a man whose motives are barely hinted at. Levanter is like some kind of James Bond but with some nasty proclivities that are enacted and described with such sang-froid that you can't help b ...more
Betty
Oct 01, 2016 Betty rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2016
Inert 1970s edgelordism. Dull prose and ~shocking~ content through the eyes of a narrator incapable of feeling, and therefore incapable of inspiring any feeling but disgust and boredom. It's impossible to empathize with the supposed heartbreak of a rapist-murderer when he's spent 150 pages prior relating all manner of horror without a shred of emotion. I was curious about his near-miss with the Manson murders, but alongside all of the other murders and rape and transmisogyny and other sexualized ...more
DoctorM
Sep 08, 2007 DoctorM rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, hip-noir
This is...as bleak and dark and utterly, elegantly nihilist as it gets. Thriller? S/M erotica? Novel of manners? Acid social satire? Novel of utter moral emptiness and random violence? Oh, yes: all that and much, much more. Told in a distinctive, disturbing, affectless voice. This is...powerful and alluring.
Christine
Jan 24, 2010 Christine rated it it was amazing
To date my favorite writer. The main character, Levanter, is never really likeable but you can't help but respect him, if only for the lengths he will take for friendship. I couldn't help but wonder as I was reading, how much of Levanter comes from Kosinski.
Vivienne Strauss
Jun 13, 2015 Vivienne Strauss rated it really liked it
I wanted to complain that the narrator's story of his life was rather disjointed but then I realized that anyone's life could be viewed that way.
Linda
Dec 27, 2012 Linda rated it liked it
A strange yet erotic book!
Clint Davis
Oct 24, 2016 Clint Davis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
I've truly never read another novel like BLIND DATE. The way its story is spun -- a series of unconnected anecdotes from the life of an intrepid Russian defector -- makes the book's length melt away.

If you're looking for moral lessons, look elsewhere; if you want a story about a hero by whom you can feel inspired, look elsewhere. But if you want to read something imaginative and loaded with the stuff of dark fantasy, pick it up.

Some would say this book was wildly uneven -- for as many scenes of
...more
Lukasz Pruski
Jerzy Kosinski's "Blind Date" has greatly disappointed me. Perhaps even more than "The Devil Tree" that I have reviewed recently. I have yet to read "The Painted Bird" and "Being There" (presumably his best books), but based on the two mediocre novels, I am not awed by my compatriot's work. Mr. Kosinski clearly has two obsessions: with the rich and famous people and with sex. The latter can be forgiven; it has driven the work of many artists. However, the former is indefensible - it makes large ...more
Chuck O'Connor
Aug 30, 2012 Chuck O'Connor rated it really liked it
The "blind date" of the title makes its first appearance as a euphemism for rape, in which the person offering it, describes the criminal act as a necessary method for the male of the human species to relieve himself of the pressure to procreate. It is an awful and jarring description the novel's protagonist, George Levanter, takes to its literal instruction, but he does not encounter release, instead he is left with only unsatisfied guilt, and deep shame. The metaphor of amoral urge framed by t ...more
Özgün
Oct 13, 2010 Özgün rated it really liked it
Blind Date is a weird book. Maybe the most immoral book I read by Kosinski (Getting to know his style though, this is my third read of his books), it tells the story of a modern George Levanter, an investor of somekind. Kosinski does not means "blind date" as it means in a dictionary but a series of events that character has to make moral decisions by the society's rules.

The book, in my opinion, mostly questions the society's influence on our morality and tears the wall of ethics down with a sen
...more
Jonathan
Mar 03, 2008 Jonathan rated it liked it
oh jerzy- back at it again...this is the fourth novel i have read by jerzy. i feel blind date's fundamental similarities to his other works (reading three previously) have dulled the shock value that creates an authentic kosinski work. i read it knowing of his traumatic childhood events (the painted bird), his clever escape from Russia, and the tragic event of how his friends were murdered by the Manson gang. somewhere along the line, i also read that he may or may not have plagiarized some of h ...more
Darrell Bevan-ridge
Oct 12, 2016 Darrell Bevan-ridge rated it liked it
Kosinski (the more socially manipulative and underwhelming Kafka) fails to really impress with Blind Date. When he drifts into his humorous introversions you could call this readable, possibly pleasant, but he rarely does and the vignettes (at the end of the day this book is just that) makes it seem somewhat worthless. 'That' rape passage is quite well delivered - painting a dire eye at the impunity of the white male intellect irrespective of its ripeness, chilling. His brief relationship with a ...more
Lukáš Palán
Aug 12, 2016 Lukáš Palán rated it really liked it
Shelves: polish
Sice je Kosinski polish, ale tahle kniha moc polished nebyla. Příjemný to je (líbilo se mi, jak Kosinski dlabal na stavbu a valil si co ho napadlo), některý Levanterovy příhody jsou fakt dobrý a některý mi připomínaly příhody na Jégermeisterovi, ale celkově vzato jsem si říkal, proč já to vlastně pořád čtu, když ono to nakonec nikam nepovede. Takže asi stejný jako lít vodky do pěkný lesbičky. Jenže pak jsem si to jednou vzal do ruky když jsem v sobě měl drogy a bylo to daleko lepší, takže všem d ...more
clare
Nov 30, 2014 clare rated it it was amazing
Whew! What a complex character is George Levanter! From Amazon: "Blind Date is a spectacular and erotically charged psychological novel that shows Jerzy Kosinski, author of Being There and The Painted Bird, at the height of his power. George Levanter is an idea man, a small investor, an international playboy, and a ruthless deal-maker whose life is delivered in a series of scorching encounters, each more incredible than the last. From Moscow to Paris, from a Manhattan skyscraper to a California ...more
Luciano
Dec 22, 2009 Luciano rated it really liked it
The story is more a series of vignettes, than an actual story. What makes this books considerably better than most is the authors ability to show life as it really is, a series of peaks and vallys where situations aren't always black and white and when doing the right thing often leads to negative repercussions when none were expected.

Many of the characters and situations are pulled from Kosinski's own life, which follow a non-linear path from his childhood in Eastern Europe to his immigration t
...more
Dracolibris
Dec 14, 2009 Dracolibris rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009
Recommended by my step-father, a reader who also loves the works of Tom Robbins, it is obvious we have different reading tastes. Besides that, this was a good quick read for a long car drive home, but ti didn't make me want to rush right out and buy some of his "crazier" stuff, which my step-dad said as the way to describe some of his other books.
Triinu
Jan 22, 2017 Triinu rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ma ei tea tegelikult, kas üks tärn on õigustatud. Phmt sain sellest raamatust vaimse trauma, aga mitte stiilis "tahan unustada, ei loe enam kunagi, võeh!" vaid ülelugemine stiilis "mida kuradit ma just lugesin?!?!"
Enne esimesi seksuaalkogemusi igatahes päris karm lugemine. Väga - valgustav.
Edinson Arrieta aguas
Es el primer libro de Kosinski que leo. Siento que debo darle otra oportunidad, y al mismo tiempo siento que leí un libro en donde se mezclaron las anécdotas entretenidas de un personaje del que nunca se presentó una imagen clara. No podría recomendarlo.
Paul
Oct 04, 2011 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating read, with a loosely-tied together narrative, featuring some semi-autobiographical details from Kosinski's life, as well as many fantasies. His characters seem to feel no remorse, which is both fascinating and horrifying to read. It's a very fast read, and a fascinating one.
Eugene
Jan 12, 2016 Eugene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-reads-2016
Things you could get away in 1977 would get you castrated in the 21st century. Some very questionable ethical standards espoused by the author in the joking matter. I am having a hard time tossing it into my "humor" shelf.
Terry
Jul 16, 2012 Terry rated it liked it
Shelves: novel
Levantar is the main character/narrator of this novel which is filled with action from cover to cover. There is plenty of sex, violence, and humor. It seems to tell some of the stories of Kosinsk's life; however, at the end of the book Levantar dies in a white-out while skiing in the Alps.
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Kosiński was born Josef Lewinkopf to Jewish parents in Łódź, Poland. As a child during World War II, he lived in central Poland under a false identity his father gave him to use, Jerzy Kosiński. A Roman Catholic priest issued him a forged baptismal certificate. The Kosiński family survived the Holocaust thanks to local villagers, who offered assistance to Jewish Poles often at great personal risk ...more
More about Jerzy Kosiński...

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