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The Final Solution: A Story of Detection by Michael Chabon

In The Final Solution, Michael Chabon brings back an elderly Sherlock Holmes, although he never mentions him by name and refers to him as "the old man." The great detective is 89-years old, retired, and content to just take care of his bees. It's 1944 and one day he encounters a boy with a parrot. The boy is a mute Jewish refugee from Germany and the parrot speaks in a mysterious series of German numbers. When a man is murdered where the boy is lodged and the parrot disappears, the game is afoot. Holmes wants to solve the mystery, not just to find the murderer, but to reunite the distraught boy with his parrot. Michael Chabon presents a version of an elderly Holmes hampered by age at the end of his life juxtaposed against the life of a boy in the early stages of his life, with the evil of Nazi Germany and its "final solution" as a back drop. The Final Solution has received mostly positive reviews with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch saying, "What ultimately distinguishes The Final Solution isn't its intellectual pleasures but its acute emotional insights. In particular, Chabon offers a vividly human Holmes, opening an illuminating window on the detective's interior life that Arthur Conan Doyle kept firmly shut and curtained."
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Seattle Times review by Stuart Eskenazi

New York Times review by Deborah Friedell

Village Voice review by Andrew Lewis Conn

January Magazine review by David Abrams

New York Magazine review by Jennifer Howard

Michael Chabon
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