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The Final Solution: A Story of Detection…
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The Final Solution: A Story of Detection (P.S.) (original 2004; edition 2005)

by Michael Chabon

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,9971271,904 (3.39)119
Member:andreablythe
Title:The Final Solution: A Story of Detection (P.S.)
Authors:Michael Chabon
Info:Harper Perennial (2005), Paperback, 160 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:literary, mystery, illustrated, read in 2012, 12 in 12 Challenge

Work details

The Final Solution. A Story of Detection by Michael Chabon (2004)

  1. 20
    The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Runkst)
  2. 10
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (sturlington)
    sturlington: Both inspired by Sherlock Holmes.
  3. 00
    Briar Rose by Jane Yolen (aulsmith)
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  4. 01
    The Italian Secretary: A Further Adventure of Sherlock Holmes by Caleb Carr (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Modern additions to the annals of the greatest detective ever.
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» See also 119 mentions

English (122)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  English (127)
Showing 1-5 of 122 (next | show all)
A short novella, this is Chabon's tribute to the stories of Conan Doyle. The protagonist is never named, being referred to only as 'the old man', but is described as an 89 year old former consulting detective, now retired and keeping bees on the Sussex Downs. The inference is clear. Chabon fashions an intriguing wartime story about a mute boy, his missing parrot, and the series of strange German numbers the parrot recites.

For all the old man's deductive powers he never uncovers the mystery of those numbers. It is left to the reader to fit the pieces together because we know, from history, what the old man does not.

An enjoyable read for any fan of Sherlock Holmes. ( )
  David.Manns | Nov 28, 2016 |
A clever idea and a good first chapter... and that's it. Goes nowhere and does nothing after that. ( )
  5hrdrive | Nov 2, 2016 |
Near the end of WWII in the English countryside, a boy is walking along the railroad tracks with a parrot on his shoulder. An old man looks up from his bee-keeping journal to see that the boy is dangerously close to touching the live "third rail" of the tracks. The old man drags is 89 yr old frame out of his chair and out of his house to stop him. He discovers that the boy doesn't talk and the parrot is talking, but only in numbers, and in German.

Thus begins a quaint little novella that brings the old man (who the locals know once used to be a detective of some renown) into a mystery with nazi spies, a missing bird, and secret codes. Is the old man up to the challenge? The game is afoot.

I'm jaded because Chabon is one of my favorite authors, but this was a fun little read. When I first picked it up, I thought it was the basis for the movie; Mr. Holmes. But I was wrong, at any rate, it was a very enjoyable read.

8/10

S: 9/25/16 - F: 9/30/16 (6 Days) ( )
  mahsdad | Oct 16, 2016 |
Maybe only 3.5 stars; I can't really decide. It's certainly different from Kavalier & Clay. For one it's about 1/5 the length! A word of advice - don't read this as a page-turning mystery, but rather savor the grace, ideas and characterizations. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
I knew when I picked up this book that it was a Sherlock Holmes tribute, but somehow I’d managed to forget that fact by the time I started reading it. I’m kind of glad I had… I came to the story without expectations, and very much enjoyed it. It might disappoint some readers who expect a more traditional mystery, but I found this tale of an orphaned Jewish refugee in England to be both clever and moving. When the boy’s pet parrot goes missing, an elderly, retired detective is motivated to take up the case. Suspicions reach up to the highest levels and may involve government secrets.

Finishing up the book – I missed my subway stop, AND I cried at the end. That’s a recommendation.
( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 122 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Chabonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ryan, JayIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
York, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The distinction's always fine between detection and invention. - Mary Jo Salter
Dedication
To the memory of Amanda Davis, first reader of these pages
First words
A boy with a parrot on his shoulder was walking along the railroad tracks.
Quotations
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
The Final Solution is a 2004 novel by Michael Chabon. It is a detective story that in many ways pays homage to the writings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and other writers of the genre. The story, set in 1944, revolves around an unnamed 89-year-old long-retired detective (who may or may not be Sherlock Holmes but is always called just "the old man"), now interested mostly in beekeeping, and his quest to find a missing parrot, the only friend of a mute Jewish boy. The title of the novel references Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story "The Final Problem," in which Holmes confronts his greatest enemy, Professor Moriarty, at Reichenbach Falls, and the Final Solution, the Nazis' plan for the genocide of the Jewish people.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060777109, Paperback)

Retired to the English countryside, an eighty-nine-year-old man, rumored to be 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? Or do they hold a significance both more prosaic and far more sinister?

Though the solution may be beyond even the reach of the once-famous sleuth, the true story of the boy and his parrot is subtly revealed in a wrenching resolution.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:23 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Retired to the English countryside, an eighty-nine-year-old man, rumored to be 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? Or do they hold a significance both more prosaic and far more sinister?… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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