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Cockpit (Kosinski, Jerzy) Paperback – 7 Apr 1998


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Paperback, 7 Apr 1998
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press; 1st Grove Press Ed edition (7 April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802135684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802135681
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 13.9 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,821,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Although we have known each other for a long time and have spoken often, we have never spoken intimately. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

0 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Jun. 2000
Format: Paperback
The thoroughful application of skills acquired in comunism to social situations of western capitalism. In depth description of will to overpower others in survivalist approach to everyday life. Maserfull description of mind operation of people who chnge cultures - societies during their adult life.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 16 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
A good representation 11 April 2004
By Henry Platte - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It's hard to decide which of Kosinski's vignette-based novels is the best, since they're all fairly similiar, and passages are interchangeable. There are slight varitations in theme - the protagonist of The Painted Bird is a child, and in Blind Date you have an investor, while in The Devil Tree you have a wealthy young man, but on the whole each one is as good as another. Considering it, though, I think that Cockpit is the best overall, with some of the most interesting vignettes and the most consistently good writing, and one of the stronger protagonists. It's also the only Kosinski book which I can really say shocked me - usually, I'm prepared for the horrible things which his characters do to each other, remembering that it is Kosinski even when things seem to be going well, but there's an episode in Cockpit involving the elderly which took me by surprise. I reccomend this as an introduction to Kosinski's work, or, if you only read one, make it this.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Kosinski continues his mastery of the vignette novel. 28 Oct. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Kosinski's portrait of an ex CIA agent with a knack for controlling others is disturbing, diabolical, and ultimately entertaining. Tarden is both socially and sexually disfunctional, yet somehow we can all identify with him. Kosinski creates an obsessive depressive character with Gatsby-esque personal drive. Well worth the read.
13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Enter the cockpit if you dare! 16 Oct. 1998
By martie@eden.rutgers.edu - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When you are in the cockpit you have total and absolute control over hundreds of lives. You can do with them what you wish. If you choose, you could end every life or just give them a good scare. In Jerzy Kosinski's novel "Cockpit" the hero - Tarden - is always in the cockpit, always in control. This book makes you realize how easy it is for a total stranger to, through a few mundane manipulations, have your entire life in his hands. A chilling thought indeed.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Kosinski writes without fear or reservation 23 Nov. 2014
By T.M. Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jerzy Kosinski is to "dark writing", what an arc welder is to "warmth". I'm not talking about Stephen King-esque cheap shots. What Kosinski writes is fiction . . . but not necessarily, if you understand what I mean. And it's creepy. We see ourselves in his characters. And these are scary - depraved - pathetic.

Everybody has "seen" Being There, taken from Kosinski'd novel. I now have the book and look forward to the read. I had previously read Kosinski's, The Painted Bird . . . dark, weird, haunting. The Painted Bird hinted at genius (creepiness notwithstanding), so I gave Cockpit a try. Yikes!

The first couple of pages left me with the impression of disjointed out-of-touch ramblings. I decided to stay with it. It improved quickly. Then I was hooked.

The protagonist, Tarden, kind of grows on you. You tend sympathize and tag along, then after a long while you realize that this erudite, confident, uber-intelligent man is wholly criminal. An amoral mind. A thief, whoremonger, liar, murderer, genius, creep. Yet he drapes his arm over your shoulder and sweeps you right along.

Told in a machine gunning series of small stories and private anecdotes, with no real chapter breaks, which Tarden whispers in your ear -- fascinating, riveting, titillating, disgusting. There is very little in man's dark heart which Kosinski cannot or will not translate to pen and ink. On a few occasions, Tarden's bizarre behaviors caused me to genuinely laugh out loud.

As a negative, I'll say that some of Tarden's technical accomplishments are a stretch. And circumstances are occasionally too contrived. But it's a stunning fiction read.

Any educational or edifying value? I think . . . probably. I think the reader (any reader) will see some of him/her self in Tarden or his targets. We'll also see people we know or have known. Or will know.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Disturbingly disappointing. 10 July 2011
By Cesar E. Caro - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I came across a used hardcover and decided to give it a try, having really enjoyed The Painted Bird and Being There. Right away the writing seems somewhat tired and worn, with the same vignette style as The Painted Bird but without the freshness or vigor. It picks up after a while, making you think it will eventually cohere with some twist or another, but it doesn't. The author relies on the shock value of some scenes intended to disturb the reader, but they don't come off as all that impressive -- somewhat stale, especially today with modern understandings of sociology and sexual psychology that incite boredom at Kosinski's numerous revealed dysfunctions. Some of the stories are genuinely compelling, but tainted by a sadistic mind that is not at its most creative. I'm sad to say this is one of the most horrible novels I have ever read.
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