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The Golem and the Jinni

by Helene Wecker

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Golem and the Jinni (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,6693091,937 (4.13)374
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.
  1. 71
    The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (Iudita)
  2. 94
    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.
  3. 62
    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and 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 Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (sturlington)
  6. 10
    The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton (Othemts)
  7. 21
    The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud (Anjali.Negi)
  8. 012
    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 374 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 309 (next | show all)
I usually a fast reader, but there was something about this book that encouraged me to read more deliberately. It's a masterwork. ( )
  suzannekmoses | May 20, 2022 |
Gripping, seductive, dream-like and philosophical. A chronicle of religion and dangerous magic and faith and a portrait of early immigrant New York; also a fairy tale and a love story (or three). Delicious. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
This is now the book that I am recommending to everyone. Read it! It is not what you expect; it is better than you expect. ( )
  leahsusan | Mar 26, 2022 |
Narrated by George Guidall. A golem and a jinni meet in New York City and become unlikely friends, intimately and yet unwittingly connected by their outlier status. This simple summary does no justice to Guidall's stunningly enthralling performance. He fully renders each character with personality and verve so that listeners become invested in each character's journey. His sense of nuance is exquisite. He could present the dictionary and I would hang on every word. Excellent, transportive listening for a long road trip or insufferable commute. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 13, 2022 |
I am trying to go through my audio library and listen to the audiobooks I had bought but never listened to. This book was one of them. I was interested in it enough to buy it, but then never listened to it because I worried that it would end up being a fancifully written high fantasy with too many characters, an overdesigned world, and a plot that was impossible to follow or interpret.

Fortunately, this book was nothing like I expected it to be and I am sorry it took me so long to listen to it.

It is a beautiful, masterful blend of historical fiction, cultural and spiritual and moral exploration, and human (and not-so-human) nature and relationships all woven together across time and many lives. It explores the ties that bind us all (whether we know it or not), the decisions (big or small) that change our lives, the experiences (good or bad) that shape who we are and our perspective of life, and the lies we tell to hide the truths we cannot face or want to protect others from (for one reason or another). This book could easily have been a disaster, were it not for the author's clean and matter-of-fact writing style. ( )
  wordcauldron | Feb 1, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 309 (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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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."
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

No library descriptions found.

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

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Average: (4.13)
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2 40
2.5 10
3 189
3.5 56
4 580
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