If you were bewitched by The Night Circus… If you were mesmerised by A Discovery of Witches… If you were enthralled by Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell… You will be enchanted by The Golem and the Djinni.
Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master, the husband who commissioned her, dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York in 1899.
Ahmad is a djinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop. Though he is no longer imprisoned, Ahmad is not entirely free - an unbreakable band of iron binds him to the physical world.The Golem and The Djinni is their magical, unforgettable story; unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures - until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful threat will soon bring Chava and Ahmad together again, challenging their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.
©2013 Helene Wecker (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
”Set against the vivid backdrop of New York City’s immigrant neighborhoods in the late 19th century, Helene Wecker’s tale of two fabled creatures has the intimate feel of a story handed down from generation to generation” (Deborah Harkness, author of A Discovery of Witches)
”The author makes you care enough about the humanity of these magical spirits to not only see them through to the end but also to regret that you’ve reached the last page” (New York Times)
”A continuous delight — provocative, atmospheric, and superbly paced” (Boston Globe)
”The Golem and The Djinni are among my favourite fictional people” (Washington Post)
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This is a wonderfully, unusual and complex story. One of those where the content is completely unique. It has a melancholy which encompasses a whole box of sadness and dashed happiness. There is a great history that surrounds both of the characters and you can feel the utter sadness and self destructive nature of the Golem, who is totally unable to do anything about her unpredictable personality. The Djinni on the other hand deals with his sadness quite differently and that they both come together in the most improbable manner that they do is what makes this story unique. George Guidall has the perfect voice and probably adds to the whole ambience of the tale which ends as sadly as it begins but it is not a sadness you want to deny yourself. One of the best stories I have read for some time and I would highly recommend it – worth every penny – enjoy.
"Kept me enthralled until the end"
There are some books that I think are ok and I sometimes listen to them on my commute to work and some I can't wait to get back to because I am desperate to know what happens next. This book is most definitely in the latter category. Never mind the commute, I listened to it at home, on the train and in the car and managed the full 18 hours or so within a month. I have always loved Arabian Nights type stories with Djinn so stretching my imagination to include a Golem was not too difficult. The only negative thing I can say about it was I got a bit lost with the Djinni ' s story of what was the past and what was the present but it all fit together at the end. I have a very visual imagination and saw and felt it all. Loved it!!
The Golum and Djinni is within my top ten audio books. I on occasion select a book simply by the interesting title. In this case I really struck gold. By allegory this book succeeds in exploring several human conditions through none human characters. I felt that the experience of being an immigrant, an outsider, and a misfit were very well expressed within a story that has many twists and turns that delight the reader because so often they are not entirely expected
The strength of the book really lies with the two central characters the Dijinni and the Golum. The two strongly represent two often opposing cultures in a gentle and all to human way.
Generally I do not write reviews many of te books I have read simply do not warrent one. This book while completing the story left me wanting more about the lives of these two creatures and where time and life lead them to.
I absolutely loved this. Amazing piece of work for a first novel. Fallen in love with these two characters. Second novel?
"Fairy tale in New York"
Mixing the exoticism of the 1001 nights and East European Jewish lore with the grime of 19th Century New York.
told like a true raconteur bringing the characters to life along with life of Syrian and Ashkenazim communities in New York back in the day.
A good read/listen to get lost into.
"Different and entertaining "
A really entertaining and unexpected story, enjoyed it very much and look forward to the next one by this author
"One of my favourite audiobooks!"
The book is so well written and breathtakingly creative. It twists and turns and yet manages a poignancy to the characters. Absolutely wonderful!
George Guidall was a fantastic narrator. He did all the voices really well and brought the book to life. I can't imagine anyone else telling this story. Highly recommended!
"Remarkable and Memorable"
This really is a most remarkable book. The plot is unique, the characterisations beautiful (not that easy when your two main protagonists are mythical creatures), and the pacing is just right.
Couple this with George Guidall's perfect reading (I just couldn't imagine it read by anyone else), and you have the best audio book I've ever experienced.
I'm sure I'll listen to it again in the near future.
Yes, given enough time lapse I am sure it is like a adult fairytale that you love to hear over again just to sense the characters in the story that you have grown to love.
Everything, vivid evocative descriptive passages, great characterisation, such humanity and warmth and a totally gripping story line. Plus the most brilliant narration you could ever hope for!
The djinni returning to the desert and in particular creating a glass tomb for Fatwah and her father and his sense of the value of the respect his human friends showed in the funerals he attended in New York.
No, I really enjoyed coming back to it as a respite from the "real" world. Having a brilliant audio story running in the background of your every day life is very uplifting.
If Helene Wecker has any more books of this calibre sincerely hope Audible will access them and PLEASE let the narrator be George Guidall!
"Beautifully woven escapism"
A captivating listen! I enjoyed every moment of this audiobook - the engaging characters and the detailed narrative made for a beautifully told story. Well worth a listen!
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