GENTLEMEN OF THE ROAD
By Michael Chabon
Illustrated. 204 pages. Del Rey/
In what’s become something of a pattern for him, Michael Chabon has followed up a big novel with a small one — this picaresque tale set along the Silk Road, where, in the medieval Jewish empire of the Khazars, there has been a coup. (In an afterword Mr. Chabon says his original title for the book was “Jews With Swords.”) In it both Mr. Chabon and his characters — a pair of wanderers named Zelikman and Amram — have, as he says, “gone off in search of a little adventure.” And found it.