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The Golem and the Jinni Audiobook

The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel

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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

4.4 (8978 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Clayton L. Knoxville, TN 05-21-16
    Clayton L. Knoxville, TN 05-21-16 Member Since 2013
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    "wonderful and unexpected"

    I couldn't stop listening. the reader was excellent and the story was very engaging. yay!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Wcubed 05-21-16
    Wcubed 05-21-16
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    "Just a great story!"

    Just a great story! lots of fun. Some "people" are just meant for each other.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jen ryan 05-20-16
    Jen ryan 05-20-16
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    "jens review "

    great story with interesting characters...and well voiced...enjoyable to listen to right to the very end

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carlos Martin 05-20-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Beautiful "

    An instant favorite, this one I'll keep close to my heart, beautifully constructed characters makes you fall in love with all of them, some more interesting than others for sure, but all of them relatable in their fears and desires.
    The tone of the book kept me on a light sadness, a melancholy perhaps, a feeling that I enjoy very much, so if you like that sort of longing feel, magic and mystery, and above all a good story about human nature, you might want to give this book a try.
    Enjoy <3

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara Findlay, Ohio United States 05-19-16
    Sara Findlay, Ohio United States 05-19-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Take a walk into a whole new world"
    If you could sum up The Golem and the Jinni in three words, what would they be?

    I thought this story was great. It has a lot of components and wonderful characters. I love that the main characters had such depth and compassion even thought they were otherworldly.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I really like the setting each character was in. I love that the Golem was in a Jewish area and the Jinni was in a middle eastern area of New York. I love that the 2 learned so much from each other and had their own stories to tell.


    What does George Guidall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He did an amazing job of really putting you in the story. The voices of each character was amazing. I will definitely listen to this book again.


    If you could take any character from The Golem and the Jinni out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I would take the Rabbi


    Any additional comments?

    This was a top favorite listen :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    m.elizabeth 05-18-16
    m.elizabeth 05-18-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Excellent story"

    A wonderful fairy tale! The reader captured each characters essence in his voice. Couldn't stop listening!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Lorraine valenzuela 05-16-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Instant classic."

    This one became one of my favorites. The story is very simple, but deep and beautiful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue K 05-14-16
    Sue K 05-14-16
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    "Wonderful book!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Golem and the Jinni the most enjoyable?

    I really enjoyed this book! It has all the elements of a good e book - well developed and likable characters, well paced intriguing plot, adventure and romance and a narrator who brought the characters to life. Just a fun enjoyable listen! Bravo to both author and reader!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    J. A. 05-14-16
    J. A. 05-14-16
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    "Come for the story, stay for the gorgeous writing"
    Would you listen to The Golem and the Jinni again? Why?

    Yes; the narrator made each character come to life.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The Golem. The writing echoed the character's own development. So rich and fully drawn.


    What does George Guidall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The tale is...unexpected. I had no idea what the story was about beyond reading the first few lines of the book jacket before I decided to just take the plunge. I was worried it was going to be a fairy or magical world book. It is, but all the characters are grounded in real human beings.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Too many to name. But I will say the last sentence or two were some of the best last lines I've read in a long time.


    Any additional comments?

    For some reason, this book reminded me a lot of The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Such interesting characters and fresh takes on an old story line.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzie Sidney, Nebraska, United States 05-13-16
    Suzie Sidney, Nebraska, United States 05-13-16 Member Since 2011

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Love this book!"

    A story beautifully told. I didn't want this magical story to end! Thank you George Guidall for telling me another story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Bibliophile
    Germany
    6/21/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating magical tale"
    What did you like most about The Golem and the Jinni?

    „The Golem and the Jinni“ is one of those rare books that completely draws you into its world. In her first published novel Helene Wecker creates a magical setting, beginning at the turn of the century in Poland and then she brings New York and its inhabitants to life. Combined with old Arabian and Jewish folk tales, she had me hooked until the last page was read – at the same time wishing for a magical book that would never end.

    Two mystical beings live among humans, trying to survive without being notice, blend in but not lose themselves. Chava (= life) is a golem and was created by rabbi in Poland who liked meddling with the dark arts, is “curious and intelligent”, as her master had requested. Ahmad is a fire jinni who was trapped in an old copper flask, released by chance in New York but is still bound by an old spell.

    Both do not really fit into human society and often feel lonely, especially at night when nearly everyone around them is asleep. Surrounding them is a colourful mix of all classes of New York’s society at that time.

    Chava was created to serve, to please her master. Unfortunately he already died on the voyage to New York, or maybe fortunately for her? She herself is never certain, because her unusual intelligence and perceptiveness for human needs put her into a permanent vicious circle. There is one episode when she tries to find out what “money” is, as this must be more important to humans than everything else….

    And this explains one of the reasons why I was so fascinated with this book. It is a moving tale of two outsiders who can never really fit in. Who look at our human society from a totally different angle. Who must make their way in a world totally foreign to them, even more than to all the other immigrants coming to New York. Both are very different from us humans and in some ways not so very different at all. They could live forever – but they want to do so? Chava yearns for a master, the jinni for freedom. She was made of clay, feels cold to the touch, he was created of fire and has a fierce temper, too.

    The other figures show other facets of human life, a kind old rabbi, a vicious magus, a young woman from New York’s high society, a bedouin girl and her father… The tale of each figure is told with utmost sensitivity, letting all of them come to life and stay in my memory for a long time.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    Some elements reminded me of the books by Deborah Harkness who also expertly lets her magical beings move in our human world, creating characters that seem like real persons after a few chapters.

    “The Golem and the Jinni” is one of the best stories I have read in a long time, with magical and oh so human characters, letting me walk the streets of a long vanished New York and wishing them all the happiness in the world. A magical, moving, sometimes humours tale. I hope Helene Wecker will continue writing and look forward to reading her next novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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