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The Golem and the Jinni Audiobook
The Golem and the Jinni
Written by: 
Helene Wecker
Narrated by: 
George Guidall
 >   > 
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

4.4 (8838 )
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4.6 (8143 )
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4 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Nakeya 12-28-15
    Nakeya 12-28-15 Member Since 2015
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    17
    1
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    Story
    "Only halfway finished & I adore this book!!!"

    I am new to the Audiobook world and this is the first book that I've listened to that was not recommended. I am so glad that my first self choice was this book - I absolutely adore it!!! I love the relationship between these two characters and all of the wonderful people that become a part of their lives. I will not only re-read this book, I will recommend it to others. All of these characters have been so beautifully crafted and have truly captured my enjoyment and my heart 😊

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy C. 12-28-15
    Andy C. 12-28-15 Member Since 2013
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    7
    4
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    "Love this story!"

    This story had very in depth characters and history...lived the narration and couldn't wait to listen to it each day. Will look for more from this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-27-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great story"

    This was a great story. very engrossing. The narrator was fantastic. An effortless read. Awesome!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emma Reisch 12-23-15
    Emma Reisch 12-23-15 Member Since 2015
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    18
    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "Slow to start but hard to let end"

    The story took a while to really pick up, but once it did I didn't want it to end. It is subtle and slightly sad, but beautifully written. The narration was excellent and easy to listen to. I picked this up on a whim, knowing very little about the story and nothing about the author, but I'm glad I added it to my library.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terrance 12-16-15
    Terrance 12-16-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    86
    5
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    "Absolutely transporting"

    Magically suspends the harsh realities of today allowing the listener to enter this amazing story. And!!, George Guidalls narration is beyond perfect

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven 12-15-15
    Steven 12-15-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    44
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    0
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    "Elegant and Dreamlike"

    Achingly beautiful and full of the nostalgia of imagined times past. It has the mesmerizing authenticity and lush vividness of the best of dreams. This is one to be savored.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-13-15

    MariusRex

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    2
    2
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    "An intriguing story."

    I enjoyed the story; it had a fair balance between the Old World mythology of the protagonists and their struggles adapting to the 'New World' of life in New York City.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gabriella Fiore 12-12-15 Member Since 2015
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    12
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    "Great reading, wonderful story telling"

    I was dubious about the book's topic at first, but the story is told so well that I changed my mind. I did not want the story to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jimmy Rosen Oradell, NJ United States 12-11-15
    Jimmy Rosen Oradell, NJ United States 12-11-15 Member Since 2014
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    4
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    "Wow. Rent it!!!"

    Super creative and fun. One of the best historical fiction books ever. It was a leap of faith at first but the plot hit home. In the end it was charming and reflective on many rich cultural levels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam M. 12-10-15
    Adam M. 12-10-15 Member Since 2015
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    5
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    "Exquisite world and moving characters"

    Helene Wecker has created an amazing world of magic and the real. The setting of late 19th Century New York is painstakingly painted for the reader, and her supernatural characters felt all too human. The story languished in the middle, but a thrilling conclusion washed that away.

    George Guidall is excellent as the audiobook narrator. Sometimes his female voices were a little too airy, but overall his performance dripped with pathos.

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