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Ron CharlesThat weird incongruity between highbrow/lowbrow humor is only part of what makes Bowl of Cherries so irresistible. Kaufman's comic imagination, his ability to mix things scatological and historical, political and philosophical, reminds one of those young'uns Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller. The ridiculous slapstick in Assama is straight from Woody Allen's "Don't Drink the Water," and a cameo appearance by a goofy President Bush will take you back to "Dr. Strangelove." But Kaufman seems to have more heart than those '60s satirists; his precocious young hero pulls on our sympathies even as he trudges on through absurdity…Kaufman turns away from the cynical finale that easily could have finished Bowl of Cherries. Maybe something about surviving 90 years of disastrous human history has given him the courage to scrape out a little hope. Yes, there's a mushroom cloud—all of Judd's bosses have learned to stop worrying and love the bomb—but that's not enough to keep this young man down. Or Kaufman. He's reportedly working away on a second novel. Please, nobody distract him.
—The Washington Post