We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
Being There Audiobook

Being There

Regular Price:$6.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Nominee, Best Solo Narration, 2013

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 enigmatic gardener, becomes Chauncey Gardiner after getting hit by a limo belonging to a Wall Street tycoon. The whirlwind that follows brings Chance to his new status of political policy advisor and possible vice presidential candidate. His garden-variety political responses, inspired by television, become heralded as visionary, and he is soon a media icon due to his unknown background and vague, yet appealing, conversational nature. Being There was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film, starring Peter Sellers as Chance, in 1979.

Being There is part of Audible’s A-List Collection, featuring the world’s most celebrated actors narrating distinguished works of literature that each star helped select. For more great books performed by Hollywood’s finest, click here.

©1971 Jerzy Kosinski (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1133 )
5 star
 (541)
4 star
 (369)
3 star
 (166)
2 star
 (37)
1 star
 (20)
Overall
4.2 (1032 )
5 star
 (480)
4 star
 (334)
3 star
 (156)
2 star
 (40)
1 star
 (22)
Story
4.6 (1034 )
5 star
 (701)
4 star
 (235)
3 star
 (77)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (11)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    James Greensboro, NC 04-03-13
    James Greensboro, NC 04-03-13 Member Since 2006

    I love history and enjoy reading different books about the past. I like to joke that I have read many books about the outcome at Gettysburg, but no matter how many I read the outcome remains the same! I do find it interesting and fascinating to get different takes and outlooks on the same events.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thanks, David!"
    What did you love best about Being There?

    I loved the remarkable way that the late Jerzy Kosinski tackled compiling a book that could have been much longer into such a short and brief package. He apparently got some advice that I recall from an old English teacher in my past: Write more like Hemmingway and less like Faulkner.


    What other book might you compare Being There to and why?

    A good comparison that comes to mind for me is the late Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five". Both writers in both books had a knack for tackling difficult subjects within a framework that each created which allowed them to be simple, brief, and direct. Their product emerges strongly and requires deep and thoughtful consideration from the reader/listener.


    Have you listened to any of Dustin Hoffman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Hoffman's performance of this narration is excellent and he is deserving of praise. I have not heard other narrations from Dustin Hoffman and therefore cannot compare this with other performances.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes it was, and I did! Gratefully!


    Any additional comments?

    I want to thank my friend David from college. He introduced me to this writer then, and I remain appreciative.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan 05-24-13
    Jan 05-24-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    30
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    295
    28
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great narrator, but the plot's beyond ridiculous"

    No one could ever be as stupid and gullible as the people who "misread" Chancy in this book. I had hoped it would be deeper than the movie, or that the writing would be colorful enough to make up for the plot, but alas. Disappointing.

    Dustin Hoffman is awesome as a narrator. His beautiful voice and talent are wasted on this novel, but I would not hesitate to listen to some other book narrated by him.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JanBreesmom MIRA LOMA, CA, United States 07-01-12
    JanBreesmom MIRA LOMA, CA, United States 07-01-12 Member Since 2012

    Breesmom

    HELPFUL VOTES
    145
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    356
    150
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    19
    15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simple"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes. It's short, quick, and simple. Easy to read. Pleasant.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Jerzy Kosinski? Why or why not?

    Yes. he has an interesting way of writing.


    Which character – as performed by Dustin Hoffman – was your favorite?

    Chance.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Chance lovingly caring for the plants and flowers.


    Any additional comments?

    No.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica M. Merbler Gaithersburg, Maryland United States 07-27-12
    Jessica M. Merbler Gaithersburg, Maryland United States 07-27-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    77
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not even Dustin Hoffman was interested in this one"

    Just finished Being There by Jerzy Kosinski. It was like looking at modern art, where the artist is clearly trying to Be Artistic instead of, say, painting (or, in this case, telling a story.) About the only thing I really took away from it was 1) "here's another 60s/70s story I don't enjoy due to needless emphasis on sex," and 2) Kosinski obviously feels that people take away whatever they want to from an exchange instead of what's actually there. Which, while I agree with that, I felt that the message was clumsily presented. I don't understand why this is considered such an important work.

    8 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula 09-29-16
    Paula 09-29-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A must read!"

    I hesitate to say anything for fear of giving anything away. My main (and almost only) criticism is its brevity. I want more!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan M. Rhodes 09-12-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great listen!"

    I have long loved the Peter Sellers' movie of this title, and wondered if Dustin Hoffman's reading of the book could compare. As usual, the book is far better than any movie, and the reading style suits the story perfectly. I will listen to this again - and often. Brilliantly presented!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven 09-05-16
    Steven 09-05-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "outstanding!"

    loved it! ripped through this a lot faster than expected. Dustin Hoffman's narration kept me at the edge of my seat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peaceful 08-29-16
    Peaceful 08-29-16

    ompeaceful

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "An old Favorite Revisited"

    Nearly 40 years ago I watched the movie, Being There, with Peter Sellers and Shirley MacClaine. In this audio recording Dustin Hoffman beautifully captured the magic of this sort for me all over again. What a treat! I loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian T. McGill 07-26-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A very easy fun read"

    It was fun to listen to. I felt rich having the great Dustin Hoffman read me a book. He was great, and so was the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luzia METEPEC, Mexico 06-07-16
    Luzia METEPEC, Mexico 06-07-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good!"

    The story unfolds smoothly and is amazingly plausible in today's context of media validation. Definitely interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.