October 11, 2013

The Golem and the Jinni

An immigrant tale that combines elements of Jewish and Arab folk mythology, The Golem and the Jinni tells the story of two supernatural creatures who arrive separately in New York in 1899. One is a golem, created out of clay to be her master’s wife—but he dies at sea, leaving her disoriented and overwhelmed as their ship arrives in New York Harbor. The other is a jinni, a being of fire, trapped for a thousand years in a copper flask before a tinsmith in Manhattan’s Little Syria releases him. Each unknown to the other, the Golem and the Jinni explore the strange and altogether human city. Chava, as a kind old rabbi names her, is beset by the desires and wishes of others, which she can feel tugging at her. Ahmad, christened by the tinsmith who makes him his apprentice, is aggravated by human dullness. Both must work to create places for themselves in this new world, and develop tentative relationships with the people who surround them. And then, one cold and windy night, their paths happen to meet.

 My Thoughts 

The books cover is what attracted me and the title intrigued me to want to read it. I love to read about supernatural creatures but I'd never read a book like this before. I thought what made it interesting were the Jewish and Arab elements but it lacked dialogue.

It took me near a week to finish it since most times I fell asleep while listening to it. I missed a few chapters. At first the story was captivating and I wanted to know what happens to the Golem but as the story progressed it kinda got boring and it sidewinded too much. I didn't care for the Jinni's past with Fadwa al-Hadid [missed a lot of it] I think because I felt nothing for the characters. I didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to . It's sad. I also didn't enjoy how it ends.

Religion is a touchy subject area and unless you have a good understanding it's hard to please everyone. I don't know about what muslims believe a Jinn to be but I was under the impression that Jinns were evil. In this story I'm not so sure what to think about the Jinni. He didn't appear to be all that 'evil' to me even though the author infers him to be made of fire, dark, and fallen. He was selfish too, but Boutros Arbeely was worse imo and just irritating. Oh well. Nobody's perfect. I would've thought the Jinni as an evil monster instead of a moral character between the lines of good and evil. In the end Yehudah Schaalman, who created the Golem is the ultimate evil one. I suppose for who he was, he deserved it. coward.

About the Author


Helene Wecker grew up in Libertyville, Illinois, a small town north of Chicago, and received her Bachelor’s in English from Carleton College in Minnesota. After graduating, she worked a number of marketing and communications jobs in Minneapolis and Seattle before deciding to return to her first love, fiction writing. Accordingly, she moved to New York to pursue a Master’s in fiction at Columbia University. She now lives near San Francisco with her husband and daughter. Her first novel, THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI, will be published in April 2013 by HarperCollins. Visit her website

1 comment:

  1. The summary sounds interesting, too bad it comes off as boring. Ah well.

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