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Being There Audiobook

Being There

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Publisher's Summary

Earphones Award Winner (AudioFile Magazine)

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.

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What the Critics Say

"Dustin Hoffman's performance of this spare and provocative novel is a revelation. The story is surreal (though certainly not difficult and certainly highly amusing); to deliver it, what is needed is not pacing or vocal pyrotechnics but a thorough, thoughtful understanding of the text and the restraint to perform only exactly what is there." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1440 )
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Performance
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  •  
    The Dark Side 12-28-16 Member Since 2013

    I have literally a few thousand audible books, I have Parkinson's, always an avid reader. I tend toward horror, paranormal, love Vampires .

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    "A very sweet little story . Loved it, being There"

    This basically is the story of a very sweet man, totally sheltered from the world except for what he has seen on TV. And he has a great knack for gardening , through a huge change in his circumstance his total sweetness and honesty serve him very well. I loved the whole short story, narrated by Dustin Hoffman.

    The only thing it reminded me of at all was Forest Gump.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    susan Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada 04-23-15
    susan Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada 04-23-15

    Audible lets me listen to books I probably wouldn't read

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    "Perfect short story read by a perfect narrator"

    Many readers will have seen the movie with Peter Sellers. Hoffman brings a quiet poignant dignity to the hero which suits the story perfectly. I was moved to tears and laughter and would like to give Hoffman 10 stars for the narration. No one could have done it better.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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.

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    "Wonderful Narration "

    Dustin Hoffman 's excellent Narration was another effective interpretation of this wonderfully crafted Kosinski novel.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Carpenter Fremont, CA USA 05-24-13
    J. Carpenter Fremont, CA USA 05-24-13 Member Since 2011

    roulette

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    "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

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    "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 2017
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    "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
  •  
    Kindle Customer 07-27-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Dustin Hoffman's voice is perfect 4Gardner's story"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this story and Mr. Hoffman's narration was perfect for it. It was a quick listen. I listened while doing chores etc.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luvtallships 07-18-17

    Seit 1987 lebe ich in den USA, seit 12 Jahren in Virginia.Hoere deutsche Buecher um mit deutscher Literatur auf dem laufenden zu bleiben.

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    "I loved the movie, enjoyed this audio even more!"

    Dustin Hoffman's performance of Jerzy Kosinski's satirical novel about American media and public personae is simply stellar! This is one book I will listen to again and again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David San Diego, CA, United States 07-01-17
    David San Diego, CA, United States 07-01-17 Member Since 2011
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    "Almost a parable"
    What did you love best about Being There?

    I think the thing I enjoyed most was about how Chance or Chauncy (if you prefer) reacted to the events around him, and how, in turn, different individuals took in his reactions. It was almost surreal at times, but it was also very real.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Chance himself. His straightforward approach to the world around him and how the world reacts to his (lacking a better term) simplicity was highly amusing.


    What does Dustin Hoffman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I think Dustin Hoffman makes Chance feel more real than if I had just read the book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-08-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Could this man be President?!"

    I enjoyed the movie adaptation and rather expected it to be similar. But the original in Dustin Hoffman's voice was even better. The voice and surprises of the author came through completely believably. It's funny but horrifying that Chance could end up as the leader of the free world. Stranger things have happened!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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