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'The Final Solution'

by Janet Carson October 3, 2021 at 4:22 p.m.

The Final Solution by Michael Chabon was our book club discussion today. The short novella was luckily for me only 146 pages long. Our book club had very different opinions on this book--from a low of 2 to a high of 5, but no one ranked it the same--2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4.5 and 5, which gave it an overall 3.4 rating. It was not light reading, but it was quick. The basic premise was good, a murder mystery with an old retired, famous detective (think Sherlock Holmes) and a 9 year old mute boy with his missing parrot. While the retired detective is never mentioned by name, from other books I had read, I took the detective to be Sherlock Holmes from the beginning. Some of our members didn't put that together until our discussion today, or when they read other reviews.

It was described by one member as a quirky book, and while one person loved it, several of us did not, and some enjoyed it. Only one of us (the 5 ranker) will read anything else by this author (a previous book The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay -658 pages long, won the Pulitzer). I had a list of 30 words that I didn't know--8 in the first two chapters! I reread the first chapter twice thinking perhaps I was muddled the first go round. It wasn't much clearer in the second reading.

I at times questioned my intelligence. Obviously Chabon has a much larger vocabulary than I do, and likes to use it. He is also a fan of similes and metaphors. In reading reviews of his other works, wordiness is often mentioned. In fact, in one of his other books, he had a 12 page sentence, which was a monolog of another parrot--he must like parrots.

I read for enjoyment. Having to look up words or reread sentences to try to glean their meaning is not enjoyable for me. But it can be for others. I often find that when we read a book that generates very diverse opinions, it leads to better discussions.

In spite of this not being my favorite book, I had a great time together today with wonderful friends and food.

I love reading different things--sometimes I find new favorites, sometimes not.

In addition to this, I read some of my favorite authors this month--several more Cork O'Conner mysteries by William Kent Krueger and I finished all the Paul Doiron books and have to wait for another to be released. I read the latest Vince Flynn book and loved reconnecting with Mitch Rapp. I also read a Jonathan Kellerman mystery. An interesting book a friend recommended was Hamnet.

It started out saying it was a plague book, but it was actually historical fiction on the life of William Shakespeare. I found it fascinating.

What have you read that you enjoy?


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