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
A unexpected chick flick that was just as unexpectedly enjoyable. Creative concept and good character development.
Downside - slow moving beginnings. But by the middle of the book I was enthralled.
Was a bit boring
Good description of times...
Not much character development
I'm a bit disappointed
Starts well but bogs down until almost the last 5 chapters. Maybe if there is a second it will be better
Photographer, nature & water geek, music lover, book fiend.
This is a book I had relegated to the wish list for that "someday" I'd want to take a chance on it...I'm so glad the day came & now anxiously look forward to another book by Helene Wecker. As for Mr Guidall, he is undoubtably among the best in the business. I always feel like a book is in masterful care when he narrates. Highly recommend The Golem & the Jinni!
I loved listening to the narrator and hope to find more books he's recorded. Have a beautiful voice, and did a beautiful job distinguishing between characters and infusing each voice with meaning unique to that character.
The story was very creative and detailed. I loved the combination of cultures and locales. Since a golem is just a machine, and the jinni is a creature a fire, at times they seemed too petty and too human, with the predictable unfaithful reckless man and the timid obedient woman. Getting past this stereotype, it's an imaginative and unpredictable story.
I really liked it. I kept reading the reviews and didn't think it would be for me, but I was looking for something different and decided to give it a shot. I'm really glad I did. The way the plot built was very interesting and I loved the ending. I would like to see a sequel.
The narrator was perfect too.
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