Jerome Charyn is a gifted and sensitive young writer who has yet to achieve what the publisher's blurb claims for him, an ""original vision."" His collection of short stories, especially The Man Who Grew Younger. echoes the tradition of Gogol, Babel, and Singer. Going to Jerusalem. his third novel, operates in a parallel field, the tragicomic, slightly whimsical, slightly picaresque world of the early Malamud and Bellow, with a few stopovers in the terrain of Roth and Salinger. The hero, Ivan Farkas, is a thirty-one year old instructor at a military school in Brooklyn, a quasi-angelic, quasi-rabbinical fellow, thin and red-bearded, with touches of lechery, social disaffection, and epileptic fits. Despite these imposing credentials, or perhaps because of them, Ivan never really emerges as anything but another wounded, absurdist soul on another bumbling search for love in our frenzied and alarming land. Charyn manipulates a complex plot with muted overtones, principally centered around a string of cross-country matches between the boy prodigy, Van, shepherded by Ivan, and that genius of the game, Baldur Kortzfleisch, a haunted former Nazi. Different characters pass in review, as does the American scene, all creating a funny, sad little commentary on contemporary ambiguity, gracefully and inventively managed.