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Being There

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  6,508 ratings  ·  469 reviews
Jerzy Kosinski’s clever parable of a naive man thrust into the modern world is more pointed now than ever. Academy Award winner Dustin Hoffman (Rain Man, The Graduate), perhaps best known for his portrayals of vulnerable characters and antiheroes, gives an understated and exemplary performance of this satiric look at the unreality of American media culture.

Chance, the enig
Hardcover, 1st edition, 142 pages
Published 1971 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (first published January 1st 1970)
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Glenn Russell

From what author Jersy Koskinski writes in the first few pages of this short novel, a reasonable take on the back-story goes like this: main character Chance’s mother died in childbirth, probably giving birth in the lawyer-father’s house so as to leave no record or documentation (as opposed to hospital record-keeping) since the old lawyer aimed to avoid anything official about his being the father. And then over the next several years, probably the result of some type of brain-damage, observing
MJ Nicholls
Peter Sellers’s last (and best?) performance was in Being There—directed by Hal Ashby with Kosiński’s screenplay—one of my favourite American tragicomedies. The original novella compresses the meat of the movie into straightforward and simple chapters, mimicking the simple mind of Chance, the anonymous simpleton whose plain-talking homilies propel him into the top of American life within four days. The film brings the character of Chance into being through Peter Sellers, who expands upon the sim ...more
سه چهار سال پیش توی یکی از شبهای بد زندگیم به طور اتفاقی فیلمی رو دیدم که حالم رو از این رو به اون رو کرد. پیتر سلرز تو اون فیلم نقش باغبون بینام و نشونی رو بازی میکرد که همهی عمرش رو تو خونهی یکی باغبونی کرده بود. «چنسی گاردینر» تو همهی زندگیش از اون خونه بیرون نیومده بود، مریض نشده بود، چیزی نخونده و چیزی ننوشته بود و تنها راه ارتباطیش با دنیای خارج تلویزیون کوچیکش بود و حالا با مرگ پیرمرد باید اون دنیای کوچیک قشنگ خونگیش رو ول میکرد و وارد دنیایی میشد که هیچ رد و نشونی ازش نداره
گاهی بعضی از
At a scant 128 pages, this is a small book with enormous implications. Although written in the seventies (with a movie starring Peter Sellers in the eighties), the storyline is very prescient today. Before reading this slim novel, think about the myriad of ways people continue to infer incorrectly important issues, or how they get their information pertaining an issue.

A slender gem that needs to be read by all.

Ahmad Sharabiani
Being There, Jerzy Kosiński
عنوان: بودن؛ نویسنده: یرژی کاشینسکی؛ برگردان: مهسا ملک مرزبان؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، آموت، 1393، در 136 ص، شابک: 9786005941524؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان آمریکایی قرن 20 م
رمان «بودن» درباره باغبانی چهل ساله است که پس از مرگ صاحبکارش مجبور به ترک محلی که در آن کار کرده، میشود. اما چون باغبان پیش از آن هیچگاه از محل کارش خارج نشده، مواجههاش با جهان بیرون برایش عجیب است، و از سوی دیگر برای مردم نیز دیدن و صحبت کردن با او عجیب مینماید. با این حال و در نهایت باغبان بر اثر یک
Adoro Jerzy Kosinski!
Tudo o que este homem escreveu é Magnífico!
Inteligente Ousado Polémico Absorvente Emocionante Dramático Divertido Louco Demoníaco e tudo o mais que seja Bom!

É possível que um pobre tipo, ingénuo, analfabeto e que, sem fazer o mínimo de esforço, consiga alcançar as maiores honras e um lugar de topo na sociedade? Kosinski diz que sim e eu acredito nele. Um fato de bom pano e corte, uma conversa de leitura ambígua e propícia a ser interpretada conforme as conveniências do inter
آنگاه که کسی مخاطب دیگران و یا طرف توجه سایرین قرار می گیرد، خیالش راحت میشود .در این هنگام اعمال فرد توسط سایرین به همان نوعی تفسیر میشود که آنان رفتارهای خود را تفسیر می کنند.هیچگاه سایرین بیش از آنچه درباره ی خود می دانند درباره ی دیگران نمی دانند.
Kosinski was one of my instructors in college. He taught a seminar on Camus and Sartre.

I remember he said, "The only moment of true freedom I ever experience was on airplane suspended between the two collectives."

The movie version was excellent but with much of the thematic weight of the book missing. And it's not that the book is too voluminous. That part is just unfilmable.
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
I read Being There in my infancy, prior most likely to my familiarity with Herr Heidegger.

I saw the film last night, the one staring Peter Sellars.

(view spoiler) no matter what Melvyn Douglas's granddaughter (on the dvd extras) has to say. It is indeed possible to entirely, and at an angle of 180, misinterpret a piece of literature. Sometimes one needn't pay attention because one always already knows what They say and so does one.
You can Google this book and come up with numerous learned and not-so-learned papers discussing it, and this might lead you to think it significant. You might be swayed by people who call it a postmodern masterpiece or an existential gem, or by the fact that it was made into a film. But look at Kosinski's prose: this particular emperor is stark naked. In short, this novel has a good premise and is full of good ideas, amateur in their execution.

A back-of-the-book puff piece in my copy cites "a cr
I'd never read any Kosinski before and only bought this book as I'm a fan of Dustin Hoffman. As you'd expect from such an accomplished actor, Hoffman's narration is superb; I'd have him read all my books to me if I could! What came as a pleasant surprise, though, was that the story was as good as the performance. It's a really touching, funny story and my only complaint would be that there wasn't enough of it. It could have been twice as long and I still wouldn't have wanted it to end. I would d ...more
It's interesting that I've picked up and read this story right now in view of McCain's selection of Palin, a virtual unknown, and her rapid escallation to the front page of the country's newspapers. That's almost exactly what occurred to Chance, the name of a man who had served without pay as a wealthy man's gardener until he suddenly found himself without a job or a family when the man died. While roaming the streets deciding what to next, a chauffeur backing into a parking place, pinned his le ...more
Naeem Nedaee
سراسر کتاب این دلشوره رو داشتم که نکنه الان همه چی لو بره و همه بفهمن که چنس یه باغبون ساده س. واقعا چطور ممکنه کسی نفهمه؟!! به نظرم میرسه که هر کدوم از شخصیتا بالاخره در جایی از رمان به این واقعیت پی بردند اما سادگی و صداقت چنس انقدر براشون جذابیت داشت که همونطور پذیرفتنش.

بودن برام خاص بود. نویسندهش واقعاً نویسنده نیس. امّا ایجازی که در سرتاسر متن پیاده کرده، بهش اعتلا بخشیده. همین ایجاز هس که داستانی تا اینحد مفهومگرا رو سهل و ساده کرده. از طرفی، گفتم نویسنده واقعاً نویسنده نیس. چون چارچوبهای معمول داستانـو در هم شکسته. برای خلق همون ایجاز دلنشین، از خیلی چیزا گذشته و جسته و پریده تا عصارهی داستانـو تقدیم کنه. این خوبه. ولی کافی نیس. بعضی وختا یهتوصیفایی میشد که لازم نبودن؛ خصوصاً وختی میدیدی یهتوصیفا و فضاسازیهایی که لازم بودن، حذف شدن و نویسنده بهشون نپرداخته.
Jul 31, 2014 Yani rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Yani by: Lau
Shelves: novela-corta
Otro libro curioso que se suma a la lista de rarezas que estoy leyendo en estos días. Me recordó mucho a Novecento, de Alessandro Baricco, porque sus personajes tienen algo en común: pasan años de su vida en un mismo sitio y conocen el mundo desde perspectivas distintas. Me gustó mucho y es un 4.5.

Chance, el protagonista en cuestión, vive en una casa cuyo dueño es un personaje que se llama simplemente Anciano y uno puede intuir la relación entre ellos. Lo importante, en realidad, es que Chance
So, there was a German film in the mid-1970s, a Werner Herzog-directed movie of cult status titled, The Mystery of Kaspar Hauser, based supposedly on a true incident from hundreds of years ago in which a man, a kind of idiot, suddenly appeared in a town and his origins remained a mystery. In the film, Hauser is shown to be raised in a dark, prison-like condition, cut off completely from the ways of the world and socialization. Raised like some factory farm animal. Then one day his caretaker dies ...more
In 78-79, when I was in 9th grade history (or world studies?) this book was mentioned as being significant, presumably because of its cultural impact. Strangely, this class was the only place I'd ever heard the book mentioned, and never heard about it after until the movie came out. Didn't see the movie. I found a 99 cent paperback copy at a book sale last year, and just pulled it off the shelf yesterday, which is to say I'm now halfway through it.

Will comment further upon finishing, but thus fa
I am still in the process of adding books from years ago and came across Being There. I am not sure how this would read today but on it's release it was a favorite (and then a movie version). I remember enjoying this very much and to this day those of us of a certain age can use Chauncy Gardner as an adjective and still get a chuckle. The media and government were dimly viewed in that era and so much of fiction at that time reflected an almost cynical society. This was when Vidal, Irving, Roth, ...more
If you haven't read this short little gem, read it now, then go to some sort of republocrat/conservative/teaparty party and try some of Chance's minimalist conversation techniques. While people are discussing debt ceilings and budget re-toolings, respond with things like "Tilling has its place, but I've always believed in allowing the subsoil to settle." I'm sure you'll be invited to visit various yachts and private estates, as well as being introduced to their unmarried sons and daughters...
Lukasz Pruski
I saw Hal Ashby's movie "Being There" about 20 years ago and I still remember the huge impression it made on me. Peter Sellers was magnificent as Chance the gardener. I have just finished reading Jerzy Kosinski's book, on which the movie is based, and I find the book much weaker than the movie.

Kosinski's short novella is a one-gimmick book: a simple gardener who has never been outside of his employer's residence, who knows first-hand only about gardening, who learns about people and the world fr
Suzie Toumeh
"Sulkin went on, 'Your Mr Chauncey Gardiner remains, to all intents and purposes,' and here he held up the sheet of paper by its corner, 'a blank page.'"
Look, this book is my life. Do you not understand!? IT IS MY LIFE. I'm an extremely slow person and I speak complete nonsense and super awkward vocabulary when I have no idea what the flying falafel is going on, which is basically ALL THE TIME! People believe I think and that I'm smart and that's how I came to choose my words in such an interes
BEING THERE. (1970). Jerzy Kosinski. *****.
I first read this novel by Kosinski forty-some years ago when it first came out. I thought it was a terrific novel back then, and continue to think so on second reading. The story of Chance, the Gardiner, will stay with you forever after you have read this. Chance, or Chauncey which his name was modified to, represented the simplest form of a sentient human being. He was raised and continued to exist with a minimum of sensory input about what was going
یکی از معدود مواردی که فیلم از کتاب بهتر هست.در واقع اصلا قابل مقایسه نیست.
وقتی فیلم تمام میشه بازی پیتر سلرز و خود فیلم احتمالا تا مدت ها تو خاطرتون میمونه.اما وقتی کتاب تمام میشه به خودتون میگید:همین؟
aPriL does feral sometimes
What an awful, horrific, hateful book. Kosinski must have had a bad year or ten in high society. Nobody is ok in this book. In Kosinski's bleak, black satire it blasts away at who we we are, our thinking selves (avatars is what I actually want to say) which in truth hide self-knowledge or awareness of the extreme self-involvement and the resulting recursive solipsism of every single human being, in the author's opinion. I don't think some readers have caught on that Chance is a symbol of the inn ...more
It was as though Kosinski took a manual for writing postmodern novels and copied it verbatim. Omnipresent television, personality-less hero, lampooning of society's empty values...and did I mention omnipresent television? With painfully childishly-wrought, obvious metaphors about "being seen" and "watched"? Did you know we only exist if we are seen? Blah, blah, Baudrillard, whatever bleh.

I've heard this was a great film, though, and Kosinski did win a BAFTA and a Writer's Guild something-or-othe
This book is simple, and really doesn't need to have too many words to be profound. The same can be said of sweet, simple-minded Chauncy Gardiner, the main character. At first, I wasn't sure whether he was sane or insane. I quickly surmised that he was, at the very least, more sane than Yours Truly. It was a total treat to read his reactions to the 'normal', sophisticated, cosmopolitan people he interacted with. I was reminded that sometimes we CAN just look at the flowers, or even the TV, witho ...more
Very different from other novels by Kosinski. After the death of his employer, Chance, the gardener, is forced to leave the mansion where he lived all his life - and he has never left it before. Unaccustomed to the booming City and lively street, he is jostled by a car. The woman travelling in the car offer to take him into her house, so her doctor can take care of him. While Chance gets back to health, both the woman and her husband start discovering extraordinary qualities that he posesses.
Phil Ford
The writing is as meticulous and taut as Chance himself. There is a bizarre relevance to this book, some 45 years after the publication, perhaps even a new meaning for thematic revisionists of literature. In today's world, Chancey, the idiot gardener, is what middle class America has become; largely sheltered, ignorant and a parrot for what is churned out to them in media. Politicians latch on to the simpleton for their own gain, using the spew back in your face tactic in order to keep careers a ...more
Melody Manful
I went to a political party today. I sat down, kept a gentle smile on my face, and whenever someone asked me a question, or expected me to comment on a decision... every word that came out of my mouth was either about life or death... and plants! They bought it, now I'm head of their political party, looking to launch my own campaign!!

Haha... this book is brillant!
This is the story of how Chance, a simple person who just wants to tend his garden, becomes viewed very differently by many people. Once the media became involved, Chance is viewed as a sex symbol, a scholar of Russian literature, a brave person who admits he doesn't read the NY Times or any other paper, and a financier. This has all transpired just because Chance is bring himself: a gardener who hasn't left home before now and who cannot read and write; his view of the outside world comes from ...more
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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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