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The Final Solution
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Brilliant novel by the much-acclaimed Michael Chabon, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. 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 re-imagines the classic 19th-century detective story. In deep retirement in the English countryside, an 89-year-old man, vaguely remembered by locals as a once-famous detective, is more concerned with his beekeeping than with other people. 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 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 is the work of a master storyteller at the height of his powers. / A beguiling and brilliant work of fiction from one of the world's leading writers -- Pulitzer Prize winner, Michael Chabon. / Clever, and intriguing, 'The Final Solution' is a murder mystery story which centres around a mute nine year old refugee from Nazi Germany and his companion -- an eccentric African grey parrot. / 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay' has sold in excess of 44,000 copies in the UK and 'The Yiddish Policemen's Union' has already sold over 7,000 copies in hardback to date. / To be promoted alongside the rest of Chabon's repackaged backlist.

About the Author

Michael Chabon is the author of two collections of stories for adults, 'A Model World' and 'Werewolves in their Youth'; a children's book, 'Summerland'; the novels 'The Mysteries of Pittsburgh', 'Wonder Boys' (which has been made into a film), 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay' (winner of the Pulitzer Prize); and the short story 'The Final Solution'. His most recent work is 'The Yiddish Policemen's Union'. He also co-wrote the screenplay for Spiderman 2. His short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, GQ, Esquire and Playboy. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their four children.

Reviews

Initially published in the Paris Review in 2003, Chabon's first significant adult fiction since his Pulitzer-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (2000) continues his sophisticated, if here somewhat skewed, appropriation of pop artifacts-in this case one of the greatest pop artifacts of all, Sherlock Holmes. As fans of the great detective know, after retirement Holmes moved from London to Sussex, where he spent his days keeping bees. Chabon's story takes place during WWII, when Holmes is 89 and intent on bee-keeping only-until a mysterious boy wanders into town. The boy is remarkable for two reasons: he's clearly intelligent but is mute, and he keeps a parrot that mouths, among other utterances, numbers in German. When the parrot is stolen, local cops turn to Holmes, and he's intrigued enough to dust off his magnifying glass and go to work. The writing here is taut and polished, and Chabon's characters and depictions of English country life are spot on. It's notable, though, that Chabon refers to Holmes never by name but persistently as "the old man"-notable because it's difficult to discern a reason other than self-conscious artistry not to name Holmes; the scenes in the novel that grip the strongest are those that feature Holmes, and more credit is due to Conan Doyle than to Chabon for that. Neither a proper mystery nor particularly fine literature, this haunting novella, for all its strengths, lies uneasily between the two and will fully please few fans of each. (Nov. 12) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

'It takes a steady hand to appropriate the world's most famous detective, but Chabon has chutzpah to spare.' Independent 'Chabon gives the reader a tantalising taste of what he's capable of.' Andrew Roberts, New Statesman 'Chabon's gift as a writer is the fatal facility to make anything pleasant in the telling, and "The Final Solution" is further evidence of that talent.' Daily Telegraph 'His thoughtful, intricate prose pays handsome tribute to all those 'tec stories and sleuth yarns!"The Final Solution" is an evocation of the addictive properties of detection and an elegy for its glory days.' Word Magazine 'On par with the best, most tightly written sections of Chabon's last novel, the marvelous "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay"!exceptional.' New York Times Book Review 'One of the best-written American novels published this fall! an experiment by a master.' The New York Sun

Adult/High School-Roused out of retirement, a former detective, now a beekeeper, is identified only as "the old man." The story opens in the summer of 1944 when he sees a boy with a parrot on his shoulder walking along the train tracks. The boy is Linus Steinman, a refugee from Nazi Germany who lives with Mr. and Mrs. Panicker and their grown son in their boardinghouse. Though Linus doesn't speak, his parrot, Bruno, recites strings of numbers in German, as well as bits of poetry and snatches of songs. When a boarder is murdered and Bruno is kidnapped, the local police try to engage the beekeeper in helping them solve the crimes. He agrees to help, but only to find the bird. Thus begins his last case, his "final solution." The double meaning of the title gives subtle layers to the story and reveals the man's deep compassion for Linus. Chabon's writing can be both startlingly clear or laced with intricacies and detours. One chapter is told from the point of view of the parrot. Readers will enjoy the realistic characters and lush descriptions, and, best of all, trying to figure out the mysteries. Even the identity of "the old man" is a mystery until they figure out the clues for themselves-the tweed suit, the pipe, the beekeeping, and the sharp mind that can only belong to one famous sleuth.-Susanne Bardelson, Kitsap Regional Library, WA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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