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The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

The Golem and the Jinni

by Helene Wecker

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Golem and the Jinni (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,2132422,465 (4.13)335
  1. 93
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel 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 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 335 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 240 (next | show all)
I'm not sure what to make of this book. I didn't dislike it, exactly, but I didn't really enjoy it, either. I love the concept, but the story moved too slowly, and I had trouble keeping all the characters straight sometimes. I'm a little disappointed in this one.

That cover, though—gorgeous. ( )
  AngelClaw | Sep 11, 2018 |
So if you're the kind of person who doesn't really get into fantasy, but likes a touch of magic in your stories, this is the book for you. From the title you can guess that the two main characters are a Golem and a Jinni, but the story takes place mostly in New York in 1899.

It's so original, but also accessible it really seems like it's destined to be a classic and I would love to see a movie made from it. It has romance, tragedy, and the setting is perfect. I really cared about the characters and wanted them to succeed. It probably helped that the narrator was George Guidell, he's not my favorite narrator, but when I hear his voice it reminds me of many audiobooks I listened to 20+ years ago. ( )
  ragwaine | Sep 7, 2018 |
just leave me here to cry ( )
1 vote ireneattolia | Sep 3, 2018 |
I didn’t like this book. It dragged for me, the characters fell flat and the concept was ok, I just couldn’t seem to get into it though. So my thing is that the jinni fell in love with the golem, and I think the golem fell in love with the jinni but it was all so vague. I can see the sequel set up, I’m just not sure I want to read it.
For more book reviews see my blog: https://adventuresofabibliophile.blogspot.com ( )
  Serinde24 | Aug 17, 2018 |
add a few ♥ ♥ ♥ as well for good measure

Let's be honest (as you know I will be): I had this book when it came out, but because of all the reviews I read in one of my Shelfari Groups which were going on & on about the "literary" quality; blah, blah, blah, blah, blah; I put the book back into the book sale. I didn't read, not one review that actually told me what the book was really about, had I, I would have read it much sooner.

Hence Four (4) years later, I found it again in the book sale & I have finished it in two days and I LOVE IT & Will Keep This in my Personal Library.

A female Golem is made for a man as his wife. En route to New York he awakens her, but then he dies and she is free. A kindly Rabbi finds her, takes her in and names her Chava... She gets a job in a bakery; the Rabbi dies & she continues her life...

In the desert of the Middle East a Djinn is entrapped in a copper flask by an evil wizard. The flask passes down from one generation to another until it reaches a tinsmith, who while repairing it releases the Djinn. The Djinn becomes Ahmed & works with the tinsmith (who is a jerk, but hey) increasing the tinsmith's business & his bank account

The Djinn & Golem meet and become "friends"... they have their nocturnal adventures through New York and are working through their relationship when the maker of the Golem arrives in New York & attempts to take control of her.

This is "Golem:Jinni For Dummies"

The book was rich with legend, history and romantic, Bedouin, Jewish, Syrian, Ghetto (not like slums but melting-pot neighborhood), & privileged life.

The pace was actually fast, the relationships well thought out, the writing redolent of heady "Arabian" & fantastical nights, survival, the nature of the mystical, & the etheric qualitative beauty of mystical love.

I'm ready to read it again..... Now I understand there is a sequel, but I am not ready for that, as I usually find sequels disappointing..... ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Aug 17, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 240 (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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Original title
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Awards and honors
For Kareem
First words
The Golem's life began in the hold of a steamship.
"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.)
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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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