Friday, March 14, 2008

The Final Solution by Michael Chabon

First sentence:

"A boy with a parrot on his shoulder was walking along the railway tracks."


"In the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, prose magician Michael Chabon conjured up the golden age of comic books -- intertwining history, legend, and storytelling verve. In The Final Solution, he has condensed his boundless vision to craft a short, suspenseful tale of compassion and wit that reimagines the classic nineteenth-century detective story.

In deep retirement in the English country-side, an eighty-nine-year-old man, vaguely recollected by locals as a once-famous detective, is more concerned with his beekeeping than with his fellow man. Into his life wanders Linus Steinman, nine years old and mute, who has escaped from Nazi Germany with his sole companion: an African gray parrot. What is the meaning of the mysterious strings of German numbers the bird spews out -- a top-secret SS code? The keys to a series of Swiss bank accounts perhaps? Or something more sinister? Is the solution to this last case -- the real explanation of the mysterious boy and his parrot -- beyond even the reach of the once-famed sleuth?

Subtle revelations lead the reader to a wrenching resolution. This brilliant homage, which won the 2004 Aga Khan Prize for fiction, is the work of a master storyteller at the height of his powers." -- from inside flap

My thoughts:

This was a quiet, contemplative mystery regarding a missing parrot who may know some secret information. While the mystery itself was not that engaging, I did enjoy reading about Sherlock Holmes in his retirement years and how taking care of bees became a solace to him after years of detection.

Date read: 3/10/2008
Book #: 15
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Mystery

ISBN-10: 006076340X
ISBN-13: 9780060763404
Publisher: Fourth Estate
Year: 2004
# of Pages: 131
Binding: Hardcover
LibraryThing Page


Booklogged said...

You made this sound very good. I was surprised when you only rated it 3/5. I'm still going to add it to my TBR list. Thanks for the good review.

krin said...

Hi. Thanks for the comment. I rate most books 3/5 = good. The ratings 4/5 and 5/5 are great and excellent, respectively. It's all subjective, of course.