The book is hilariously funny, though it does have a tendency to drag for a little bit too long and go over the same subjects and dialogue more than once, but that's the price you (sometimes) pay for reading debut novels. Oh well..
Novels dealing with 'Russian' or 'Eastern European' characters (often colorful, drunk and speaking fractured English) have been all the rage for the past 10 years or so. Suffice it to mention Jonathan Safran Foer's
As Amazon interview Shteyngart's held with Omnivoracious podcast editor makes you understand, this is a William Gibson (though he's not writing any SF novels anymore..) meets Lev Tolstoy (though he's never really written any love novels..) meets Jonathan Lethem's Chronic City (not another NY Semi-SF novel!!) sort of novel..
But it's Shteyngart's emotional sincerity, nicely cooped up with a rare Academic-Speech weird appeal that saves this book from total hipster'ness.
VERDICT: BUY IT (cos' it sounds like so much fun!)
More (well, not really.. but still!!) on the subject: Nick Bilton's I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works