The Golem And The Jinni by Helene Wecker | Audiobook Review

The Golem And The Jinni by Helene Wecker | Audiobook ReviewThe Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Narrator: George Guidall
Length: 19 Hours 43 Minutes
Published by Harper Collins on April 23rd 2013
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Jewish, Literary
Pages: 512
Format: Audiobook, Hardcover
Source: Library, Won In A Contest
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780062110855

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.

Why Did I Listen To The Golem And The Jinni?

The Golem And The Jinni by Helene Wecker is a book that I’ve kind of been in the middle of reading for a wicked long time. I mean, since it came out I’ve started it and just had it on pause. Then one day I was looking at the obnoxious number of books on my currently reading shelf and rather than DNF or give up on this, I decided to download the audiobook via Hoopla. I figured that was one quick way to finally get through the rest of this book and take it off that shelf.

What’s The Story Here?

The book opens with a man who I imagine is a bit of a neckbeard and fedora wearer commissioning a golem being made to be his wife. The man, Otto Rotfeld and the golem head to New York City. Unfortunately, Rotfeld dies on the ship along the way. At this same time, there’s a tin smith in the Little Syria section of New York City named Arbeely. He unwittingly unleashes the Jinni as he works on a copper flask. The two go about their new lives, things happen. Anyways, they eventually meet and form a friendship and hang out at night. As it turns out, their lives are more similar and intertwined than you would expect. Plus, there’s some danger coming up on the horizon.

What Did I Think Of The Golem And The Jinni?

So, The Golem And The Jinni absolutely took me FOREVER to finally finish and read. Once I got going with it though, via audio, I did like it. I loved the setting. Also, the characters are really well written and interesting too. The writing is pretty sophisticated which maybe is why it took me so long. I felt like the pacing was a little slow. However, if you’ve read Jonathon Strange And Mr. Norrell, you’ll be aware that the comparison of this book to that one is apt. Both are super slow paced, but good.

How’s The Narration?

Helene Wecker’s The Golem And The Jinni is narrated by George Guidall who apparently is sort of a big deal in the audiobook world. This was the first time I’ve actually listened to a book narrated by him, despite owning his narration of Les Miserables. Frankly, he has the sort of voice that has gravitas in it. I felt like he was very well suited for this book. He just has that kind of historical fiction voice, I don’t even know how to describe it. The audiobook is a little long at just under 20 hours, however, it was a lot faster for me to finally consume it as an audiobook than to sit down and physically read it.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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