Customer Reviews for

The Golem and the Jinni

Average Rating 4.5
( 91 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(62)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

14 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

While I was initially drawn to this title simply by the title, t

While I was initially drawn to this title simply by the title, this has become one of my favorite reads this year.  Combining the feel of a fairy tale with a romance and mixing in a serious underlying story that weaves in cultures, history, and folklore to create a tale...
While I was initially drawn to this title simply by the title, this has become one of my favorite reads this year.  Combining the feel of a fairy tale with a romance and mixing in a serious underlying story that weaves in cultures, history, and folklore to create a tale of the immigrant experience that is unlike any I have ever read.  




The Golem; Chava, is a figure born from clay and known in the lore of the Eastern European Jews.  Ahmad, the Jinni, is born of the fire in the Bedouin camps in the Syrian desert.  Together the essence of who they are is trapped in human forms, as they are navigating the immigrant neighborhoods and experiences of 1890’s New York.  These two very disparate characters manage to form a friendship and ultimately a bond that traverses their cultural differences and the pull of their destinies against their desires and free will. 




Solidly researched and impeccably characterized, the story carefully and precisely wends its way through the immigrant neighborhoods as it carefully lays groundwork to bring all of the pieces together at the end.  Both Ahmad and Chava have knowledge and magic that can be used to alter and change perceptions or situations, should they, could they and will they utilize this for noble or selfish purpose.  All will be answered when your travel through the streets and neighborhoods of New York.  




As a first novel, this couldn’t have been better.  Never did the story suffer from an overload of information or descriptions, nor was the pacing impacted as the information was presented.  Every character is well defined and built and minute details are not missed, the neighborhoods and people fairly come to life in your imagination.  The book is enchanting and will please many readers from all walks of life. 




I received an eBook copy from the publisher from Edelweiss for purpose of honest review.  I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. 

posted by gaele on April 23, 2013

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

10 out of 72 people found this review helpful.

U

Another braggart plot spoiler review, bragging how they got the book for free for their * honest and unbiased* opinion, which right off tells me it will reveal everything while brown-nosing the author, which doesnt really give a true review. Its just a mini rewrite of t...
Another braggart plot spoiler review, bragging how they got the book for free for their * honest and unbiased* opinion, which right off tells me it will reveal everything while brown-nosing the author, which doesnt really give a true review. Its just a mini rewrite of the book, which gives the poster a deluded sense of being an author themselves. These plot spoilers should not be allowed to post these spoilers.

posted by 8888649 on April 24, 2013

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 19 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2013

    Really good book

    Unlike some who choose to give away the entire plot including the ending, I just want to say tha I love this book. The story moves along nicly without ever getting bogged down. The characters are real and to me believable. I whole heartedly recommend this novel.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The Golem and The Jinni by Helene Wecker (thanks to the Devourer

    The Golem and The Jinni by Helene Wecker (thanks to the Devourer of Books) which was really long but surprisingly good!

    We discussed it over at Devourer of Books, but I’ll give you a quickie overview here.  A golem is created by a rabbi in order to be a wife for a not-so-wonderful man.  Problem?  A golem is inherently bad, and will listen to a master. . . but can still get out of hand.

    A jinni (much like the genie we think of) is released from a bottle after many years, but still manacled.  Why?  How’d he get like that?

    Both the golem and the jinni are lucky enough to meet mentors that help guide them on their paths.  But they are both very restless creatures, and when they coincidentally meet each other, their lives change.

    So even though the book is super long, take a chance on it!  It’s worth the read!  

    Thanks for reading,  

    Rebecca @ Love at First Book

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 20, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The Golem and the Jinni  Helene Wecker  Trade Paper Back  Publis

    The Golem and the Jinni 
    Helene Wecker 
    Trade Paper Back 
    Publisher: Harper 
    Publication Date: April 23, 2013 
    ISBN-13: 978-0062110831 
    496 pages 
    Advance Readers Copy

         Golem [goh-luhm, -lem] 1. Jewish Folklore. a figure artificially constructed in the form of a human being and endowed with life. 2. a stupid and clumsy person; blockhead. 3. an automaton.
       
        Jinni [ji-nee, jin-ee] Islamic Mythology. any of a class of spirits, lower than the angels, capable of appearing in human and animal forms and influencing humankind for either good or evil. (also, jinn, djinn, djinni)

         The Golem and the Jinni is a unique mixture of Hebrew and Arab mythology; a modern telling of stories older than the written word. A golem, a clay woman created to serve as a rich man’s companion, loses its master to a burst appendix on board a steamship headed to America. A jinni, released by an unsuspecting tinsmith from its prison after hundreds of years in captivity, tries to recall its hazy past. For both, finding their way and places in 1899 New York City is both a challenge and a curse. Disoriented and alone they set out to understand the world around them. How do two creatures, neither of them human, fit in to this strange new world? 

         The golem begins her independent life as a baker and the Jinni as an apprentice tinsmith. Completely unknown to each other, the two creatures of ancient lore explore the unfamiliar and very human city. The golem, taken in by a kind, old rabbi, is tormented by the desires and wishes of others, which she can hear in her mind. Ahmad, named by the tinsmith who released him from his captivity, has no patience for the dreariness of humans. Both must work to create a place for themselves in America, and develop relationships with the humans who surround them.

         And then, one cold, wind-swept night, they unexpectedly cross paths.

         File with: One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, mythology, folk lore, Scheherazade, fantasy, and social outcasts. 

    4 out of 5 stars

    The Alternative 
    Southeast Wisconsin

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker is a novel tak­ing plac

    The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker is a novel tak­ing place in New York, 1899. The story weaves two myth­i­cal crea­ture from two dif­fer­ent cul­tures to cre­ate a dif­fer­ent kind of story altogether.

    A dis­graced Pol­ish rabbi brings a female golem to life at a request of a rich patron. The patron dies at sea, en route to Amer­ica, and the golem, Chava, finds her­self alone with­out a mas­ter; how­ever she soon is taken in by an elderly rabbi who intro­duces her around the Jew­ish com­mu­nity in New York City.

    Ahmad is a jinni who was trapped in a flask in the Syr­ian desert but was released in New York City, but he is not free yet. When Ahmad meets Chava, the two lost crea­tures become unlikely friends with a mys­ti­cal connection.

    The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker is part his­tor­i­cal fic­tion, part fan­tasy told as a fairy tale in turn of the cen­tury New York City. The story unfolds in par­al­lels, that of Chava the Golem and that of Ahmad, the Jinni.

    I liked the way Ms. Wecker endowed each crea­ture with a child­like curios­ity which, I thought, was a great way to tell the story from a his­tor­i­cal angle (explor­ing 1899 NYC) as well as mov­ing the story for­ward (they don’t know any bet­ter). Even though the Jinni is hun­dreds of years old, he was stuck in a bot­tle for so long that every­thing is new to him, espe­cially com­ing from the deserts of North Africa to New York.

    I wanted to read the book because I find the whole Jew­ish mythol­ogy around the golem fas­ci­nat­ing. The golem is a crea­ture made out of clay; the most known tale is that of the late 16th Cen­tury rabbi of Prague, Judah Loew ben Beza­lel. The rabbi, it is said, brought his golem to life in order to defend the Prague ghetto from anti-Semitic attacks.

    The book was an inter­est­ing and delight­ful read, I imme­di­ately got sucked in, some­how lost a bit of inter­est in the mid­dle but found myself engrossed in the story once again towards the end. The con­clu­sion left me want­ing more of a res­o­lu­tion, but that is just a per­sonal choice.

    The char­ac­ters are inter­est­ing and engag­ing, I even found the sec­ondary char­ac­ters and their sto­ries absorb­ing. This is one of these types of books to goes on tan­gent, where a back­ground to a char­ac­ter is told as a story within a story, some­thing I admire and rec­og­nize how dif­fi­cult it is to do well.

    The author did a great job con­vey­ing the char­ac­ters’ fears and desires, slowly open­ing up to life around them with all the dan­gers they entail. The Golem, a crea­ture of earth, the Jinni, a crea­ture of fire, seem to be aware of their own unique­ness but they don’t view their meta­phys­i­cal attrib­utes as strength, quite the oppo­site, often it is a hindrance.

    The steps Chava takes to be counted as among the liv­ing are superbly told, never rushed or utopian, she slowly becomes a part of the lives which sur­round her. The Jinni also finds it dif­fi­cult to adjust to his small com­mu­nity but takes the oppo­site route from Chava. Instead of immers­ing him­self and try­ing to be part of the com­mu­nity he does what he wants, when he wants and damned be the con­se­quences. When the two meet, instead of get­ting along they bicker and argue. She wants him to be more con­cerned about his sur­round­ings; he wants her to take advan­tage of her abil­i­ties more often and for some­thing other than bak­ing or work­ing around the clock.

    The nar­ra­tive is mostly about the attempts of the two crea­tures at hid­ing and/or assim­i­lat­ing to their sur­round­ing, their hopes and fears as well as his­tory. To my sur­prise I found the book to have a quite, char­ac­ter dri­ven nar­ra­tive with a fast-paced, action-filled ending.

    I liked this novel very much but it was miss­ing that extra “oomph” which I was hop­ing for, that blend of Yid­dish / Ara­bic slang in midst of the NY ghetto, I missed the cul­tural jokes which the immi­grants are so famous for and are used by other authors (Shalom Ale­ichem come to mind) to make a dis­tinct point while keep­ing the mood light. The pub­lisher com­pared this novel to Jonathan Strange & Mr Nor­rell by Susanna Clarke and I can cer­tainly see the sim­i­lar­i­ties, but what made Clarke’s book great is the lit­er­ary voice, old spelling, dry wit (which includes the won­der­ful foot­notes) and very curi­ous prose – things which I think are in this novel, but sim­ply not as defined. How­ever, the book is still a won­der­ful read, enchant­ing and grasp­ing which I enjoyed all the way through and will cer­tainly be watch­ing out for Mr. Wecker’s next triumph.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 6, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI by Helene Wecker is an interesting Fanta

    THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI by Helene Wecker is an interesting Fantasy/Jewish-American/ Historical . "Chava is a Golem, a creature made of clay." While, "Ahmad is a Jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert".

    An impressive tale that blends mythology, magic, history, and religion into a tale of loyalties,struggles and supernatural beings. Ms. Wecker has written a delightful tale that brings life to mythology and magic through her tale of "The Golem and The Jinni". Jinni is a genie, and The Golem is a Jewish myth. Ms. Wecker has brought both these creatures to life with her powerful, inventive tale. Both creatures want love and acceptance just like the rest of the world. If you enjoy fantasy, science fiction and mythology than you will enjoy this title. While, it was a bit confusing to me at times, it was a great story. Well told! An impressive debut by this author. I can hardly wait to see what she has in store for her readers next.

    Received for an honest review from the publisher.

    RATING: 4

    HEAT RATING:

    REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2014

    A unique premise and very well written.

    A unique premise and very well written.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2014

    fun book to read

    The characters are fascinating and unique. The story line is well paced and never gets a boring moment. The resolution was great but i wanted to read more about what it would be like when the jinni returned.
    But regardless it was an entertaining book and a easy read. Loved all the characters and the setting of the story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 25, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful story, and very entertaining!

    Great story, and very entertaining. The author did a wonderful job with character development, and created a variety of interesting characters with their own personalities, strengths, and flaws. They were not dry or overly perfect like a lot of characters in stories, and they were unique to this specific book.

    It was suspenseful, and kept me turning the pages wanting more. I was pleased with the fact that it was not a predictable story. I can honestly say I didn't know what was going to happen, and I certainly didn't expect the turn of events to go the way they did...which is why I was so glued to the story.

    This book is different from a lot of other books in that it wasn't perfect. It didn't have perfect relationships, or even a perfect ending. It was unique, interesting, and completely imperfect, which is what I personally enjoy books such as this one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2013

    Good Story

    Very interesting story and great twists near the end! The middle got tedious and I had to put it down for a while, but the end was satisfying.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 19 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1