You don’t know how difficult this is for me, but I really and truly did not care for this book. You must keep in mind that I’m a big Michael Chabon fan, I’ve even gone so far as to say he IS America’s greatest contemporary author. But, The Final Solution simply did not ignite a spark for me on any level.
The Final Solution is a mystery story set in the United Kingdom during WWII, but I found the mystery about a missing parrot and a murdered traveler rather uninteresting and unimportant. Furthermore, Chabon’s characters, which usually jump off the pages at me and shake my hand, did not inspire a connection whatsoever. His two main characters, an old, retired detective, and a young, mute, boy who escaped the Nazi’s, while dynamic in concept, did not translate onto the paper like other Chabon characters have done in the past.
The Washington Post, New York magazine, and the New York Times all gushed over this novelette (among many, many more), but it didn’t do much for me. I didn’t even find myself interested in structure or style, which is usually something I can find redeeming in any work I read.
So, while I urge you to check out Michael Chabon if you have not done so already, I wouldn’t recommend starting with this book.