Kosinski, Jerzy: Being There


by Jerzy Kosinski

Chance, the main person in this book, is an orphan and the Old Man has sheltered him in his house ever since Chance was a child.
Because the Old Man thinks that Chance’s mind is damaged, Chance life is limited to his quarters and to the garden. He has never been outside the house in the streets. Chance’s duty is to take care of the garden and he is moving in his own time, like the growing plants.
Beside of gardening he also likes watching TV, from there he gets his information of what is happening in the world around him
After the Old Man’s death, it comes to a misunderstanding between the lawers who handle the estate and Chance because he can neither read nor write. Therefore he has got to move out of his room with the garden.
First time out in the street he is surprised by all the cars, buildings and peope and doesn’t take care of the traffic.
Suddenly he is jammed by a car which hurts his leg. The shocked owner of the car, Elizabeth Eve, in short EE, takes Chance to her home where a doctor is staying with her because her husband has been very ill.
Untill Chance’s recover he is invited by the Rands to stay with them.
When he is having dinner with them, he in a discussion compares by chance business with a garden and the Rands admire him for his statement. However this is the only thing he can talk about.
Because Mr. Rand is a very well - known, but unfortunately very ill businessman the President himself visits him and Chance as a friend is invited too.
During the discussion Chance, now called Mr. Gardiner, repeats his statement about the garden.
The President likes his way of thinking so much that he uses Chance’s idea in his speech and mentions his name.
Suddenly Chance Gardiner is a public figure, all different newspapers and TV - programms want to have interviews with him and he is also invited to famous parties of the high society.
EE is getting more and more found of him and finally they are a couple
Many things that happen to Chance are incomprehensible for him but he always manages it that nobody notices it.
After all a certain kind of distrust comes up and the President and other very high - positioned men want to prove his identy.
However there cannot be found anything about his former life.

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