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
I listened to the book, read by George Guidall, and liked it very much. It's a very entertaining story about how two fantasy beings come to live and meet in turn-of-the-century New York City. I enjoyed the skillful interweaving of the characters' stories and backstories.
Narration was very good, and story was interesting, although i had to relisten to some parts to understand what was going on..Overall the plot was entertaining,but not in an action movie special effects kind of way.
I really enjoyed listening to this book it had me intrigued right from the start and it kept me interested throughout the whole thing. it is really something different in regards to the storyline and I think that's what intrigues me most about it. I would highly recommend you put this on your must listen to list
This book is unique -- the setting feels authentic, the writing is lovely, the characters reflect the human condition deeply, the magic is different and not overdone, there is plenty of plot, and George Guidall is the perfect reader. I didn't want it to end.
Hello, I'm a Seattle native, former ESL teacher and Spanish interpreter. I'm into photography, mycology, nature, camping, art and music.
This is a rich and captivating tale of two creatures out of myth, impossible, dangerous, magical creatures who find themselves washed up on the shores of a growing America along with thousands of other immigrants.
In New York City, a golem finds herself alone and adrift when her master dies aboard ship, minutes after waking her for the first time.
At the same time, a Syrian tin smith begins to repair an antique copper vessel, brought in by a neighborhood cafe owner, when Pow! A Djinni appears. After a thousand years in this vessel, he has no idea where (or when!) he is, and has no recollection of being trapped.
This book had me hooked from the start. It goes between ancient and modern times, between Jewish and Arabic traditions, it's fascinating and beautiful. At its heart, it's about the humanity of two creatures who aren't human at all.
What a delight. Well voiced, The Golem and the Jinni was a constant flow of "So even as not to be a page turner. However, so well written that even when one closes the book, one is still left in the story". So touching is this story. I felt transported to a place, time and people that only a "storyteller" could bring to life.
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