For me, reading this was something like reading a book by Roth (any of his) and something by Chandler (think, his mysteries). The book is definitely a hybrid and starts out similiar to Roth's "The Plot Against America." I guess the Chander slash mystery part explains itself. Chabon, who is known to most for his award-winning "The Amazing Adventures," doesn't disappoint in this quirky mystery. BUT, you don't have to be Jewish to understand or appreciate this work. Set in various setting, including Alaska ("The Frozen Chosen") this book never lets up its pace and you'll be flipping those pages faster than you can say "Another Pulitzer-Prize." A mixture of black humor and angst, it is also reminniscent of books such as Foer's "Everything is Illuminated," or McCrae's "Bark of the Dogwood," though the latter is set in the South and has nothing to do with Jewishness.
For those who might possibly be scared off by the subject matter, let me assure you, the writing is first-rate and accessible to anyone with a brain. Must also recommend to you his first book: THE AMAZING ADVENTURES and the novel MIDDLESEX by Eugenides.