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