We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
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.
Regular Price:$33.07
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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 (5847 )
5 star
 (3042)
4 star
 (1949)
3 star
 (644)
2 star
 (151)
1 star
 (61)
Overall
4.3 (5354 )
5 star
 (2790)
4 star
 (1682)
3 star
 (655)
2 star
 (164)
1 star
 (63)
Story
4.6 (5358 )
5 star
 (3535)
4 star
 (1407)
3 star
 (323)
2 star
 (62)
1 star
 (31)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    D. Milbradt 11-03-13
    D. Milbradt 11-03-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Terrific First Novel"
    Any additional comments?

    The setting, character development, human insights, and narrator all made this book a wonderful listen. There was a gentle, penetrating quality which made this book particularly enjoyable after listing to other fantasy novels which contained a lot of violence. A remarkable first novel.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E Wagner PORTLAND, OR, United States 10-18-13
    E Wagner PORTLAND, OR, United States 10-18-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    132
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I fell headfirst into this book"

    You know when you listen to a book and the colors seem richer? Almost like you accidentally walked into a Van Gogh painting, and now all the characters and images are super-vivid? That was my experience with this book. I have to admit that I am a pushover for things that verge into magical realism, so combine that with the historical fiction AND traditional folklore, and this book had me from the outset. But I'd argue that even if someone was not a fan of those things, the natural fluidity of the storytelling would seduce them deep into this novel.

    I loved the audio-experience of this book, in particular, because Guidall's voice "fit" the expressive characters so beautifully.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-03-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Original, Profound and Entertaining!"

    This is one of the best books of the summer. When I read the publisher's description I thought this would be a work of fantasy involving time and the possibility of peace between Muslims and Jews. I was delighted to find instead a deep story about people, just people. It was not a reference to politics or war or the problems of the Middle East. It was a study on the question of what it means to be human, about freedom and redemption that comes from choosing to do the right thing, and most of all, love. The descriptions of the immigrant communities and geography of Manhattan in the late 1800's were wonderful and deeply satisfying. The characters and dialogue captivating and true. George Guidall's narration was, as usual, excellent.

    Is this what literature is supposed to be like? I think so. Wonderful.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Tromso, Norway 08-29-13
    Robert Tromso, Norway 08-29-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    86
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A perfect audiobook."

    It doesn't get any better than this. A very good story perfectly narrated by George Guidall.
    The book grips you from the very beginning and won't let go before the end.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    christian brisbane, Australia 08-28-13
    christian brisbane, Australia 08-28-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic story and an excellent narrator"
    Where does The Golem and the Jinni rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Definitely in the top ten!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Loved them all but the jinni was someone I identified with in some ways so was my favorite.


    What does George Guidall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I love a skilled voice actor that can capture the mood and emotion of a book like this and really engage me in the book even now some time later I can recall the jinni and his often bemused and sometimes baffled tone while addressing the many strange customs of the new world he finds himself in.


    If you could take any character from The Golem and the Jinni out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    The jinni for sure, if you could get him to tell you tales of hundreds of years living in a world of spirits and elemental creatures that would be awesome!


    Any additional comments?

    This was probably not a book I would have bought on the publishers description alone but the personal reviews were so positive that I took a chance and was very happy that I did. I have already recommended this to several of my friends as a story this well told crosses genres in its ability to grab hold of a reader and keep them there.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shannon 02-07-14
    Shannon 02-07-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    62
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Meh"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No. Story was hum-drum. Some of the prose was entertaining, but I got the impression that the author did not do a great job of thinking out how the characters would interact or how the story line could have been better with the given characters.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Get "Anansi Boys" for an extremely satisfying experience. That and "The Help" are the best two books on Audible.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 08-27-15
    Jennifer 08-27-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    21
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Refreshing change from the typical story"
    What made the experience of listening to The Golem and the Jinni the most enjoyable?

    If you're looking for something that will let you imagination run wild, this is a good one. I don't typically go for this kind of story with mythical/magical creatures, but after listening to this one, I think I will try more.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane L. Burns 08-27-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved this book!"
    Would you listen to The Golem and the Jinni again? Why?

    I think I would...the story is timeless.


    What does George Guidall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Just listening instead of reading brings everything for me. I have read a lot of books over my lifetime, but listening brings another dimension to it. And I love George Guidall's voice...narration was great.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Loved the end...kind of expected it but it was written well.


    Any additional comments?

    Loved the fantasy of this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Flatt Houston, Tx 08-24-15
    D. Flatt Houston, Tx 08-24-15 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great listen"

    I purchased this book on a whim, it was on sale. It is one if the better books I have listened to on audible. outstanding character development, great writing and narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EDS 08-19-15
    EDS 08-19-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "a wonderful story, well told and well narrated"
    What did you love best about The Golem and the Jinni?

    The characters and the clever plot. I like historical fiction and also fantasy and magical realism, so this book was right up my alley. This is my new favorite book. I also liked the ending.


    Have you listened to any of George Guidall’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This was the first. The narration is a little one note but still easy to listen to and at generally very well done. The narrator kept a good pace and added just the right amount of drama. He also allowed the story to build in tempo as I think the author intended.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.