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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

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Performance
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  •  
    26Kldray 04-11-16
    26Kldray 04-11-16 Member Since 2016
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    "AMAZING"

    I loved this Audio Book so much!!!! It became a part of me... I purchased a hardcover copy and followed along with the Audio!!!! George Guidall is A genius with many Voices

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Amazon Customer 04-11-16 Member Since 2015
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    "loved it"

    strong writing, great story, nice performance. very entertaining. not too serious; a fun break from reality while still feeling credible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Tania Papamoa, New Zealand 04-09-16
    Tania Papamoa, New Zealand 04-09-16 Member Since 2011
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    "Loved It"
    What did you love best about The Golem and the Jinni?

    Beautiful story, well narrated. The characters are well developed, as is the sense of time and place. An original story. Didn't want to stop listening.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gia P. 04-07-16
    Gia P. 04-07-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Fantastic narration... Wonderful and original story!"

    Wonderful, original story. You can very pleasantly lose yourself and escape into this one... Don't hesitate! One of the best credits Iv ever spent!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. J. Capwell Buffalo, NY USA 04-02-16
    C. J. Capwell Buffalo, NY USA 04-02-16 Member Since 2012
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    "Fantastic story, I didn't want it to ever end"

    What an amazing and unique story. I was so captivated by all the characters. The book was very satisfying and I love George Guidall's narration. I didn't want the story to end. I wanted to hear more about the fascinating Golem and Jinni exploring their world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Amazon Customer 04-01-16
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    "Just ... Wow! Charming!"

    This is a story I will come back to year after year. The idea of a jinni and golem "immigrants" trying to inconspicuously carve out work-a-day lives in turn of the century New York City, is an intriging storyline in its own right. Despite being supernatural, the hero and heroine are charmingly relatable as they cope with emotional and moral conflicts surrounded and aided by rich and sometimes quirky secondary characters a misfit would want to befriend. The author crafts an intriguing backstory based on factual history of America's immigrant culture and also what seems to be her own imaginitive expansion on mysterious middle eastern folklore that feels satisfyingly plausible. The story's backbone is in the richness of even the most minor characters - somehow they find much joy and achievement despite tragedy and a grueling day to day life.

    Narration is spot on as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Eric Rodriguez 04-01-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Incredible"

    Such an incredible story, and so unique. I fell in love with the characters and I wish I didn't end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    alex 03-30-16
    alex 03-30-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Not at all what I was expecting"

    This is not the type of book I normally read, but it was incredibly well written and that kept me entertained throughout. This was more a story of human nature and what it means to be human rather than your prototypical sci-fi/fantasy novel. The narrator was excellent and I often found myself lost in his portrail of the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Amanda Huffman 03-26-16
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    "Absolute Must-Read"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I most definitely recommend this to anyone and everyone, regardless of genre preferences. I especially recommend this book to lovers of fantasy, legends, myths, and fairy tales. With a beautiful writing style, Wecker recreates turn of the century New York like a masterwork painting with varied and dynamic characters.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the strong characterizations throughout this book. Each character, regardless of importance or presence in the book, was highly unique and identifiable. Wecker's portrayal of each character brilliantly highlights some of the more beautiful and heart-breaking experiences as a human, and the characters in this novel read remarkably well and realistic.


    What about George Guidall’s performance did you like?

    Guidall does a wonderful job narrating this novel; he gives a variety and subtly to each character, successfully amplifying the already strong characterization created by Wecker. The pacing was wonderful, and the overall performance was delightful.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Isobel DuSharm 03-17-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Wonderful"

    A wonderful story well-told. Loved it and have already recommended the book and audiobook to several friends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Bibliophile
    Germany
    6/21/13
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    "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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