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The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel | [Helene Wecker]

The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel

Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, 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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, April 2013 - The Golem and the Jinni delivers the glimpses into the past that make historical fiction so satisfying, combined with the power of well-told fantasy. New York at the dawn of the 20th century is a city teeming with life as newly-arrived immigrants find their footing in an unfamiliar land. This cultural melting pot is manifested in the story's two titular characters: the golem, a figure from Jewish myth, and the jinni, a spirit from Arabian folklore. The two creatures - normally bidden to serve human masters -find themselves unmoored by circumstances and with no one to serve. Their chance meeting begets an unforgettable journey through the lovingly-crafted city, and provides an outsider's perspective on both the mundane and transcendent in the human experience. Even if fantasy isn't normally in your wheelhouse, this incredible premise – paired with George Guidall’s performance - is sure to deliver. —Michael, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Finalist, Fiction, 2014

Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, 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.

Struggling to make their way in this strange new place, the Golem and the Jinni try to fit in with their neighbors while masking their true natures. Surrounding them is a community of immigrants: the coffeehouse owner Maryam Faddoul, a pillar of wisdom and support for her Syrian neighbors; the solitary ice cream maker Saleh, a damaged man cursed by tragedy; the kind and caring Rabbi Meyer and his beleaguered nephew, Michael, whose Sheltering House receives newly arrived Jewish men; the adventurous young socialite Sophia Winston; and the enigmatic Joseph Schall, a dangerous man driven by ferocious ambition and esoteric wisdom.

Meeting by chance, the two creatures become 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 menace will soon bring the Golem and the Jinni together again, threatening their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.

Marvelous and compulsively listenable, The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of folk mythology, historical fiction, and magical fable into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.

©2013 Helene Wecker (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (5503 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Shemida 06-08-15
    Shemida 06-08-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Story
    "Great Listen!"

    Narrator was perfect. Story was great. One on those stories I would think about throughout the day wanting to hurry and get to a place where I could sit and listen. I recommend for anyone who likes the not so sappy love story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    maureents 06-08-15
    maureents 06-08-15 Member Since 2013
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    "The magical Golem and Jinni show us how to be human"

    I was very happy I stumbled upon this delightful tale on audible.com. The stories of each the golem and the jinni are full of human joy, sorrow, angst, and desire. These non-human beings show us how to live and love thru their own experiences. The author wove a tale both fantastic and real. I loved the flashbacks and dream sequences woven thru the story. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a character driven plot with a touch of magic and fantasy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Hanover, NH, United States 06-05-15
    David Hanover, NH, United States 06-05-15 Member Since 2004
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    "Who would have expected a love story with this title?"

    I became enchanted with the characters as they grew to understand and appreciate their situation and society.
    The story was a wonderful treat. Mr. Guidall made the compelling story even more engaging.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Morris 06-04-15
    M. Morris 06-04-15 Member Since 2014
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    37
    10
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    Story
    "Good, but lacking in structure"
    What made the experience of listening to The Golem and the Jinni the most enjoyable?

    The characters and places were great. For the first half, I really enjoyed this book. The author writes beautifully.


    Which character – as performed by George Guidall – was your favorite?

    George Guidall is the best. I wish he narrated every book on Audible. I really enjoyed him on this book and Don Quixote.


    Any additional comments?

    The characters didn't seem to have a goal. The book seemed to consist of great characters and interesting places, but the characters just meandered through the book. Near the end I kept thinking, "This has got to go somewhere at some point." I didn't finish it. It ended up just droning on and on, with no point to it. The characters never wanted anything in particular. I think they should have a goal, and the events should keep them from achieving their goal until the very end. I couldn't figure out where any of the acts ended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    awaitinmoonshine 06-02-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    10
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    0
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    "Loved it!"

    This book was intriguing. It held my interest throughout the entire novel. The storyteller was amazing, his voice was smooth and inviting. The story itself was perfect and exactly as I thought it should be, magical and fulfilling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Happy Peter 06-02-15
    Happy Peter 06-02-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    28
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    Story
    "Interesting and inventive"

    Creative story telling. Great narration. I enjoyed the personal journeys of the Golem and the Genie. Their growth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adrienne Exton, PA 05-31-15
    Adrienne Exton, PA 05-31-15 Member Since 2012

    Adrienne

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unique story"
    What did you love best about The Golem and the Jinni?

    Slow to start but worth the wait! A well written book and unique tale.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Agoura Hills, Ca United States 05-30-15
    Amazon Customer Agoura Hills, Ca United States 05-30-15 Member Since 2014

    Linda "Rock ,Paper, Pen"

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    "Mesmerizing, Magical and Mystical"

    Absolutely loved this book. I didn't want it to end. This story was so beautifully written and the narrator was wonderful. There were so many moments in this book. A magical, mystical audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mary 05-28-15
    mary 05-28-15 Member Since 2014
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    16
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    "Unique and wonderful ."

    Great original story- best performance.
    Going to look for more by this duo. Get this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy 05-27-15
    Timothy 05-27-15
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    2
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    Story
    "wish there was more"

    i was not happy with the ending of the book i felt somewhat cheated the narration of the book was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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