Curmudgeonalia
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August 17, 2005

The Final Solution

Michael Chabon – ISBN: 006076340X

This young man is an ingenious writer, having made his name with the Pulitzer Prize winning Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. This book is both a murder mystery, and a quest for a missing bird, tied up nicely and succinctly.

In his new offering he is clever with his plot twists. More, he writes beautifully. The Readers Digest (back when it was worth reading) used to have a section titled “toward more picturesque speech.” In this Chabon qualifies . . . in spades. He is a delight to read by virtue of his presentation as well as the content of his fertile mind. Example:

“The old man had been stoking and sipping at his pipe . . . the smoke of his tobacco . . . hung in the room as thick as sheepshearing and made arabesques in the harsh slanting light from the window . . . the vines of smoke twisting in the sunlight.”

This tale is placed in England near the end of WWII. He weaves in a mute child with a number quoting pet parrot--stolen because British intelligence suspects that the numbers have serious import. The thief is murdered, and an ancient, long retired homicide detective (now a bee keeper) involves himself in the quest to find the parrot for the child (an escapee from a German death camp.)

Complicated by an obsequious minister, his unfaithful wife and a peculiarly nasty son, the yarn spins thru many cycles. Each is more twisted than the reader first thinks, and none of the suspicions pan out as one might anticipate.

It is great and quick read at only 130 pages.

You’ll love this guy. I have already ordered the rest of his books for my shelves.


Posted by respeto at August 17, 2005 4:35 PM