Saturday, October 23, 2010

Show Me 5 Saturday: The Final Solution by Michael Chabon

From That's A Novel Idea and Find Your Next Book Here
The Final Solution: A Story of Detection (P.S.)

1 book I read: The Final Solution: A Story of Detection

2 words that describe the book: Detective fiction

3 settings where it took place or characters you met:

Setting: England

The 89-year-old Detective: It's never fully said, but it's very obvious that this once-famous detective-turned-beekeeper is the Sherlock Holmes of legend. He still retains much of his mental acuity and deductive reasoning, but loses a lot of the quirks that made him so interesting in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's canonical works.

Linus Steinman: A 9-year-old mute whose past includes seeing some hideous things. When his parrot pet disappears, it's up to the Detective to find out what happened and what's made Linus lose his speech.

4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it:

I liked Chabon's writing. I've never read anything by this Pulitzer Prize-winner, but his prose is the stuff of legends. He's a master of the clever turns of phrase and immense vocabulary.

I liked that the mystery centers around a set of numbers that could be anything: A code, a math problem, a phone number. I don't know why this was so intriguing to me, but I think I enjoy it most when the mysteries in books are a little more brainy and a little less whodunit.

I didn't like the way Chabon basically ruined all that was good about Sherlock Holmes. This may sound harsh, but I have a HUGE fond spot in my heart for the eccentric detective (I'm also not a fan of Robert Downey Jr.'s portrayal of him, but that's another story for another day) and I don't like seeing the things that once made him so interesting just gone. Sure, he's older and retired, but he should not lose the ability for witty repartee that made him so intriguing in the past.

I liked that Chabon wrote an entire section of the book from the parrot's point of view. It was, in my opinion, the most charming part of the book. I wish there would have been more of it!

5 Stars or less for your rating?

I'm giving the book 3 stars. I was just disappointed in this one. It would've rated higher if Sherlock Holmes hadn't been so lame.

The Whys and Wheres: Library

Challenges: Read 'n' Review Challenge; Take Another Chance Challenge (Challenge 11: All in the Family)


Jan von Harz said...

I love the Show Me Five posts. Great job and good review.

Jenners said...

I "discovered" Michael Chabon this year and am in love with him because of the exact reasons you stated ... he seems to have every work in the English language at his fingertips and he knows how to use them!!!

I don't have any real fondness for Sherlock Holmes so I'm sure I won't have the same problem with this book. Read more Chabon ... he's awesome!

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