Books: Playing It by Eye

BEING THERE by Jerzy Kosinski. 142 pages. Harcourf Brace Jovanovich. $4.95.

Few first novels have been embraced with such praise and sympathy as Jerzy Kosinski's The Painted Bird—a taut, savage story of a stray city boy's brutalization by Middle European peasants during World War II. Three years after it was published in 1965, Kosinski won the National Book Award for Steps, a montage of violent and sadistic episodes perceived with an almost fetishistic precision. Being There is a change of pace, a tantalizing knuckle ball of a book delivered with perfectly timed satirical...

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