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Being There
Being There by Jerzy Kosiński
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s a quick read. A story about a simple gardener with literally no past, educated completely by American television his whole life, gets exposed to society for the very first time. He gets mistaken for a super cultivated, intelligent messiah of the modern times when he responds to questions on the bleak American economy with allusions the cyclical patterns of plant care (sprouts, gets rotten, gets trimmed so that new growth is possible, etc). Everyone starts believing that he’s speaking in allegory, and it goes on and on until he eventually gets touted as a potential candidate for vice presidency.

The story is a fable, a reflection of the absurdity of modern times that has spun so uncontrollably out of whack that society extols what is essentially nonsense as guidance. At least that’s the way I see it.

I consumed this as an Audible (this is the majority of my reading nowadays, with my nights largely spent *gasp* sleeping), and this was narrated by none other than Dustin Hoffman. From a performance perspective, I have to say I’ve listened to better narrators. Sorry, Mr Academy Award Winner.

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