The Final Solution (Paperback)
A Story of Detection
Harper Perennial, 9780060777104, 160pp.
Publication Date: November 1, 2005
In The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, prose magician Michael Chabon conjured the golden age of comic books, interwining history, legend and story-telling verve. In The Final Solution, he has condensed his boundless vision to create a short, suspenseful tale of compassion and wit that re-imagines the classic 19th-century detective story.
In deep retirement in the English countryside, an 89-year old man, vaguely recollected by the locals as a once-famous detective, is more concerned with his bookkeeping than 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 grey 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 at once more prosaic and far more sinister?
Though the solution to this last case may be beyond even the reach of the once famed sleuth, the true story of the boy and his parrot is subtly revealed to the reader in a wrenching resolution to this brilliant homage. The Final Solution is a work from a master story-teller at the height of his powers.
About the Author
Michael Chabon is the bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Moonglow and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, among many others. He lives in Berkeley, California with his wife, the novelist Ayelet Waldman, and their children.
Praise For The Final Solution: A Story of Detection…
— The New York Sun
“A profound pleasure.”
— New York magazine
“Delightful…and deceptively profound...Chabon shows his greatness.”
— Louisville Courier Journal
“Simple and startlingly sad…Chabon has created a minor masterpiece.”
— Hartford Courant
“A haunting novella.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Brilliant and unswervingly entertaining.”
— The Forward
“The writing is everything that Chabon’s fans expect--gorgeous, muscular, mildly melancholic…wonderfully executed.”
— Baltimore Sun
“Packed with gorgeous writing…a knockout. You’ll be done before you know it. Then you might well read it again.”
— Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Michael Chabon, is, simply, the coolest writer in America.”
— Christian Science Monitor
“Chabon’s writing here is elegant and limber…[The Final Solution] is a little mystery story with big ideas.”
— San Francisco Chronicle (Best Books of 2004)
“A knockout…you’ll be done before you know it. Then you might well read it again.”
— Denver Post
“Watching Chabon skillfully zigzag between literary and genre is half the fun of the book…refreshing.”
— Miami Herald
“Exuberant…the real mystery is how Chabon managed to fit so much hope and humanity into such a brief tale.”
“Infused with a graceful, elegiac atmosphere…wrought with innovative construction, glittering with epiphany…remarkable.”
— Buffalo News