We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
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.
Regular Price:$33.07
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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 (2335 )
5 star
 (1222)
4 star
 (767)
3 star
 (246)
2 star
 (65)
1 star
 (35)
Overall
4.3 (2157 )
5 star
 (1127)
4 star
 (670)
3 star
 (264)
2 star
 (66)
1 star
 (30)
Story
4.5 (2156 )
5 star
 (1410)
4 star
 (572)
3 star
 (136)
2 star
 (23)
1 star
 (15)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Rodrigo Braz Urbana-Champaign, IL 02-17-14
    Rodrigo Braz Urbana-Champaign, IL 02-17-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pretty good, a bit too long, missing something"

    The book describes a 1899 world in which Golems and Jinnis actually exist. It does a good job at making that interesting and believable, and also paints a good picture of the historical time. It is quite poetic at times.

    The main characters are a little shallow, a little flat (the Golem more than the Jinni). I expected to see some sort of spiritual quest, some development in which they learn how to cope with their own nature, some greater significance in their actions, but the story follows more like a sequence of haphazard events, although it does get a little better at the end.

    At points the books is too long and slow. I love long books but in this one there were parts in which nothing much was actually happening, to the point that listening to it felt a bit like work.

    The narrator performance is very good; he gave very distinct voices to each character and he had this unusual cadence that made his sentences very interesting.

    I am still glad I read it but I was expecting a really top-notch book given all the raving reviews.

    POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD:

    Even though there is a suggestion all along that the Jinni and the Golem will fall in love, there is no romance chemistry in between them. The only thing they share is being mythical creatures in 1899 New York and they *do* have a lot of *friendship* chemistry, but the idea that they would fall in love was very unconvincing to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cher Holt-Fortin Central New York 02-17-14
    Cher Holt-Fortin Central New York 02-17-14 Member Since 2013

    grinchymom

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic Fantasy"
    If you could sum up The Golem and the Jinni in three words, what would they be?

    Fascinating. Well-wriiten. Satisfying.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Golem and the Jinni?

    Too many to list. The book is full of arcane information, good characters, and an excellent plot.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter and Katherine Flagstaff, AZ, United States 02-16-14
    Peter and Katherine Flagstaff, AZ, United States 02-16-14 Member Since 2012

    Adventure and suspense please!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable listen"
    Any additional comments?

    I'm a fan of George Guidall as a narrator. This performance was even better than some of his others. The story was an engaging character study with a touch of magic. At its heart it is an unusual and believable love story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jazmin burnaby, bc, Canada 02-11-14
    jazmin burnaby, bc, Canada 02-11-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Book!"

    I was skeptical about this book at first but wow I didn't need to be! It is a great story the kind I often look for with a nice dose of the fantastic mixed with a real life timeline. Grab yourself a copy I am sure you will enjoy it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marjorie Santa Rosa, CA, United States 02-07-14
    Marjorie Santa Rosa, CA, United States 02-07-14 Member Since 2010

    I enjoy literary fiction with character depth and psychological exploration. I am in my 50s, work in psychology, and love the outdoors.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    156
    49
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It Has Potential"

    This book was narrated well though the reader's voice, at times, seemed awfully slow. I found that the author got into too much extraneous detail which left me feeling bored and, sometimes, lost. The story includes many characters and it was difficult to track who was who. There were parts of this book that I enjoyed very much but then it would wander off into some long and tedious side-story during which time I would get lost and wonder what the heck and who the heck the author was writing about. This book is creative in its use of mystical creatures who live out human lives in the early 20th century of New York City. Overall, there were many good ideas here but the story did not hold my interest throughout and I found myself wishing it would come to an end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frederick L. Chambers Plano, TX United States 01-30-14
    Frederick L. Chambers Plano, TX United States 01-30-14 Member Since 2010

    Book of Days

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Did not disappoint!"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Golem and the Jinni?

    The collision of characters at the end of the book. Brilliantly done.


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

    A believable New York immigrant accent. His narration sounds as if different characters are played by different people.


    Any additional comments?

    I found myself as enthralled with this story and its characters as I have when reading some of the great literature classics. It's just that elegant. I can't believe this is a first novel. But then again how incredibly inspiring that it is.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Troy, Missouri, United States 01-25-14
    Robert Troy, Missouri, United States 01-25-14 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Urban Paranormal with a curveball"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the aspect of the Golem and the Jinni learning to live in the city, their entire line of development as characters and the background information on many side characters was very well done and made this book a nonstop read through... listen through?


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

    For me, it was the proper pronunciation of names and places. Many times I have read a series only to get to see a movie or listen to an audio version and find out I had mispronounced many peoples name.


    Any additional comments?

    Attention to detail is a very big strong point of this authors style, so if you are looking for a book you could literally sink your teeth into, then try it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terri Lake Zurich, IL, United States 01-25-14
    Terri Lake Zurich, IL, United States 01-25-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    14
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Speechless!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Golem and the Jinni the most enjoyable?

    The author paced the novel in such a way that, like upon finishing the the first course of a delicious 7-course meal, was satisfying but left enough of an appetite that I eagerly anticipated the next course.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Golem and the Jinni?

    "You can read minds?" Quickly she shook her head. "Nothing as certain as that. Fears, desires. Needs. If I'm not careful, they can overwhelm me..."


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

    With perfect tone and dialect, he narrates each character voice with an exquisite and exotic beauty that hypnotizes the listener transporting them into the story itself; an unseen witness standing just outside its pages yet close enough to experience the events as they unfold.


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

    The Golem, because in so many ways her character parallels human nature at its finest on one end of the spectrum and at its most terrifying on the other.


    Any additional comments?

    By far this is the best novel I have listened/read since Stephen King's novel "Carrie" back in 1983! However, I'm not comparing similarities between the two novels (they're more different than they are alike), but about who I consider to be "Game Changing". authors. Stephen King, (a Trailblazing Novelist) broadened the previous perception of the narrowly-defined, Horror genre by giving it an "Extreme Genre Makeover". His introductory novels "Carrie" and "The Shining" are popularly considered to be the catalyst that ultimately changed the demographic of the Horror-genre audience. His writing expanded and took Horrorbin a whole new direction and transformed it making it appealing to its faithful but small, niche-market and now the newly-won over mass-market. In the same way I believe Helene Wecker has the potential to become the next Trailblazing author starting with her first novel "The Golem and the Jinni". It just may be the springboard that helps expand the horizons of a little-known genre I'd categorize as "Urban-Fantasy".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon Atwater, CA, United States 01-24-14
    Jon Atwater, CA, United States 01-24-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    80
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrific Story-- Fantastic in the truest sense"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This was such a great story with 4 main characters whose lives intermingled and effected one another in the most entertaining way . . . suspenseful but not overdone. This was a great listen.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Golem and the Jinni?

    The Jinni creates something in the story that is a visual marvel--- in listening to the story, his creation seemed real to me. Awesome.


    What about George Guidall’s performance did you like?

    The narrator did a terrific job of distinguishing the voices without overdoing it. The accents were there enough to separate the speakers, but no so much to intrude on the story. He really brought the book to life.


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

    The Jinni would be the one you'd take out for a fun night, the Golem if you were in a deep, introspective mood.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is incredibly entertaining. I cared about the characters and wanted the best for them. Now that the story is over, I still want to know what they're up to and how things are going. . .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Langsen Sarasota, FL USA 01-22-14
    Bruce Langsen Sarasota, FL USA 01-22-14 Member Since 2004
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mythical Creatures Come to Life in early 20th cent"
    Where does The Golem and the Jinni rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I've "read" books since my early years and only once in a while comes a book so good, so entertaining that I would add it to my top 10 of all time and this is one. Wow. Certainly among the most creative narratives I've enjoyed. This may the first review I've written since I began on Audible years ago and I confidently say you will absolutely not be disappointed.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The interaction among the characters and cultures portrayed draws you into a world that at once existed in the early 1900s of NYC and one that never existed except in Ms Weckers imaginative mind.


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

    Both the Jinni and the Golem are extraordinary creatures with human attributes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 111-120 of 182 results PREVIOUS111121319NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.