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Extended Audio Sample The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel Audiobook, by Helene Wecker Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Helene Wecker Narrator: George Guidall Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2013 ISBN: 9780062263056
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Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, 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.

Struggling to make their way in this strange new place, the golem and the jinni try to fit in with their neighbors while masking their true natures. Surrounding them is a community of immigrants: the coffeehouse owner Maryam Faddoul, a pillar of wisdom and support for her Syrian neighbors; the solitary ice-cream maker Saleh, a damaged man cursed by tragedy; the kind and caring Rabbi Meyer and his beleaguered nephew, Michael, whose Sheltering House receives newly arrived Jewish men; the adventurous young socialite Sophia Winston; and the enigmatic Joseph Schall, a dangerous man driven by ferocious ambition and esoteric wisdom.

Meeting by chance, the two creatures become 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 menace will soon bring the golem and the jinni together again, threatening their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.

Marvelous and compulsively readable, The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of folk mythology, historical fiction, and magical fable into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “With the intimate feel of a story handed down from generation to generation…the novel explores what it means to be human as Chava and Ahmad struggle to live and find love while overcoming the powerful adversary who threatens to destroy them.”

    Deborah Harkness, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Life

  • “From its eerie opening pages to its shattering conclusion, The Golem and the Jinni is an astonishing debut novel that sweeps us into a gaslit alternate reality rich enough to get lost in.”

    Tom Reiss, New York Times bestselling author of The Black Count

  • “Magical thinking comes alive in an enchanting allegory of the immigrant experience as two mythical beings try to make sense of themselves and the world around them.”

    Family Circle

  • “Dive in and happily immerse yourself, forgetting the troubles of daily life for a while. The Golem and the Jinni offers just such an absorbing experience.”

    USA Today

  • “An intoxicating fusion of fantasy and historical fiction…The book’s magic, filtered through the old-time hustle and bustle of the Lower East Side, lingers long after the final page. Grade: A.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “The author makes you care enough about the humanity of these magical spirits to not only see them through to the end but also to regret that you’ve reached the last page.”

    New York Times

  • “Masterful…utterly unique and enchanting.”

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review

  • “An inventive and utterly lovely story.”

    Washington Post

  • “History, magic, and religion braid together in old New York’s tenements…The interplay of loyalties and the struggle to assert reason over emotion keep the pages flipping.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Wecker maintains her novel’s originality as she orchestrates a satisfying and unpredictable ending. The Golem and the Jinni is a continuous delight—provocative, atmospheric, and superbly paced.”

    Boston Globe

  • “A spellbinding blend of fantasy and historical fiction.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A fascinating blend of historical fiction and Jewish and Arab folklore.”

    Library Journal

  • “A mystical and highly original stroll through the sidewalks of New York.”


  • “Wecker writes skillfully, nicely evoking the layers of alienness that fall upon strangers in a strange land.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the May 2013 Indie Next List
  • An AudioFile Editors’ Pick in May 2013
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • An Amazon Top 100 Book of 2013
  • A 2013 Entertainment Weekly Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2013 New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2013 in Fiction
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • An NPR Bestseller
  • A 2013 BookPage Best Book
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2013 in Fiction
  • A 2014 Indies Choice Book Award Honoree for Adult Debut
  • Finalist for the 2014 Locus Award
  • Winner of the 2014 Mythopoeic Award for Best Adult Literature
  • Finalist for the 2013 Nebula Award for Best Novel
  • Finalist for the 2014 Audie Award for Fiction
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About the Author

Helene Wecker grew up in Libertyville, Illinois, a small town north of Chicago, and received a bachelor’s degree in English from Carleton College in Minnesota. After graduating, she worked a number of marketing and communications jobs in Minneapolis and Seattle before deciding she wanted to write something longer than a press release. Accordingly, she moved to New York to pursue a master’s degree in fiction writing at Columbia University. She now lives near San Francisco with her husband and daughter.

About the Narrator

George Guidall, winner of more than eighty AudioFile Earphones Awards, has twice won the prestigious Audie Award for Excellence in Audiobook Narration. In 2014 the Audio Publishers Association presented him with the Special Achievement Award for an audiobook narrator of exceptional stature and accomplishment. During his thirty-year recording career he has recorded over 1,100 audiobooks, won multiple awards, been a mentor to many narrators, and shown by example the potential of fine storytelling. His forty-year acting career includes starring roles on Broadway, an Obie Award for best performance off Broadway, and frequent television appearances.