Even if you are not into the sci-fi/fantasy genre you can appreciate this story. It takes an interesting look into how immigrants in the past may have seen the world. It was an elegant mix of humor, sadness and hopes. I really enjoyed it.
History, historical fiction and mysteries are my faves, but a fan of all genres.
I liked it nonetheless, good story well told, would recommend to anyone that doesn't usually listen to fantasy. Has a nice mix of historical fiction with life in the early 1900's in NYC.
Wonderfully human characters and interesting story. Not what you'd expect.
Definitely the djinni
I think it is perfectly named.
I highly recommend it!
This was a challenging novel to make it through. Not only did the story jump around enough to be quite confusing, but nothing seemed to happen or even mean anything developmentally until the end of the second portion.
I felt like I was reading/listening to a novel written to make a minimum word count. Now that I have finished the novel, I feel as though at least half of it could be omitted and it would be a better work.
This was a fun listen. Glad I picked it.
The author did a good job weaving together multiple historic and cultural elements- adding color/interest to the story. In the end, despite it being about two supernatural entities, it was a very human story.
4.5 out of 5 stars
The thread of humanity intertwined throughout the story
When the Golem was debating self destruction related to her nature that may kill.
Helene Wecker writes beautifully in telling this fantastic adventure involving the magic of a Shaman and the existence of fantasy creatures, like the Jinni and Jinnia. The Jinni is composed of fire while the Shaman's creation, the Golem, is made of clay. The qualities these two possess make for a wonderful story as their paths cross in the midst of humanity.
The Golem is the most far-fetched and intriguing character throughout the entire fantasy. Imbued with the ability to perceive the desires and needs of all around her without ever experiencing life, this character also has a superior memory, strength, and can assimilate events, cross-reference, and relate to any situation so she can cope adequately without revealing her true nature. This ability to learn without much of a data base from which to draw, requires someone or some thing to understand and guide her.
This was an imaginative tale about magic set at the height of an era of immigration into New York. The backdrop was interesting and the characters were diverse; Wecker developed each of them nicely and they held my attention. She also did a good job of blending historical fiction and magic so that the parts that were supposed to be real were very real and it was easy to suspend disbelief for the rest. The drives of the characters for power, lust, escape, immortality, and free will were nicely crafted and very relatable, and the descriptions of the neighborhoods of immigrants dealing with a new country, culture, prejudice and identity were done in what I thought were just the right amounts.
My only reason for not giving the story five stars was that it did take a while for the book to really get engaging for me because there's a build-up to each character's story, so it’s quite a bit of background in the beginning before things come together. Also, the narration was fine overall but the narrator has a tendency to start sentences on the same note, and has an accent, which was at times a bit distracting. However, these were minor and not enough to spoil the book. Definitely a good book and worth the listen.
Don't usually make recommendations, but I've really enjoyed, "The Golem and the Jinni." Set primarily in the Jewish and Syrian immigrant communities of New York in the 1890's, this debut novel by Helene Wecker draws on the mythologies of those people. I found it a most unusual "Coming to America" / "Odd Couple" story - an interesting blend of historical fiction and fantasy. The narration is superior. I recommend it as a "beach book" and as great entertainment during travel or exercise. I listened to it while taking my daily walks - and almost always ended up with a couple of thousand more steps than intended.
Divorce attorney needing a break from reality!
First, it was long. Long, long, L-O-N-G. That said, once you start, you cannot stop as you want to know where the characters/creations end up. So the long answer is I don't regret listening. The book was well written, although it was more like walking through each characters life day by day then I would have liked, which contributed to the length of the story.
The book has a number of marked religious references which are deep seated and made me think and be introspective. I am glad I read it, but it is something that I would not buy again or a sequel to. :)