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The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel by Helene…
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The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel

by Helene Wecker

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Golem and the Jinni (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,3552542,406 (4.13)342
  1. 102
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (spacemoth, unlucky)
    unlucky: Both have magic hidden in a historical setting, and both have the same kind of atmosphere.
  2. 71
    The Snow Child: A Novel by Eowyn Ivey (Iudita)
  3. 62
    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon (sturlington, Othemts)
    sturlington: The author said it inspired her.
  4. 31
    The Golem's Eye by Jonathan Stroud (passion4reading)
    passion4reading: An example of a successful combination of different cultural/mystical elements, with a djinni and - surprisingly - a golem.
  5. 10
    The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton (Othemts)
  6. 11
    The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud (Anjali.Negi)
  7. 110
    A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (capetowncanada)
    capetowncanada: After reading George R.R. Martin I've had a hard time finding anything that measures up. This does just that, a well written and imaginative story of two fabled creatures in 1899 NY.
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» See also 342 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 251 (next | show all)
I enjoyed this story. I enjoyed the thoroughness of each character's background story and how they intertwined together. ( )
  nu-bibliophile | Apr 13, 2019 |
Started out a little slow but still interesting, then built up to 5 stars for me. Lost a star on the ending, which didn't seem to quite fit with the tone and momentum of what had come before. The ebook had an interview with the author where she mentioned that she rewrote the ending but didn't say why. I wonder if her editors decided that they had a potential best seller on their hands and wanted an ending that would allow for a sequel. I'm not sure that this story naturally lends itself to a sequel, but if she writes one I'll try it since she's a terrific writer! ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
This is an odd book. I debated on the rating. This is far outside my usual reading interests. I was held in attention by this book but I am ambivalent about it now that it is done. It weaves a tale using middle eastern creatures of mythology woven into a New York immigrant environment. It's unusal. Beyond that I can't really predict what others might think. Glad I read it. ( )
  yhgail | Feb 20, 2019 |
I really liked the setting and the unique story, but at about the halfway point it stalled and I felt that I didn't care what happened to the characters. I did again in the last few chapters, but there was a long stretch there where it didn't feel like there was enough plot driving it forward. ( )
  eraderneely | Feb 14, 2019 |
"Like many men of the neighborhood, he was a little bit in love with Maryam Faddoul. What luck to be that Sayeed, her admirers thought, to live always in the light of her bright eyes and understanding smile! But none would dream of approaching her, even those who regarded the conventions of propriety as obstacles to be overcome. It was clear that Maryam’s smile shone from her belief in the better nature of those around her. To demand more of that smile for themselves would only serve to extinguish it.”

Combining fantasy elements from different folklore traditions into a historical environment can easily come across as crude or silly, but this novel blends it all together perfectly. The plot is slow until near the end, but charming and very well-developed characters make it enjoyable throughout. ( )
  brokensandals | Feb 7, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 251 (next | show all)
The title characters of “The Golem and the Jinni” are not the book’s only magic. The story is so inventive, so elegantly written and so well constructed that it’s hard to believe this is a first novel. Clearly, otherworldly forces were involved.
added by karenb | editStar-Tribune, Curt Schleier (Jun 15, 2013)
 
You think a relationship is complicated when a woman is from Venus and a man is from Mars? Trust me, that’s a piece of cake compared with the hurdles that a modest golem and a mercurial jinni face when they fall in love.
 
The sometimes slow pace picks up considerably as the disparate characters decipher the past and try to save the souls variously threatened by the golem and the jinni, as well as by the Jewish conjurer and (surprise) a Syrian wizard. The interplay of loyalties and the struggle to assert reason over emotion keep the pages flipping.
added by karenb | editNew York Times, Susan Cokal (May 16, 2013)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wecker, Heleneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beals, Jesse TarboxCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ljoenes, RichardCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruoto, WilliamDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For Kareem
First words
The Golem's life began in the hold of a steamship.
Quotations
"A man might desire something for a moment, while a larger part of him rejects it. You'll need to learn to judge people by their actions, not their thoughts."
You must learn how to act according to what people say and do, not what they wish or fear.
These were the world's first people. Everything they did, every action and decision, was entirely new, without precedent. They had no larger society to turn to, no examples of how to behave. They only had the Almighty to tell them right from wrong. And like children, if His commands ran counter to their desires, sometimes they chose not to listen. And then they learned that there are consequences to one's actions.
As the daughter of one of the richest and most prominent families in New York--indeed, in the country--it had been made clear to her, in ways both subtle and overt, that she was expected to little more than simply exist, biding her time and minding her manners until she made a suitable match and continued the family line. Her future unrolled before her like a dreadful tapestry, its pattern set and immutable. There would be a wedding, and then a house somewhere nearby on the avenue, with a nursery for the children that were, of course, mandatory.
"Once a golem develops a taste for destruction," the old rabbi said, "little can stop it save the words that destroy it. Not all golems are as crude or stupid as this one, but all share the same essential nature. They are tools of man, and they are dangerous. Once they have disposed of their enemies they will turn on their masters. They are creatures of last resort. Remember that."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Audie Award Finalist, Fiction, 2013

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.

Haiku summary
Magical beings
Seeking truth, learning goodness
Mud and fire endure

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

Chava, a golem brought to life by a disgraced rabbi, and Ahmad, a jinni made of fire, form an unlikely friendship on the streets of New York until a fateful choice changes everything.

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