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
Engaging, enchanting, entertaining.
My book group selected this book, so I didn't know what to expect. The story drew me in right away...just the fact that the golem was a "woman" was intriguing. The story reflects on many aspects of being human, control of others, taking responsibility. What I liked the best was the relationship between the golem & the jinni -- their growing encouragement and understanding of one another was both beautiful & surprisingly tender.
So well done, I didn't focus on how he was changing voices from men to women, was he dramatic enough or too much, etc. Excellent performance. Always struck the right note.
Because it was so long, no, but about half way through, I wanted to listen in one sitting.
When I bought this book I was not sure if I would like but I Like the characters and the plot
There is no book I could compare this book too. It is a historical fantasy, and a love story
Wow that is hard the walks with the Golem and the Jinni were great
It made me feel good it was an enjoyable ride
This is a book you want to read!
I found the story and narrator's presentation to be a perfect match. The story is fascinating and clever. Wecker brings you right into the story, the time and place. I had a movie running in my head the entire time. I'm ready to hear it again!
The narration was superb and descriptions of the Jinni's desert home, NYC in that day, etc, so vivid and evocative when read aloud, it's hard to imagine it could be better in print.
The point at which the Golem and Jinni discover each other and their shared "otherness" begins to create a bond.
Very hard to pick--the Rabbi (for his humanity) and the ice cream maker are favorites.
The old wizard was pretty unforgettable; evil, twisted and cruel, yes, but a truly memorable villain.
Listening to this book felt like being on an exotic vacation. I really didn't want it to end.
I loved this story because it constantly kept me wondering how the characters were connected. At times it was a little slow but still entertaining. The narrator had a spectacular voice and did a fantastic job distinguishing the characters. Over all I am pleased I bought this.
The performance was flawless! At times I found myself missing that voice! The story was fantastic, it really was. At times it got slower but I didn't mind. I was thrilled with this book, very glad I decided on it.
Nothing, I found the story so boring and depressing. I got 2/3 through and have gave up several times because I constantly lose focus and really no connection with any of the characters. Just to sappy and miserable.
I really could care less about all of the characters, it's just boring.
Sure, he didn't write the book.
I really didn't care for anyone in the book.
Saw all the great reviews and attempted to get through it on several occasions. It was a huge wast of money and effort. Also, I don't think it was a matter of taste, it's just not very good writing.
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