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The Golem and the Jinni Audiobook

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

4.4 (8388 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jennifer Chapel Hill, NC, USA 10-19-15
    Jennifer Chapel Hill, NC, USA 10-19-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Touching"

    Touching story of two individuals struggling to find meaning in their own lives, in a world not their own. Finding friendship and camaraderie together. That they are a genie and a golem add interest and a touch of fantasy to an old theme.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cici 10-19-15
    Cici 10-19-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    28
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    "very good"

    engaging. didn't want to put it down. strong characters. I think I will remember it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Candace L. Lewis fort worth, tx 10-18-15
    Candace L. Lewis fort worth, tx 10-18-15

    ayahstar

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    2
    1
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    Story
    "Loved it"

    I loved this story. It's been a long time since I listened to a book and felt so satisfied by the ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timeviewer 10-18-15
    Timeviewer 10-18-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    69
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    "lost interest half way"

    Interesting start and good storytelling, but I lost interest about half way. Love this narrator (GG has a great voice and inflections), but for this story I think a female narrator might have been a great fit. Will complete book at a later date.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana New York 10-18-15
    Diana New York 10-18-15 Member Since 2013

    literature prof

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful wonderful book"

    The story was sensitive and touching and the narration was excellent. This is a lovely book - highly recommended!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lotusphoto Red Hook, NY USA 10-17-15
    Lotusphoto Red Hook, NY USA 10-17-15 Member Since 2001

    Buddhgal529

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    2
    1
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    "beautifully written!"

    very imaginative and beautifully written book! Complex and satisfying. supernatural and human. Enjoy it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zan Ashland, OR 10-17-15
    Zan Ashland, OR 10-17-15 Member Since 2006

    Love novels, love to laugh.

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    Story
    "Interesting but a little slow."

    This is a fantasy, of course and there were some sweet parts. It's an interesting idea but was slow for my tastes which made the book even longer than its nearly 20 hours.
    George Guidall does an amazing job as always. His voice is unique in my opinion. He changes his vocal quality that seems like sharpness to portray different characters. It's subtle but effective.
    If you want to read a book about a golem, read "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay". I believe it won a Pulitzer and I found it much more engaging. But I am a big fan of Michael Chabon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah E Branson EUGENE, OR, US 10-15-15
    Sarah E Branson EUGENE, OR, US 10-15-15 Member Since 2014
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    19
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    "Wonderful"

    I liked the way the author mingled the back stories throughout the main story, deepening our knowledge of each character. The characters themselves were multidimensional and interesting. The narrator was, unsurprisingly, amazing!
    I hated to see the book end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah 10-15-15
    Deborah 10-15-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fable and history artfully merged"

    I enjoyed the mix of Hebrew and Arabic fables set in early 20th century New York. Fascinating characters, well-drawn settings, and unexpected plot twists kept me engaged to the end. Narrator's voice is very low and gruff with fewer variations in style and timbre than my favorite narrators, but his delivery was effective overall.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dloc 10-13-15
    dloc 10-13-15 Member Since 2009

    dloc

    ratings
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    "Well done"

    Enjoyed everything about this book and the performance. The stories for both the golem and the jinni at the end seemed a little rushed to me, still I highly recommend this book.

    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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