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Extended Audio Sample Bowl of Cherries: A Novel Audiobook, by Millard Kaufman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (574 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Millard Kaufman Narrator: Bronson Pinchot Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2010 ISBN: 9781455190331
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Kicked out of Yale at age fourteen, the precocious Judd Breslau takes a questionable job from the eccentric Phillips Chatterton, a bathrobe-wearing Egyptologist working out of a dilapidated home laboratory. There, Judd falls for young Valerie Chatterton, who quickly leads Breslau away from his research and into, in order: the attic, a Colorado equestrian ranch, a porn studio beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, and a jail cell in southern Iraq, where we find him awaiting his own execution while the war rages on in the north.

Written by a ninety-year-old debut novelist, ex-Marine, two-time Oscar nominee, and co-creator of Mr. Magoo, Bowl of Cherries rivals the liveliest comic novels for sheer gleeful inventiveness. This is a book of astounding breadth and sharp consequence, containing all the joy, derangement, terror, and doubt of adolescence and modern times.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[A] smart, zany comedy…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…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.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “[An] irresistible comic novel, a bawdy, original coming-of-age tale. Kaufman’s screwball sensibility, relish for language, gleeful vulgarism and deep sympathy for his characters make this novel an unprecedented joyride…Kaufman’s book is shot through with worldly wit and a keen sense of the humor in human foibles.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “The ninety year old’s inquisitiveness and tenacity shine brightly within the novel, in which he weaves words more impressively than a spider spins a web…Kaufman’s writing summons the ghosts of Vladimir Nabokov and Franz Kafka.”

    Rocky Mountain Chronicle

  • “[Kaufman] packs a lifetime of experience and wisdom into this story…Kaufman’s delight in thrusting Judd from one antic scenario to another is contagious. The audio production is excellent, and Bronson Pinchot carries the story’s many twists and turns with aplomb; his voice is deep, and listening is a pleasure. The story’s globe-trotting transitions well to listening, and listeners will appreciate the narration’s clear use of just-different-enough voices for different characters.”

    AudioFile

  • “Reminiscent of Christopher Moore’s fantastic fiction, this work includes quite a cast of quirky characters and unbelievable sequences of strange events that keep the story intriguing and perhaps also illustrates the turbulence of growing up.”

    Library Journal

  • A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2007

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jes | 2/20/2014

    " In short, it reminded me of Tim Robbins' style. I didn't much care for it. But I know a few people who would... And I'll be passing the book that direction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adrien | 2/14/2014

    " This might be what would have happened if Holden Caulfield had grown up in the 90s. It's fast and twisty; you must pay attention. Oh and it's funny as hell. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gina | 2/2/2014

    " A wonderfully absurd first novel by a 90-year-old about the "backward" province of Assama in Iraq that might be both the cradle and the hope of civilization. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sick Step | 1/22/2014

    " Good job on writing a book 90 year old dude. You should have set it in the sixties instead of 2004 so it could be a commentary on the war in Iraq. I would have liked it better. People have computers and cell phones now. Nobody uses telegrams anymore. You do have an excellent vocabulary though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alex V. | 1/19/2014

    " It had to go back to the library before I could finish it, but man, this guy had an amazing vocabulary. 90-year-old first-time novelist, creator of Mr. Magoo back way back when, award winning screenwriter - this is the best-written book, from a a language standpoint, I have read in ages. And its about the horrors of war and mundanities of academia and is still funny. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 stillme | 1/18/2014

    " I think I added at least 250 words to my vocabulary reading this. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 emi Bevacqua | 1/11/2014

    " Though I appreciated the author's alliterative genius, and witty turns of phrase... I'm just not a fan of slapstick-y yuk-yuk-yuk kind of humor, and this was just over the top that way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sydney | 11/29/2013

    " Very well-written with a rich vocabulary and a zany cast of characters ... this is definitely a unique story (albeit a little far-fetched). Liking it a lot!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aaron | 11/1/2013

    " Clever and imaginative. Never thought I'd say this, but...too many fart jokes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joe | 10/13/2013

    " Interesting book! Pretty weird too! A lot of it was funny and some of it was close enough to true to be scary. The characters were great and unpredictable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lora | 7/27/2013

    " this is one of the most bizarre stories i've read in a long time. so imaginative. at times i would speed read, but not that often. it moves along pretty well. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dylan | 4/30/2013

    " One of my neighbors left this in the hallway for someone to take, they probably thought it wasn't too important either. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Graham | 7/5/2012

    " I haven't finished this book yet but I'm finding it rather enjoyable -- I'm giving it four stars strictly for the cover art. I may increase this to five stars later... we'll see how it ends. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vanessa Gennarelli | 4/23/2012

    " I like that it's overwritten. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah Menezes | 4/10/2012

    " It's really cool, it's funny and very sarcastic, which I like. Pace felt slow, but worth the read! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Delenn | 1/20/2012

    " Kinda uneven book, but finally got into it towards the end. Predictable, but interesting character studies throughout. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shawn | 10/8/2011

    " Many of the reviews I've read of this book have compared it to Catcher in the Rye, which I don't think is an apt comparison. The protagonist of Bowl of Cherries isn't nearly as insufferable as Holden Caufield and the novel is actually an enjoyable, poop-pun-filled romp through lovelorn adolescence. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Thorn MotherIssues | 7/8/2011

    " Read for book club. It's like a bad Pynchon try, all the excrement and sex without the politics or smarts. Very macho orientation. Just generally frustrating. I was not a fan at all. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Delenn | 4/15/2011

    " Kinda uneven book, but finally got into it towards the end. Predictable, but interesting character studies throughout. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill | 9/14/2010

    " what got me about this book was that it was written by a 90 year old person who created Mr. Magoo. That sealed it for me. I was amazed by this man's clever and imaginative writing as well as his vocab, I was sent to the dictionary several times. I loved the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stephanie | 9/12/2010

    " This novel was very funny at times, and I was enjoying it to begin with, but I lost interest towards the end. The cartoon location and goings on in Coproliabad were too much for me, and the general tone of the book began to wear. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 7/25/2010

    " Amusing in parts; some odd and funny characters but not a compelling plot. Have to admit I was attracted by the idea of a 90-year-old's first novel. Turns out he had done screenplays and TV writing, juts not a novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joe | 5/15/2010

    " Interesting book! Pretty weird too! A lot of it was funny and some of it was close enough to true to be scary. The characters were great and unpredictable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eoin | 5/3/2010

    " 3.5 A surprisingly fun, well-paced, sexy first book. The subject, tone, and voice are very much in the McSweeney's universe, which is surprising from a nonagenarian. I enjoyed all the characters, though slightly cartoonish, and the plot, excepting the end. Worth it for Dawnette. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liz | 3/15/2010

    " from what i remember i thought it was awesome. it is another for me that is a re-read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rocky | 3/6/2010

    " Good job on writing a book 90 year old dude. You should have set it in the sixties instead of 2004 so it could be a commentary on the war in Iraq. I would have liked it better. People have computers and cell phones now. Nobody uses telegrams anymore. You do have an excellent vocabulary though. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Steve | 2/10/2010

    " God love this old guy. I have his picture on the wall of my office. I am inspired that he wrote his first novel at 90. BUT I tried to get into this book several times but eventually had to cast it aside. Sorry Millard! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 1/4/2010

    " Millard Kaufman has an amazing vocabulary and an unusual story to tell and he'll keep you on your toes for this funny, sweet, earthy read. I wasn't a huge fan of the ending, but otherwise it's well worth it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 George | 9/6/2009

    " Enjoyable books. Like some of the reviews mentioned, it was very wordy and used a lot of "big words", but I didn't mind. Certainly had me intrigued to the end. Looking forward to the second novel by Kaufman, who is in his early 90s. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alok | 8/8/2009

    " not very good. some good sentences. "

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About the Author

Millard Kaufman (1917–2009) plunged into World War II on Guadal canal as a member of the US Marine Corps and then made D-Day landings on Guam and Okinawa. He co-created the beloved Mr. Magoo and was twice nominated for screenwriting Oscars.

About the Narrator

Bronson Pinchot has won eleven Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for best narration and was named Audible’s Narrator of the Year for 2010. He received his education at Yale University, which filled out what he had already received at his mother’s knee in the all-important areas of Shakespeare, Greek art and architecture, and the Italian Renaissance. He restores Greek Revival buildings and appears in television, film, and on stage whenever the pilasters and entablatures overwhelm him.