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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.
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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

4.3 (4566 )
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Story
4.6 (4183 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Amy OGDEN, UT, United States 02-10-15
    Amy OGDEN, UT, United States 02-10-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    24
    7
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    Story
    "Slow moving by good story."

    I felt like this book was very slow moving and then bam! All the action took place at once. It was a great story about acceptance and I'm glad I listened to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam 02-10-15
    Sam 02-10-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Magical Yet Grim"

    I enjoyed the narrator.
    The writing was well done, although sometimes meandering.
    The story was solid and dynamic.
    The mood was magical yet grim.
    It was vary long.
    One of my favorite audio books, being up their with enders game.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean MADISON, WI, United States 02-09-15
    Sean MADISON, WI, United States 02-09-15 Member Since 2011
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    15
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful, in every sense of the word."

    If this weren't a first novel, this book would be incredible. Well researched, meticulous in detail, masterful storytelling and characterization. It's rare I read something that transports me like this book did. Absolutely brilliant; I am in mourning for the world set out here, now that I have finished.

    The narration and voicework by George Guidall brought this incredible book to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessie 02-09-15
    Jessie 02-09-15
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    REVIEWS
    26
    3
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    Story
    "Great setting in New York"

    Great take on immigrants to New York. More of her work will be added to the TBR pile. More please.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lankford 02-09-15
    Lankford 02-09-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Fabulous"

    New author, the life to live of a golem a ginni and of course all the rest of us. I am telling all it is a must read / listen. Narration ....perfect!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Levine 02-07-15
    M. Levine 02-07-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    28
    17
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    0
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    Story
    "Interesting and surprising"

    Plenty of action and complexity, as well as memorable characters. I enjoyed the cultural and mythical references. Great narrator. I was sorry to see it end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Sorenson LOGAN, UT, US 02-06-15
    Elizabeth Sorenson LOGAN, UT, US 02-06-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Exceeded expectations"

    You know when there's that book that you've been "meaning to read" for some time but didn't get to it for a while? And when you did, you thought, "well, that's it then huh?" This book was not like that at all for me. It's been in the corner of my mind for ages but it met and exceeding any expectation I could ever have. I really enjoyed the narrator and I think he was a perfect choice for this book. He did a great job portraying the already well-written characters. It was a great story but it also contained deep meaning and some fun history of America. Well worth the wait.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer ORLANDO, FL, United States 02-05-15
    Jennifer ORLANDO, FL, United States 02-05-15 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    49
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    "engaging and entertaining"

    I haven't listened to such a good book in a very long time. believable characters and excellent writing mixed with a stellar performance!
    highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    caleb holler CHICAGO, IL, US 02-04-15
    caleb holler CHICAGO, IL, US 02-04-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "slow burn"

    it is a bit of a slow burn, but a wonderfully told story. The narrator does the same great job he usually does, but his pacing might be a little annoying for some.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie K. Parker 02-04-15 Member Since 2011
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    16
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    "Loved it!"

    Loved the character development. Very creative idea-well done indeed.
    Highly recommend it to any true lover of this genre.







    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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