Title: The Final Solution
Author: Michael Chabon
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Genre: Historical Mystery
Source: Personal Copy
Chabon’s writing takes time to grow on you. I have understood this after reading several of his books. Whether it is The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay or The Wonder Boys, or even a short book like this one. The Final Solution, though short is full of sentences that are magnificent, take time to unravel, written in the true-blue Chabonesque style, often one inside the other, like a puzzle waiting to be solved.
The Final Solution is about Sherlock Holmes solving a mystery in the year 1943, at the height of WWII. He is 89 years old and his faculties are all there. A murder and the disappearance of an African Grey parrot is what Holmes has to solve.
I absolutely enjoyed this short book. It was well-paced, sketches out Holmes in the most unique manner at an age – where you see him falter, and those flaws are apparent, but you find yourself cheering for him, nonetheless.
Michael Chabon blends too many things but somehow, they work – whether it is the war, or a child refugee, or the depiction of migrants in the UK, and the subdued racism that is faced by them. The Final Solution is a book that has you on the edge with Holmes, without mentioning the great detective. It is a book about childhood lost, life on the edge of the past and the future, and what it means to not know where you belong.