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Synopsis

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 readable, The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of folk mythology, historical fiction, and magical fable into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.

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CUSTOMER REVIEWS

The Golem and the Jinni
Average rating
4.2 / 5
A good read
February 18th, 2015
The book is fundamentally Science Fiction reminisentof books like Asimovs I Robot series with its undercurrents of potential conflict between robots and man. There were also I found striking similarities between the film Blade Runner and the Golum. I found the stereo typing of Syrians and Jews to be irritating with the black and white portrayals of some characters unconvincing. The books ending was somewhat disappointing, all will be right in the end! It was if the author was determined to have a happy ending. The book however was a good read with a highly original story.I would recommend this book.
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1 review
Wonderful
January 11th, 2015
Loved this book. A page turner from start to finish. Intersting facts and fantasy woven into a magcal reading experience.
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1 review
Finished
June 22nd, 2014
Something new, lots of imagination involved that kept me going back to read more!!!
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1 review
The Golem and the Jinni
April 5th, 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! A magical, mystical adventure!
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1 review
February 5th, 2014
Interesting tale that mixes two cultures and their beliefs into a fantastic journey. This book will take you around the world through time and space always leading back to the immigrant experience in New York. Enjoy!
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
February 2nd, 2014
Well written and easy to read, Helene Wecker weaves a fantastic but believable tale. I was enchanted by the first chapter and looked forward to the adventures of Chava and Ahmad . This book did not disappoint!
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1 review
February 1st, 2014
Fantastic read! I like all the elements this book has to offer the reader, the supernatural, the scene set in a past era and the mystery and suspense I crave when looking for a good novel to get totally immersed in.
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1 review
January 28th, 2014
This book is so fascinating, I really couldn't put it down! It has a new kind of plot and is so fresh. it offers ideas to think about in a new context. I luved it!!!
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1 review
January 27th, 2014
Great Book! It caught my full attention from the beginning. Chava and Jinni belong together. Even this a fictional creatures, they have a sense of human beings. This book puts you right on the streets of New Jork
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1 review
January 25th, 2014
It was a well written book that kept me reading until the end.
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1 review
January 25th, 2014
I absolutely loved this story. It carried me away from the first moment that I opened the book. Couldn't put it down until I read absolutely every word and then it left me wanting still more. Magical, fantasy, love story.
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
I really loved this book!! A hauntingly beautiful story of love and loss, innocence and friendship, and the dark sinister things that go bump in the night that threaten them all! I didn't put it down till it was done!! Wonderful!
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
Beautifully written book! I love the depth of the characters that Wecker has created. The relationship that she crafts is fantastic. Overall the story is great with a nice twist at the end. I have recommended this book to everyone who asks.
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
January 23rd, 2014
This was a wonderful book in so many ways. It is historical fiction, which is my personal favourite genre, but as any reader of historical fiction knows it can be difficult to get right. This book beautifully mixed in studies of diverse religion and culture and brought it all together in a time a place of great change. New York, as a hub of immigration, was filled with people from all over the world trying to make their living in the promised land of America. What they found was almost never what they had imagined. Many groups banded together with others from their homeland in poorer areas of the city and supported one another as a community trying to get by. Into this strange and tense melting pot arrive two mythological creatures, the Golem and the Jinni. One hailing from ancient Hebrew myth, the other from the deserts of the Middle East, they try to navigate a world in which they do not belong for many reasons; their culture, their nature, and the fact they are not supposed to be real at all, in any world! Improbably they find each other and inspire one another to carve out a life for themselves in their new world. Overall this book was beautifully written and was refreshing in its originality. I learned some new things that were very interesting about Hebrew and Middle Eastern mythology. I loved this book and will read it again.
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1 review
The Golem and the Jinni
January 22nd, 2014
Just finished this book...a first novel by Helene Wecker. If you are looking for a new book to read, this is a good choice. It's hard to describe the plot, so better to just let you read it for yourself. The story moves along well and kept my interest. Four stars!
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1 review
Golem and the jinni
December 12th, 2013
Fabulous. Story. Unusually imaginative and compassionate. Rare find:-) :-)
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1 review
The Golem and the Jinni
November 9th, 2013
A female, masterless golem and a Jinni captured in human form coexist in turn of the (20th) century New York City. While those around them, for the most part, are unaware of their unique and inhuman natures, the golem and the jinni are all too aware of each other, and their opposite perspectives on nearly everything. They strain each other's incredulity, and lead the reader to question just what it is that makes us human.
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1 review
Very well written and compelling
September 6th, 2013
With a re-telling of how genies and gollums came about in folklore, this first novel of Wecker's is daring, especially in the New York setting. It could be so easy to completely flop in the telling, making it impossible to suspend disbelief. However, this book is actually so compelling that it turned out not only to be able to overcome thoughts of doubt, but to drive the reader toward caring about and desiring the best for the two main characters. Even with the 'shocking' twist that hits them at the end, one cannot help but cheer for the protagonists and wish to search them out. There are a lot of silly paranormal and beyond-the-grave type novels out there right now, but this book is neither silly, nor is it a vampire-type story with melodrama and childish love; the reader loves the characters because they work so hard to overcome their own natures and move away from ghoulish activity in order to become better than what they were. I am eager to see what Helene Wecker comes up with next.
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1 review
A solid read
September 4th, 2013
This book is well written and a good choice for any reader who enjoys a story where magic is present but not the main focus. I'm giving this three stars instead of four because I doubt this would get a second read from me and it didn't blow me away to get five stars. My major gripe is that it shied away from true conflict until the very end by uncreatively removing unwanted characters via death and that kind of bothered me. Otherwise, I did enjoy this read and will definitely keep an eye out for other works by Helene Wecker.
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1 review
So very original
August 20th, 2013
What a great entertainment, if you loved The Night Circus, The Gargoyle and anything by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, this is another wonderfully imaginative dangerous romance, unlike any other!
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1 review

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