This review is from: This Is Where I Leave You (Hardcover)
I suppose on the one hand this is a 'Jewish' book-- in the sense it utilizes elements of 'Jewish life' like sitting shiva as a primary motivation for some plot elements, and family is alot more talky than I imagine in a typical Gentile family. But it isn't a 'Jewish' book in the way, say, 'My Name is Asher Lev' is Jewish--and superior in every way by the way--and the primary effect is what's called 'Lad Lit' in the scenario of a Jewish family. By 'Lad Lit' I mean 'male' literature written primarily for men about 'male issues' involving relationships--as if Tom Clancy wrote about family matters rather than Red October. I suppose the 'original' Lad Lit might have been something like Sci Fi!
The basic premise involves the death of a father, alienated family coming together, and dramedy ensues.
It's very well written, with unique and often memorable descriptions, and well-drawn psychological portraits. There are alot of graphic scenes with attention to visual detail, and pop culture descriptors, which help give it that 'lad lit' feel.
I liked the book, and it was an entertaining ride, but it didn't really add up to much by way of illuminating anything new. The writer spends more time on the surfaces of things rather than their depths. But, maybe people just aren't very deep anymore, either: modern society encourages fleeting experiences more than deep or lengthy ones.