Being There [Audiobook Review]

This year, I am particpating in the Armchair Audies. I am listening to every book in the Solo Narration – Male category. This is one of the nominees.

Title: Being There
Author: Jerzy Kozinski 
Narrator: Dustin Hoffman
Genre: Satire
Audio: 2.9 hours
Year: 2012 (originally 1971)
Publisher: Audible, Inc.
Source: Personal Collection
Book Rating: 3.5/5
Audio Rating: 3/5


Being There is the story of how Chance, a simple gardner in an old man’s estate becomes Chauncy Gardiner, economic aide to the President of the United States.

My Thoughts:

This book is actually very clever, and the more I think about it, the more I like it. Chance’s only knowledge about the outside world comes from television, so when he is suddenly sent out into the world on his own, he knows everything will work out, like it is scripted. His straightforward responses to questions get misunderstood and deemed “genius” and “visionary.” It’s a satire about the political world that works just as well in 2013 as it did in 1971.

Audiobook Thoughts:

I assume Dustin Hoffman was chosen because of his role in Rain Man, but I’m not sure he has the right voice for audiobooks beyond this one.


Hmm…my reviews just keep getting shorter. I guess a short review is better than no review.

3 thoughts on “Being There [Audiobook Review]

  1. Sandy April 15, 2013 / 10:55 am

    I absolutely LOVE this movie. I think it is so totally clever. And according to my (Polish) husband, Kosinski is supposed to be some sort of genius. Have you seen the movie? Because in the movie, the character talks in a dull monotone, so I’m wondering if that is what Hoffman was channeling. I can imagine it doesn’t translate well to listening.


  2. zibilee April 15, 2013 / 1:59 pm

    I hadn’t heard of this one before, but it sounds really funny and satirical, which means that I must look for it. Dustin Hoffman does seem like a strange choice, I agree. I can only hear his voice in my head as Rain Man, or the slightly hyper-agitated voice he used in The Graduate, both of which seem a strange choice for a book!


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