The Golem and the Djinni, Paperback Book
3.5 out of 5 (4 ratings)

Description

New York, 1899. Two strangers, one destiny. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic.

When her master, the husband who commissioned her, dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York in 1899. Ahmad is a djinni, 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.

Though he is no longer imprisoned, Ahmad is not entirely free - an unbreakable band of iron binds him to the physical world. The Golem & The Djinni is their magical, unforgettable story; 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 threat will soon bring Chava and Ahmad together again, challenging their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.

Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 656 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Myth & legend told as fiction
  • ISBN: 9780007480197

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Reviews

Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by
4

The premise of the novel was extremely interesting to me since I am a person who experiences both Arabic and Jewish culture on a day to day basis and has known about Djinn since childhood (I even remember hearing horror stories about Djinn in elementary school). I came into this book with very high expectations, and at first they were not quite met. The pacing is rather slow and I felt that the action picked up only towards the end of the novel, and even then it wasn't as action-packed as I thought it would be. One effect that contributed to the production of this slow pace is the constant shifts in timeline and location; when a character is introduced or some important part of their life is hinted at, the narrative shifts from being in the present fictional time to the character's past and tell this story. I usually don't mind "information dumping" and backstories much, but I felt that they were quite abrupt and somewhat awkward in this book. They also spanned over several pages and by the end of the backstory section I would have forgotten what was going on in the fictional present.But despite all that, I enjoyed this book immensely. It is definitely not a quick read (and not just due to it being over 600 pages), but it's worth it.

Review by
2.5

A good concept, poorly edited & @ times badly paced. Whilst starting relatively well, too much time is taken focusing on the back story of one of the protagonists, & not enough pacing makes this at times a tedious read. Whilst a brilliant idea, the story never finally makes the expectation that you have for it. Whilst I have sympathy for many of the characters, I didn't feel as though I could engage that easily with them. This isn't the new Jonathon Strange & Mr Norrell but rather a poor imitation of it. Average.

Review by
4

I really did love this, but it just missed the full five stars for me. Firstly, it was a bit too long. Secondly, in a related point, there were a few extraneous characters or characters that went nowhere. For example, I was very interested in Michael's story, but it didn't really go anywhere and his character could have been left out (with only some minor retooling) and the story would have felt a bit sharper. It would have also meant that there would have been more room for the development of the friendship between the Golem and the Djinni, which I loved, but felt needed a little more attention. The writing was GREAT though, I would definitely read something else by the author.

Review by
4

I really did love this, but it just missed the full five stars for me. Firstly, it was a bit too long. Secondly, in a related point, there were a few extraneous characters or characters that went nowhere. For example, I was very interested in Michael's story, but it didn't really go anywhere and his character could have been left out (with only some minor retooling) and the story would have felt a bit sharper. It would have also meant that there would have been more room for the development of the friendship between the Golem and the Djinni, which I loved, but felt needed a little more attention. The writing was GREAT though, I would definitely read something else by the author.

Also by Helene Wecker