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The golem and the jinni : a novel / Helene Wecker.
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- Publication Information:New York : Harper, 
- Publication Date:2013
- Physical Description:486 pages ; 24 cm
- Publication Type:Book
- Document Type:Fiction
- Subject Terms:Golem -- Fiction; Jinn -- Fiction; Friendship -- Fiction; Rabbis -- Fiction; Jewish mythology -- Fiction; Mythology, Arab -- Fiction; Friendship; Golem; Jewish mythology; Jinn; Mythology, Arab; Rabbis; Roman; Amerikanisches Englisch; Historical fiction; Fantasy fiction; Fiction; History
- Subject Terms:New York (N.Y.) -- History -- 19th century -- Fiction; New York (State) -- New York
- Online Access:http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/enhancements/fy1403/2013363983-b.html; Contributor biographical information
Booklist Reviews 2013 March #2
First novelist Wecker has blended not only genres but also elements of Jewish and Arab folklore and mythology in this intriguing historical fantasy. What happens when a golem, a Polish woman made of clay, recently marooned in late-nineteenth-century New York, joins forces with jinni, a creature made of fire, accidently released by a Syrian tinsmith in lower Manhattan? The premise is so fresh that it is anyone's guess, and Wecker does not disappoint as she keeps the surprises coming in this unusual story of the intersection of two magical beings and their joint impact on their parochial immigrant communities. While stolid Chava and fiery Ahmed struggle to cope with their individual challenges and desires, they must together overcome philosophical, spiritual, and physical hurdles to ward off an insidious demonic threat. A mystical and highly original stroll through the sidewalks of New York. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2012 December #1
After a fierce auction, lots of in-house enthusiasm for this debut novel, which blends Jewish and Arab mythologies to create a magical novel set in 1899 New York. A golem named Chava, brought to life by a renegade rabbi, loses the husband who had commissioned her on the voyage from Poland, while the jinni Ahmad is released by a tinsmith from captivity in a copper flask (where he'd been put centuries before by a Bedouin wizard). As Chava and Ahmad unite against a terrible threat, denizens of their lower Manhattan neighborhood swirl about them intriguingly. With a reading group guide and a 75,000-copy first printing; I'm betting on this one.[Page 60]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
LJ Reviews 2013 February #1
In 1899 two very different creatures find themselves in New York City. Chava is a golem, a woman made of clay and brought to life by a Polish magician to be the perfect wife. Ahmed is a jinni, a being made of fire, who has been released from a flask he's been bound in for centuries. Forming an unexpected friendship, Chava and Ahmed must learn how to survive undetected while preparing to battle a dangerous adversary. First-time novelist Wecker introduces readers to an immigrant community of kindly rabbis, skillful tinsmiths, and possessed ice cream venders that serves as an excellent backdrop for the debates between Chava and Ahmed about the use of power and the meaning of freedom. VERDICT Full of quirky characters and philosophical and religious musings, this fascinating blend of historical fiction and Jewish and Arab folklore excels when it comes to its gorgeous descriptions and the intriguing flashbacks to the jinni's earlier life, but it lacks some relationship development to ground Chava and Ahmed's romance. Overall this original and fresh story will attract fans of historical fantasy or folktales. [See Prepub Alert, 11/19/12.]—Katie Lawrence, Chicago[Page 64]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PW Reviews 2013 March #2
Wecker's first novel is a magical tale of two mythical creatures—a golem from a Polish shtetl and a jinni from the Syrian Desert—struggling to fit in among New York's turn-of-the-19th-century immigrants. The golem is brought to America by poor furniture maker Otto Rotfeld, who had her built from clay to be his wife, but he dies en route. Elderly Rabbi Avram Meyer, recognizing the tall and hardworking young woman's supernatural character, gives her a name—Chava—and a job in a bakery, but ponders whether to destroy her or let her fulfill a destiny that legend dictates includes mayhem and destruction. Meanwhile, a tinsmith, Boutros Arbeely, releases the jinni from a thousand-year-old flask and names him Ahmad. Proud, handsome Ahmad proves a gifted metalworker, seduces a Fifth Avenue heiress, and pines for his long-lost glass palace before meeting Chava, his unlikely soul mate. Wecker deftly layers their story over those of the people they encounter, including a Jewish baker and his wife, a Maronite coffee shop owner and his wife, a doctor turned ice cream vendor, and an apostate social worker. The ending dips into melodrama, but the human touches more than compensate in Wecker's spellbinding blend of fantasy and historical fiction. Agent: Matt McGowan, Frances Goldin Literary Agency. (May)[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC
I loved this book! The author was able to combine historical fiction (New York City at the turn of the last century) and the folklores from two different cultures into a fascinating story. The lives of the two main characters--a golem and a jinni--come together along with the stories of the lives of myriad other immigrants and citizens of the city. The back stories seem irrelevant but everything comes together in an exciting and very satisfying way at the end.
Entertaining book. It could have been a bit shorter; where was the editor? It began to grate and I found myself getting irritated with the characters but still turned the pages and was a little relieved to be finished.
A very unusual story told in a gripping manner. The story tends to drag somewhere in the middle..Therefore, four stars. Overall an interesting read..
Golem and the Djinni is a very well written book. The main characters are so well described you feel like you can utterly empathize with every choice they make and every emotion they experience. The story is sad much of the time but beautiful all of the time. I will definitely look for more from this author.
I truly did not want to return this book to the library. I am fondly reminded of the Arabian tales my grandmother told me as a child....not the standard ones that we hear today, but the rich, colorful and heartrending tales that leave a lifetime impression...and change one's heart. If you want to understand the real magic of the Middle East, read The Golem and the Jinni.
The original Golem and Geni
Excellent read. I usually only read historical fiction, but because these two characters are based in an historical reference, even though fantasy, it fit the bill for me! I love to learn something from what I read and this was such an original story with unique characters, I believe it will appeal to a wide audience.
Good Read - really wanted to see how it ended!
This is a really good book - I would have loved to have a little longer ending - but I was definitely hooked and wanted to see what would happen.