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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written
Every sentance in this short book has been lovingly crafted - it is short but a joy to read and very clever. The references to the great detective are affectionate and in keeping with the man himself as you might imagine him to be.
If your average formulaic detective story is junk food, this deserves a couple of Michelin stars. Don't read it if you just want...
Published on 3 Feb 2006 by Misty

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well-written, but a little disappointing.
This is an appealing idea, and an intriguing mystery at first, but it suffers from an unconvincing resolution: the solution comes too quickly, and too simply, making it unconvincing and a bit of an anti-climax.
Published on 10 Jan 2006


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, 3 Feb 2006
By 
This review is from: The Final Solution (Paperback)
Every sentance in this short book has been lovingly crafted - it is short but a joy to read and very clever. The references to the great detective are affectionate and in keeping with the man himself as you might imagine him to be.
If your average formulaic detective story is junk food, this deserves a couple of Michelin stars. Don't read it if you just want another vapid potboiler!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a novel, not a short story., 19 Jun 2006
By 
DubaiReader "MaryAnne" (Rowlands Castle, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Final Solution (Paperback)
Although highly recommended by a friend, this book didn't quite hit the mark for me. It seemed to lack purpose and the ending was kind of cute, but not satisfying.

The story revolves around Linus,a young Jewish refugee and his close companion, a grey parrot. When the parrot is stolen, the plight of the lonely young boy touches a spot in an old, retired, detective's heart, and he agrees to search for the bird.

I loved the idea of the parrot who spouted endless lists of apparently random numbers and the old man, an ageing Sherlock Holmes in his retirement cottage. But there didn't seem to be a lot else.

It was an easy read, but would have benefitted from being longer so we could really get involved with the characters.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent Holmesian pastiche, 3 Mar 2006
By 
A. Craig "Amanda Craig" (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Final Solution (Paperback)
It's clever to combine the flourishing sub-genre of Holmesiamn pastiche with the Holocaust, and Chabon makes a good fist of it. The retired beekeeeper is now utterly forgotten and painfully ancient (Chabon describes the ravages of time wonderfully) but the mystery about the parrot who speaks long sequences of numbers is less satisfying. More a long short story or novella, it will leave some readers frustrated. Having said which, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finale, 16 Jan 2006
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E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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It takes an immense amount of either skill or arrogance to attempt a Sherlock Holmes "final case." And of the two, it seems that Pulitzer-winning Michael Chabon has the former. "The Final Solution" is a smaller, more intimate story about Holmes' waning years.

The time is around World War II. An old man, once a famous detective, now sits on his porch and contemplates his beekeeping -- when he sees a young boy with a parrot walk nearby. The boy, Linus, is intelligent but mute; his parrot Bruno just rattles off numbers in German. The boy is placed with the local clergyman, Mr. Panicker, who is struggling with his faith, and his unhappy wife.

Then Bruno goes missing and the lodger Mr. Shane is found dead. Since it's unlikely that the parrot killed him, the police zone in on the Panickers' ne'er-do-well son. Then they call on the elderly detective -- not just to solve the murder, but to find the parrot, which they believe is reciting secret German codes.

"The Final Solution" is more a story about people than a mystery, although the whole subplot about the parrots is very intriguing. But Chabon focuses on the story of Holmes -- who is never specifically named -- as he ponders his twilight years, and the changes in the world around him. It's a bit saddening to read about the legendary Victorian detective in WW II, out of sync with the rest of the world.

Chabon also changes his usual writing style. In most of this book, he adjusts his style to be more like Arthur Conan Doyle's -- much more erudite, intelligent and mellow. There's one chapter that is pure Chabon (from the POV of Bruno the parrot), but the rest of the time, it feels like a much older book than it is, complete with vicarages, WW II spies and relics of the nineteenth century.

The old man is clearly Sherlock Holmes, even though Chabon never mentions him by name. Perhaps it's to keep from treading on literary holy ground. But he brings the right mixture of warmth and crabbiness to "the old man." He also gives depth to the supporting characters like Mr. Panicker (who is having a crisis of faith) and his wife (who has a crush on their lodger). Even Bruno gets well developed.

While "Final Solution" isn't too great as a mystery, it's an excellent novel, and a poignant tale of Sherlock Holmes' final case. Definitely worth checking out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well-written, but a little disappointing., 10 Jan 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: The Final Solution (Paperback)
This is an appealing idea, and an intriguing mystery at first, but it suffers from an unconvincing resolution: the solution comes too quickly, and too simply, making it unconvincing and a bit of an anti-climax.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing read, 1 July 2011
By 
S. E. Walsh (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Final Solution (Paperback)
Previous reviwers have said a lot about the plot, so I'll confine myself to saying that it was an intriguing, well-written story, which I read in one sitting and really enjoyed. I have since bought copies to give as presents, and several of my friends have borrowed and enjoyed mine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bittersweet "final", 31 Dec 2005
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Final Solution (Hardcover)
It takes an immense amount of either skill or arrogance to attempt a Sherlock Holmes "final case." And of the two, it seems that Pulitzer-winning Michael Chabon has the former. "The Final Solution" is a smaller, more intimate story about Holmes' waning years.

The time is around World War II. An old man, once a famous detective, now sits on his porch and contemplates his beekeeping -- when he sees a young boy with a parrot walk nearby. The boy, Linus, is intelligent but mute; his parrot Bruno just rattles off numbers in German. The boy is placed with the local clergyman, Mr. Panicker, who is struggling with his faith, and his unhappy wife.

Then Bruno goes missing and the lodger Mr. Shane is found dead. Since it's unlikely that the parrot killed him, the police zone in on the Panickers' ne'er-do-well son. Then they call on the elderly detective -- not just to solve the murder, but to find the parrot, which they believe is reciting secret German codes.

"The Final Solution" is more a story about people than a mystery, although the whole subplot about the parrots is very intriguing. But Chabon focuses on the story of Holmes -- who is never specifically named -- as he ponders his twilight years, and the changes in the world around him. It's a bit saddening to read about the legendary Victorian detective in WW II, out of sync with the rest of the world.

Chabon also changes his usual writing style. In most of this book, he adjusts his style to be more like Arthur Conan Doyle's -- much more erudite, intelligent and mellow. There's one chapter that is pure Chabon (from the POV of Bruno the parrot), but the rest of the time, it feels like a much older book than it is, complete with vicarages, WW II spies and relics of the nineteenth century.

The old man is clearly Sherlock Holmes, even though Chabon never mentions him by name. Perhaps it's to keep from treading on literary holy ground. But he brings the right mixture of warmth and crabbiness to "the old man." He also gives depth to the supporting characters like Mr. Panicker (who is having a crisis of faith) and his wife (who has a crush on their lodger). Even Bruno gets well developed.

While "Final Solution" isn't too great as a mystery, it's an excellent novel, and a poignant tale of Sherlock Holmes' final case. Definitely worth checking out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 8 July 2014
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A compelling and nuanced story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Final Solution, 7 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Final Solution (Paperback)
Initially I found the style of the writer difficult but after persevering with it, I found it an enjoyable read. Not quite the conventional Holmes but an interesting and specualtive idea of how the great detective would spend his twilight years. Might give other Chabon books a try.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read., 29 Sep 2013
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Loved this book. A great story set in Holmes's retirement, an intriguing stopry interspersed with fascinating hints of the past stories of canon. A brilliant new take on Sherlock Holmes with all the fascination of the old.
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The Final Solution
The Final Solution by Michael Chabon (Paperback - 3 Mar 2008)
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