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Being There

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  9,110 Ratings  ·  730 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 15th 1999 by Grove Press (first published January 1st 1970)
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Glenn Russell
Apr 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


If you listen to audio books you will enjoy this classic performance by Dustin Hoffman. Perhaps you are familiar with the film based on the novel; if you are unfamiliar with the short novel itself, here's your chance to experience a truly insightful and compelling work of literature through the voice of an outstanding actor.

And from what author Jersy Koskinski writes in the first few pages, a reasonable take on the back-story goes like this: main character Chance’s mother died in childbirth, pr
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Being There, Jerzy Kosiński
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: اول ماه دسامبر سال 2014 میلادی
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 صاحب کارش مجبور به ترک محلی که در آن کار کرده، میشود. اما چون باغبان پیش از آن هیچگاه از محل کارش خارج نشده، مواجهه اش با جهان بیرون برایش عجیب است، و از سوی دیگر برای مردم نیز دیدن و صحبت کردن با او ع
...more
Annet
May 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Amazing book. Recommended.
Glenn Sumi
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemp-classics
Kosinski's 1970 satire about a simple gardener who rises to become an influential political pundit, commentator and presidential advisor is considered a classic, and rightly so.

It's especially relevant today, when the level of nonsensical wankery by our leaders or so-called celebrities has reached an art form. Chance/Chauncey's "wisdom" he dispenses from his knowledge of gardening or his constant watching of TV is consistently amusing – as are the reactions of the people around him. Kosinski wri
...more
KamRun
Jul 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
کسی که گفته "ترجیح میدهم خوششانس باشم تا یک آدم خوب" بینش عمیقی به زندگی داشته. مردم از روبرو شدن با این حقیقت که بخش عمدهای از حوادث زندگی به شانس بستگی داره میترسند. تصور اینکه چیزهای زیادی در زندگی خارج از کنترل ما هستند هراس آوره. در مسابقه تنیس لحظاتی هست که توپ به بالای تور برخورد میکنه و در طرفهالعینی به جلو میره و یا برمیگرده و میافته. با کمی خوششانسی، توپ به جلو میره و تو برنده میشی، یا اینطور نمیشه و تو میبازی. - برداشت آزاد از دیالوگ فیلم امتیاز نهایی (2005، وودی آلن)


یک - ماجرای آقای
...more
Amir
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
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
...more
MJ Nicholls
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Franco  Santos
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Primer libro que leo de Jerzy Kosiński, y qué gran sorpresa. Chance Gardiner, jardinero e inadaptado social, es hallado por una sucesión de hechos completamente satírica y delirante en una trama que lo va llevando progresivamente hacia las más altas esferas de la sociedad, todo eso sin siquiera saber leer y escribir. Nadie sabe quién es y todos encuentran sabiduría en sus muy escuetas palabras, aunque Chance apenas entienda lo que le dicen.

Divertido, bien escrito y mordaz. A pesar de su breveda
...more
Ray
Jun 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Chance is a gardener in the house of the "Old Man", a job that he has had for as long as he can remember. Chance is uneducated, he cannot read or write, and he has never been outside the garden. He watches television obsessively.

Then the old man dies. His executors close up the old man's estate and send Chance out into the world. He is wholly unprepared.

A series of improbable events propel Chance into the upper echelons of American society. He meets business leaders, the President, foreign amba
...more
TK421
Dec 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary
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.

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Gerald
Feb 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Guille
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
En las primeras páginas de esta breve novela se dice del protagonista:

“Chance debía trabajar en el jardín, donde cuidaría de las plantas y el césped y los árboles, que allí crecían en paz. Sería como una de las plantas: callado, abierto y feliz cuando brillara el sol, y melancólico y abatido cuando lloviera.”

Y esa era la esencia de Chance o lo que la confluencia de la semilla y el terreno propicio creó, una fría planta que vivió y creció en soledad, teniendo a la televisión como su único sol. Y
...more
Ghazal
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
کتاب از واقعیت تلخ فاصله گرفته بود تا بهتر بتونه نقش آفرینی شخصیت اول که نمایانگر انسان واقعی هست رو ممکن کنه، این حالت برای من یادآور مرد فیل نما بود که توی ۱۲ سالگی خوندم و با توجه به سنم از همچین فضایی لذت بردم... اما الآن این حالت یه مقدار برام غیر قابل درک بود... ولی نویسنده خیلی خوب تونسته بود اون انسان واقعی رو ترسیم بکنه.
Teresa Proença
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-polonia, 5e
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
...more
Maciek
Nov 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ver
...more
Mohammad
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.
Hengameh HS
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
یکی از خوب ترین کتابای کوتاهی بود که خوندم
به تصویر کشیدن یه انسان ناب،دست نخورده، وصل به طبیعت
آدمی که با دوری از آدم ها به مقام انسان اصیل نائل شده!!
راست گویی ساده انگارانه ی شخصیت اول و در مقابل برداشت دغل بازانه و سیاست مدارانه از هر حرف ساده ، چیزی که از خوندنش تو کتاب لذت بردم و حرص خوردم!
غم انگیز فقط پایان نانوشته ی کتاب می تونه باشه...
که خب بهتر که نوشته نشده چون پایان قابل تصوریه و نیاز به بیانش نبود
حرف های کتاب تو همین حجم کم با همین داستان بدون ته به بهترین وجه زده شد

هیجان زده ام برای
...more
ارغوان بیرق گلگون بهار
یه اثر ساده ولی در عین حال شاهکار!
میتونه به آدم یاد بده که صداقت و راستگویی چقدر خوب و تاثرگذاره.
فقط متاسفانه پایانش
پر از علامت سواله!
Fateme
آنگاه که کسی مخاطب دیگران و یا طرف توجه سایرین قرار میگیرد، خیالش راحت می شود.در این هنگام اعمال فرد توسط سایرین به همان نوعی تفسیر می شود که آنان رفتار های خود را تفسیر می کنند. هیچگاه سایرین بیش از آنچه درباره ی خود می دانند درباره ی دیگران نمی دانند.

تا زمانی که ریشه ها خشک نشدند، همه چیز درست است.

باورم نمیشه انقد دنبال این کتاب بودم! یعنی کتابی که من تصور می کردم باهاش روبرو بشم اینی نبود که خوندم، البته کتاب بدی نبود، داستان درباره ی چنسی گاردینر باغبان چهل ساله ایه که تا بحال از باغ و محل
...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Aug 26, 2012 marked it as filmed
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.
Michael Perkins
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Chauncey Gardiner is born and raised in a house that he never leaves. His only contacts with humans are occasional encounters with a half-crazy maid, a crippled, senile old man confined in a room upstairs, and a television set.

He watches television constantly.

In middle age Gardiner is suddenly thrown out of the house into the city. Attempting to deal with a world which he has seen only as reproduced on television, he tries to apply what he has learned from the set. He adopts television behavio
...more
Ms.pegasus
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in satire
Recommended to Ms.pegasus by: selection of local book club
Shelves: fiction
A somber message underlies Kosinsky's playful, deceptively simple fable. He sketches out a preposterous situation. The main character has spent his entire life confined to his room in a mansion and its walled garden. He was born there. His sole occupation is tending the garden. His sole view of the world is from watching the TV in his room. That complacent existence is disrupted when the recluse who dwells in the mansion dies.

Although Kosinski tells this story with a third person voice, the poin
...more
Yani
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
...more
Paul E. Morph
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Jim
Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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...
Gypsy

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.
...more
A.J.
Aug 26, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, literary
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
...more
Jim
Sep 10, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Mary
Oct 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
...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

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“Life is a state of mind.” 26 likes
“- Growth has its season. There are spring and summer, but there are also fall and winter. And then spring and summer again. As long as the roots are not severed, all is well and all be well.” 15 likes
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