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.
the story is entirely engaging and the narrator is absorbing. I couldn't 'put it down'. I can't
wait for the next novel.
"A hint of magic"
Magical, real, exciting
The Golem - she was so much more than just a golem. She took the features she was given and made them her own. It was lovely to really understand what was happening inside the characters' heads and to move beyond the stereotypes.
Our magical past lives on
This was a truly magical book and I was sad when it ended. The development of the characters was wonderful and Wecker cleverly links together all the strands of the story.
"An unusual story"
I found myself really caring for these nonhuman characters and rooting for them in the unsolvable situation that they find themselves in. This is a really unusual premise and very well realised. George Guidall's reading of the story does it justice and kept me listening and eagerly anticipating being able to pick up the tale again whenever it was necessary to stop.
"Utterly charming, very gently-paced love story"
Almost unbelievable that this is a debut novel.
It's a charming, captivating, gentle love story set in immigrant communities of 19th Century New York. (As a by-product, it is one of the best "New York" novels that I have read, and I've read quite a few.)
Wecker has mixed together mysticism with New York life in a way that has the reader completely believing in the unlikely characters in the title. The plot moves at a gentle speed that allows you to savour the characters and the gentle, thought-provoking allegorism substantiates the plot.
Cannot wait for her next!
The narration was excellent. Full of character and depth. The narrator made this story for me. Brilliant.
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