The Final Solution
Other cover for ISBN 9780007196036.
In retirement in the English countryside, an 89-year-old man, vaguely remembered by villagers as a once famous detective, is more concerned with his bees than with the outside world.
When a young boy called Linus Steinman enters the old man's life, he is surprised and oddly touched. The boy, an escapee from Nazi Germany, is mute and acco...more
The Final Solution is set in England in 1944. It begins with an eighty-year old bee keeper who sees a young boy with a parrot on his shoulder walking alongside train tracks. How much menacing power the word train evokes in a 1940s setting is brilliantly conjured up in this image. We quickly discover this boy is a Jewish refugee and refuses to speak. His parrot however does speak. It recites sequences of German numbers. Some think these are Nazi ...more
I've met both Michael and Ayelet several times --as they are both great voices here in the Bay Area and in the Jewish Community.
The charm of this book was that the old man seem to be able to see himself through the young mute child. The parrot is interesting in this story -as it 'seems' to ca ...more
(view spoiler)[ And let this be a lesson to me to *not* read a bunch of Goodreads reviews. (She types in a Goodreads review.) What Chabon does masterfully in this novel is place the horror of the Holocaust co ...more
Set during WWII, the scene opens with an elderly detective we believe to be Sherlock Holmes (it is implied, but the detective is never named!) He is now retired ...more
Yep. It's that unphenomenal type of lit that was in actuality a contract agreement between lauded Pulitzer Prize winning author and publishing house. Well, yeah. This fulfills its primary duty indeed: it takes up space on a bookshelf. It is another title to place under the writer's list of titles.
At 131 pages, you know that this will be a clear cut elementary "story of detection" paint-it-by-numbers-t ...more
Unfortunately, it doesn't work for me. Chabon's gift for long, eloquently crafted sentences and his predil ...more
Michael Chabon’s novella The Final Solution takes place in Sussex in 1944, in which an unnamed, octogenarian beekeeper – who on ...more
This story, one of many spin-offs of the Sherlock Holmes literary legacy, is set in 1944, when the legendary detective is 89 years old, still sharp as a tack, still inhaling an extraordinary amount of tobacco, but creaking a bit at the bones. England is at war, and Holmes is now a bee-keeper having retired from his profession as a consulting detective. There is a murder at the vicarage (sounds like ...more
The language is astounding as usual for Chabon. The style "an expert piece of literary ventriloquism" (via The Village Voice) ...more
It’s 1944, and 9-yea ...more
I don't know if anybody else would agree with me that this is a children's ...more
It's official, I've entered senility. Read this book without realizing I'd read it already just 3 YEARS AGO!!! I'm done for. Packing it in.
Very short book - a novella? Decent writing. Could've completely done without any reference to Sherlock Holmes - Sherlock was always a mystery, someone seen from the outside, so reading his thoughts is neither comfortable or believable. I realized that I did not want to know what he was thinking! The story itself, though, was good. My favorite part wa ...more
I picked it up solely based on the title and was handsomely rewarded for doing so. While I try not to put spoilers in these notes, I will say that a big part of my scoring this a "4" instead of a "3" has to do with one of the characters. The appearance of certain person of detection fame instantly had me into the story. This quite possibly is the oldest age that the character has ever been written into a tale and Chab ...more
The idea of a Dark Knight Returns style Holmes is a good one, as is the idea of using him as a metaphor for the more "civilized" Victorian World's incomprehension of the evils of the modern one, with even it's greatest mind unable to wrap his head around just what is going on. After all what's a murderous Pussy Cat have on the systematic extermination of an entire race? It's frankly kind of astou ...more
But I think a reader needs to ask: why write such a book? If this is entertaining, then so is the whimsy and cuteness in "Murder, She Wrote" or the delicate fake nostalgia in Merchant and Ivory films.
Late in his life, someone asked Ezra Pound to write a preface to his first book of poems, published when he was young. The early book was called "A lume spento" -- the p ...more
The book is fine,but for me the prose was laboured. I thought it was too clever for the material on hand and that it never flowed. I now get the double (triple) entendre of the title.
I will try Chabon again & hope with more deeper themes with the eru ...more
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