I'm kind of lukewarm on this one. My dad read it when it first came out and loved it, and I've been meaning to read it ever since. Then several other friends recommended it as well, but I think they oversold it.
The story is certainly inspired. I love alternate history novels but there aren't too many of them out there, and the majority that I've come across have been of the "Nazis won the war" variety, which this is a nice variation on. Still, I found it lacking. The plot was a bit hard to follow at times (or maybe I'm just dense), and I found the conclusion to the mystery extremely underwhelming. Maybe I would have appreciated this novel more if I were more in touch with my Jewish culture and heritage, or if I cared at all about chess. Still, I loved the flavor of the story -- I mean, there are Chasidic mobsters! Chabon's use of Yiddish words to enhance the text is done very well, and has inspired me to learn more Yiddish. (My grandfather would be so proud.)
Like, but not love.