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Being There [Audiobook] [MP3 CD]

Jerzy Kosinski , Dustin Hoffman
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.24
Price: 5.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • MP3 CD: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; MP3 Una edition (22 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1480560081
  • ISBN-13: 978-1480560086
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 13.3 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you liked Forrest Gump, you'll hate this :-) 14 Sep 2001
By A Customer
I read this years and years ago - and I could not put it down. Look at the world through the eyes of someone with a different viewpoint. Imagine a world where you didn't understand innuendo and sarcasm. Try and believe in a man who is entirely honest, with no understanding of pretence, and no pretence of understanding. That is Chance, the gardener, who's only experience of the world is through the TV - who became Chauncey Gardiner, mover, shaker and advisor to the President. This story is dark, and left me re-examining my view of the world. They made a film of this with Peter Sellers, and nobody really understood the simple humour and the painful observation of us all that made this story a classic. No-one but Sellers could have done it justice. The comparison with Forrest Gump is inescapable - but you have to read this one to make it really work.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb fable 25 Feb 2008
Succinct, pithy, brilliant. An earlier review gives the plot outline so I won't repeat it. I saw the film, then read the book, then saw the film again. Apparently Kosinski wrote this book, and then went through it meticulously deleting every line that wasn't absolutely necessary. Hence this is short, to the point, almost a novella, but nothing is missed. A truly superb fable for our time, for any time perhaps, about the danger of assumption and the fact that people fundamentally want to be told the truth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the first book that I have read after seeing a movie, a movie that I have seen many times which I qualify as one of my all time favourites, and I must say what an enlightenment, the book takes us through a very similar journey but through the eyes of Gardener without the slapstick element, I now rate the book more highly than the movie

Being There------If you enjoyed the Movie you will love this book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
NOTE: A longer version, with spoilers, can be read by clicking on the comments section at the end of this review.

Being There is one of my all time favourite films. I seem to watch it at least once a year, and I usually see it as part of a trilogy of idiots along with two Bill Murray films called The Man Who Knew Too Little and What About Bob?

The book is a very slim novella of less than 100 pages long, and written in a minimalist, not a word wasted style. The film script (written by the author) is much expanded from this bare-bones story and as such is in the strange position of being a deeper, more detailed, more complex, more clever and more thematically richer experience than the source book. The novella is good and worth reading but the film overshadows it completely. There is nothing extra in the book that didn't make it onto the screen, with perhaps the exception of the Soviet side at the end. The film might have benefitted from including the extra material of the Russian embassador quoting Chance in a speech ("Our chairs are almost touching") and his embassy's attempts to get information on him. Having said that, it was non-essential stuff that just doubles the American secret service side of the story to no important effect.

It's a good book (3 out of 5 stars) but the film is superior (5 out of 5 stars) as it's much more detailed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Das Wunschbild: A Fable for our Times 21 Nov 2013
By J C E Hitchcock TOP 1000 REVIEWER
I first became aware of this book as the basis for the remarkable film starring Peter Sellers and Melvyn Douglas. Kosinski's book, however, is just as remarkable in its own right.

The hero of the book is Chance, a mentally retarded adult who works as the gardener at the home of a wealthy retired New York lawyer. During the whole of his adult life, Chance has never left the house and garden; his only contact with the outside world is through television, which he watches obsessively. His life changes, however, when his employer dies, the house is sold and he is forced to leave. Chance is slightly injured when he is hit by a car belonging to Elizabeth Eve ("EE"), the wife of Benjamin Rand, a rich and influential Wall Street financier and a friend of the President. EE, mishearing "Chance the gardener" as "Chauncey Gardiner" and mistakenly believing Chance to be a successful businessman, invites him to stay with her and her husband at their home. A series of misunderstandings leads all concerned to believe that Chance is not only a businessman but also an economic prophet. He is invited to speak on national television where he talks about the only thing he understands, gardening. A series of platitudes about the changing of the seasons in the garden is taken to be an extended metaphor forecasting an upturn in the economy, and his supposed optimism strikes a chord with the viewing public. The book ends with the elderly, terminally ill, Rand about to name Chance as his heir and successor, and the President about to nominate him as his vice-presidential running-mate.

The book is short, a novella rather than a novel, of around 100 pages. The style is direct, simple and like a fable.
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