Published by Grove Press on September 15, 1999
A modern classic now available from Grove Press, Being There is one of the most popular and significant works from a writer of international stature. It is the story of Chauncey Gardiner - Chance, an enigmatic but distinguished man who emerges from nowhere to become an heir to the throne of a Wall Street tycoon, a presidential policy adviser, and a media icon. Truly "a man without qualities," Chance's straightforward responses to popular concerns are heralded as visionary. But though everyone is quoting him, no one is sure what he's really saying. And filling in the blanks in his background proves impossible. Being There is a brilliantly satiric look at the unreality of American media culture that is, if anything, more trenchant now than ever.
Being There is a book that I had to read for one of my classes at school. It was for a comm class, so of course the reading wasn’t that bad. The story follows Chance, who basically spent his whole life in a garden. He soon becomes a national hit, after the man who lives in the garden’s home dies.
This book, though it may not seem like it on the surface, is actually pretty funny. There are so many ridiculous things that happen that you can’t help but laugh while you’re reading it. My roommate took the class with me, and she read it before me. While she was reading it, she’d literally start laughing and tell me that insane things were happening in the book and that I’d understand more when I read it.
Being There is also a super short book, so you really fly through it when you’re reading it. If you’re looking for a quick, funny read this summer, then I’d definitely suggest picking this one up.