The Golem and the Jinni

The Golem and the Jinni

4.1 (72,447 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In The Golem and the Jinni, a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free

Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker's debut novel The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 496 pages
  • 155 x 231 x 48mm | 703g
  • New York
  • English
  • New
  • 0062110837
  • 9780062110831
  • 113,807

Back cover copy

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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Review quote

"A dazzling debut...You'll be hooked by the vivid interplay of historical fiction, magical fable, and philosophical musing and the colorful supporting cast...Read it in one long, guilt-free gulp (it's serious literature!)."--San Francisco magazine
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Rating details

72,447 ratings
4.1 out of 5 stars
5 38% (27,600)
4 41% (29,520)
3 16% (11,521)
2 4% (2,629)
1 2% (1,177)

Our customer reviews

Have just hit the half way mark. This book is unputdownable ! The whole house has been going to bed early so i can read this gorgeousness! It's beautifully written, The Golem and The Jinni are completely believable characters, the pace is well balanced, and so far (as is prone to happen occassionally in other super natural books) there has not bit a hint of a thought of skim reading over any passage. Am currently slowing down the pace as i know i will be devastated when its finished. A few years ago when The Night Circus came out, it turned into the book that was given to all close friends and family members for their birthday that year. I can feel it in my bones that this is this years novel of the year ! Friends and family are going to be well chuffed ! I hope Helene Wecker is ready to publish her next book already ! Ace.show more
by simone garland
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