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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 (10189 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jeremy HOUSTON, TX, United States 04-07-17
    Jeremy HOUSTON, TX, United States 04-07-17 Member Since 2017

    jsspell

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best book I have read in 20 years"

    Get this book now, just go ahead and buy it. This book is a true work of literature, it stands with some of my favorite novels of all time, Catch-22, Watership Down, Lonesome Dove, Life of Pi, and most especially The Alchemist. You will not be disappointed by this novel, the prose is perfect, the narration by George Guidall is magnificent, the story is rich and moving. Trust me, buy this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ScoutlyJ 03-22-17
    ScoutlyJ 03-22-17
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    "Brilliant story of life's choices. Fabulous!"

    weather is amazing ability to take a fantastic Tale and create such a realistic inquiry into our lives and our choices. I love the characters of the genie and the Golem, the beautifully detailed descriptions of time place and culture that added to the reality and the incredible view of love religion morality and choice. an amazing book expertly narrated that is unlike any I've ever read. I look forward to hearing it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shantel Holladay, UT, United States 03-01-17
    Shantel Holladay, UT, United States 03-01-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Wonderful listen"

    I was anxiously waiting for the Golem and the Jinni to reconnect. How her existence and his life entwined was a surprise but I enjoyed how it came together..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    k.walters 02-26-17
    k.walters 02-26-17 Member Since 2016
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    "love this story!"

    What an imaginative story of immigration and the clash of cultures as America began. a delight to listen to!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RSR Seattle 02-21-17
    RSR Seattle 02-21-17 Member Since 2014

    RSR

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    "Deep crossing of cultures"

    Historical New York - the melting pot - is the setting for this wild tale of mythical creatures from two cultures, interwoven with multiple layers of love and passion, fear and uncertainty.

    This reading truly brought out the best of a terrific book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-21-17 Member Since 2016
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    7
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    "Great Book! Very Imaginative!"

    I really enjoyed this book. It was good from the get-go, got a little slow for a little while but then picked back up and got rather exciting! This book is great and especially for a first-time Author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alina Edmonton 01-26-17
    Alina Edmonton 01-26-17
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    "Magical and Hypnotizing"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Golem and the Jinni to be better than the print version?

    Not sure why I picked this book but I do not regret. Old and new worlds, folk and fantasy, cleaver, elocquent and lyrical. I was reluctant to let it go.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M.S. Valdez FORT COLLINS, CO, United States 01-25-17
    M.S. Valdez FORT COLLINS, CO, United States 01-25-17 Member Since 2012

    Avid reader all of my life! Favorite author: Stephen King. Favorite book: Hyperion.

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    "An absolute sparkling gem!"

    I wasn't sure what to expect when I got this book, but I figured from all the high stars it had received, it must be decent. It's more than decent, it is one of those rare books that you will cherish having read.

    The plot begins with the creation of the Golem, a woman named Chava who is created out of clay and given life through sorcery, magic, however you want to describe it. She it taken to New York by her master and, through some unfortunate events, loses her master to death. She's now masterless and having no idea of what to do in the world, or what her purpose is. However, she is able to read the thoughts of anyone near her. She eventually runs into a man who knows her for what she is and assists her in gaining a role in the world.

    Next, we meet Ahmad, the Jinni, who escapes from his prison of a lamp and also is trying to figure out how he came to be in the world. He's been imprisoned for many centuries and has forgotten how he came to be trapped within the lamp. He's also trapped in human form by a iron bracelet that is imbued with sorcery, magic, what have you. He stills retains part of his being as a Jinni with his ability to direct intense heat into items he touches.

    The truly great part of this novel is how Chava and Ahmad try to create lives for themselves in the strange world they've come to find themselves; and how they eventually meet one another and form a friendship.

    This novel is far and away one of the most well-written, well-plotted, stories I have listened to since The Night Circus. It is an absolute delight!

    The narrator is decent to giving the right tone to each character.

    I'd recommend this book in a heartbeat!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy Cade Houston, Texas USA 01-19-17
    Timothy Cade Houston, Texas USA 01-19-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Not a great audio."

    Reader is slow and molasses like. If I am using audio book while driving he makes me sleepy and drowsy. Great story though. Can get confusing at times seeing as how it flits from past to present and on top of that it changes what it calls the characters in different times. So for an audio book that can get annoying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Trudy 01-16-17
    Trudy 01-16-17 Member Since 2016
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    "A Favorite"

    I have listened to this book several times and enjoy it again and again.
    The narration is amazing and the story development is wonderfully expressed. I googled what is a Golem and Jinni after my first listen and was compelled to listen again. It has since become one of my favorite books!

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