REVIEW: The Final Solution by Michael Chabon

by sbh on Wednesday - 13 February 2008

in Reviews

The Final Solution by Michael Chabon

This is my review from “Goodreads”:http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/182669.

The back of this book contains a “PS” section with info about the author and a short interview. In this interview, Chabon defends genre fiction (there is also a list of his favorite genre fiction writers; Raymond Chandler tops that list). I am inclined to agree with Chabon that there is nothing particularly extra good about “literary” fiction that warrants it being placed over and above “genre” fiction.

Because of all of this, I had expected this book to read like a “genre” work — specifically, like a Sherlock Holmes story. It doesn’t.

Michael Chabon is a gifted writer, but The Final Solution: A Story of Detection isn’t anything too special.

What I appreciate the most about this book is the language. Chabon has a great gift for using words. I was particularly attuned to his use of the passive and other taboo or uncommon constructions. He uses them to great effect. Makes me want to write a vehement defense of the passive! Though, generally speaking, it is a good idea to adhere to the principles of William Strunk, Jr.

The Final Solution is most disappointing in its plot, which is why I say that it does not resemble a work of genre fiction in the way I had expected. Overall, I was a little disappointed in the “mystery” and “sleuth” aspects of the story.

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