Being There (1971)- Jerzy Kosinski
Verdict: Read it!
Chauncey gardins for a wealthy old man. He has his whole life. That’s all he knows about his life or anything really, minus the fact that he understands gardening in a basic sort of way and that he watches television. He’s seen maybe two human beings in his whole life. When the old man dies, Chauncey is left homeless without identification or knowledge of the world. However because he interacts with people as he remembers people on television would, people perceive him differently and he soon takes the world by storm, through one hilarous misunderstanding after another. Kosinski relishes in his critique of modern culture. And the reader will love it.
The book is even slightly better than the Peter Sellers film adaptation, though that is extroardinary in its own right (Kosinski wrote the screenplay for that too). Kosinsky is precise with his language. He never seems to use a single word beyond what he needs, and yet he also seems perfectly at ease, and therefore at times Kosinski’s phrases maintain a certain beauty. There maybe a scene or two that some will morally disapprove of, but they are easy enough to shrug off in the weight of the hilarity of the entire novel. Read it!