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Cockpit (Kosinski, Jerzy) Paperback – April 7, 1998

3.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kosinski has received numerous awards, including the American Academy of Arts and Letters award in Literature, the National Book Award, the Best Screenplay of the Year Award, and the American Civil Liberties Union First Amendment Award.
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Product Details

  • Series: Kosinski, Jerzy
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press; Reprint edition (April 7, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802135684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802135681
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,125,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It's hard to decide which of Kosinski's vignette-based novels is the best, since they're all fairly similiar, and passages are interchangeable. There are slight varitations in theme - the protagonist of The Painted Bird is a child, and in Blind Date you have an investor, while in The Devil Tree you have a wealthy young man, but on the whole each one is as good as another. Considering it, though, I think that Cockpit is the best overall, with some of the most interesting vignettes and the most consistently good writing, and one of the stronger protagonists. It's also the only Kosinski book which I can really say shocked me - usually, I'm prepared for the horrible things which his characters do to each other, remembering that it is Kosinski even when things seem to be going well, but there's an episode in Cockpit involving the elderly which took me by surprise. I reccomend this as an introduction to Kosinski's work, or, if you only read one, make it this.
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Format: Paperback
Kosinski's portrait of an ex CIA agent with a knack for controlling others is disturbing, diabolical, and ultimately entertaining. Tarden is both socially and sexually disfunctional, yet somehow we can all identify with him. Kosinski creates an obsessive depressive character with Gatsby-esque personal drive. Well worth the read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jerzy Kosinski is an amazing writer with a life's stroy to match. Would recommend all but the Hermit of 69th St and Passion Play. He wrote Being There (both the book and screenplay), and Painted Bird is a classic, and semi-autobiographical.
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Format: Paperback
When you are in the cockpit you have total and absolute control over hundreds of lives. You can do with them what you wish. If you choose, you could end every life or just give them a good scare. In Jerzy Kosinski's novel "Cockpit" the hero - Tarden - is always in the cockpit, always in control. This book makes you realize how easy it is for a total stranger to, through a few mundane manipulations, have your entire life in his hands. A chilling thought indeed.
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Format: Paperback
I came across a used hardcover and decided to give it a try, having really enjoyed The Painted Bird and Being There. Right away the writing seems somewhat tired and worn, with the same vignette style as The Painted Bird but without the freshness or vigor. It picks up after a while, making you think it will eventually cohere with some twist or another, but it doesn't. The author relies on the shock value of some scenes intended to disturb the reader, but they don't come off as all that impressive -- somewhat stale, especially today with modern understandings of sociology and sexual psychology that incite boredom at Kosinski's numerous revealed dysfunctions. Some of the stories are genuinely compelling, but tainted by a sadistic mind that is not at its most creative. I'm sad to say this is one of the most horrible novels I have ever read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I give this my highest recommendation. The anti-hero to end all anti-heroes. Social terrorism at its most pernicious. Imagine if the patient before you in the doctor's office had tainted all the tongue depressors in the treatment room while the nurse left to get the doctor. Imagine if the cleaning woman at your office went through your waste basket very, very, very carefully after hours. You get the idea?
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Format: Paperback
I've used the opening of this darkly prophetic novel--told from the POV of a social terrorist interested only in exploring the depths of human evil like Dostoevsky's Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment--in countless workshops and seminars to illustrate that your protagonist's "sympathetic" nature doesn't mean we LIKE him. 'Sympathetic' in its Greek root suggests that we can "relate to," or "suffer with," a character and from the haunting opening lines that's exactly what causes us to turn the pages--a mixture of horror and our own voyeuristic tendencies.
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Format: Paperback
This book is excellent in that it shows how one man can intimately weave his way into others lives without them knowing it, and alter their lives; somtimes joyously sometimes catastrophically. The more you read this book, the more you identify with the psyche of Tarden, the book's hero. Tarden's life will make anyone's life seem boring and mundane compared to his. International travel, spying, deception, sex, and a 200 lb. horseshoe. Read it and see what I'm talking about.
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