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.
A Forest Gump type character written before Gump in a story read by Dustin Hoffman. How bad could it be? It was delightful to listen to. My only discomfort was because I'm not used to short stories which often flit into and out of the character's life abruptly. The ending fades without a wrappings up of all the curiosities brought forth. Alas. As a frolic it's a pleasant read.
Avid Listener of books at 1-1/2 times the normal speed. Trying to make up for all those boring high school teachers that could not reach me.
Great narration to an interesting premiss, maybe we should all be so simple to solve our challenges.
surprisingly in target for our times. great narration. insightful with regard to the importance of media on politicians.
My title for the review is a bit of a joke and probably applies only to me. I found this listen very good for dozing off.
Like almost everyone else, I adore and respect the actor Dustin Hoffman. Here, though, he (or the director) made what seemed to me an odd choice. He read the entire book as one would a gentle fairytale. I understand the choice for this particular tale, but I don't agree with it. In an adult book of this length with mature scenes, it didn't work. I wished for variation in the tone.
It's not a particularly gripping story anyway, and my mind wandered. Hoffman's beautiful voice remained soothing and gentle throughout, no matter the scene.
Very very relaxing, perfect for a bedtime story.
This little story is very simple and light. Refreshing, yet sad. No drama or murder, just innocence. It is an amazing listen, no doubt due to the fantastic narrator, Dustin Hoffman. I am not sure if I would qualify this story as funny. It is not humorous that someone exists, but doesn't according to our measures of existence in society. Unfortunately, I suspect that there are definitely others in our world who are exactly like Chance...those who are educated by only watching television with no interaction with the outside world. However, when placed in certain situations, some things should come natural, physiologically, if you know what I mean. Don't want to be a spoiler.
Chance is also very cunning and intelligent. He did appreciate kindness and took advantage of every opportunity that would benefit him. He spoke very plain and direct. It is also interesting that the people with whom he later came into contact only wanted to hear what they they wanted to hear. They were the ones who put meaning into what he said by interpreting his words according to their needs. Chance allowed this to happen.
This is a wonderful short story full of wonderment and surprises. Enjoy
Trenchant, darkly funny, a fable for the TV age
Excellent narration. Perfect.
E.E. for obvious reasons....
The movie with Peter Sellers and Shirley Maclaine is one of my all-time favorites, yet it does not overshadow this audiobook version. Jerzy Kosinski's well-honed words reward attention, and Dustin Hoffman's reading is perfect. Do not be misled by certain reviewers who compare it unfavorably with the film: one does not detract from the other.
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!
I am a retired public school educator.
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.
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