GoodReads Summary: 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.
It's a somewhat funny story. It's also short. But I can't stop thinking "What the heck I just read?"
I've seen a lot about the movie (with the same name) but I've never seen the movie itself. So I read the book.
But the story... I don't know if Kosinski just wanted to write something funny or was trying to make a statement about the higher classes. 'Cause Chance is dumb as a brick, but after being hit by a car of a high society socialite, suddenly he's elevated to the point of being the smartest, most desired person around.
So you see the kind of comic situations you could do with this. But also, because everything sees him as a super smart persona, you can't stop thinking that, maybe, Kosinski wanted to point how being rich isn't synonymous of "being intelligent".
And, because you never know where the author is pointing at the the story ends rather abruptly, I can't really say it's a good story.