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The Golem and the Jinni

av Helene Wecker

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

Serier: The Golem and the Jinni (1)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
4,0362852,162 (4.13)351
Chava, a golem brought to life by a disgraced rabbi, and Ahmad, a jinni made of fire, form an unlikely friendship on the streets of New York until a fateful choice changes everything.
Senast inlagd avprivat bibliotek, leslie.emery, oreganosandwich, TBASeaLib, Arina40, szarka, kwanzeon50, A2Seamster
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Visa 1-5 av 280 (nästa | visa alla)
I love how this book is constructed, how Wecker holds all the cards in her hand and deals each one out with just the right timing. The setting---New York City at the turn of the 20th century---is beautifully rendered and easy to see. Some of the twists border on too twisty for me, but the events all make sense with the characters and the story. Another great title from the Level 12 Build Your Library curriculum. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Dec 27, 2020 |
I loved the beginning and the end, but the middle kind of drug along for me. ( )
  pmichaud | Dec 21, 2020 |
I really appreciated a historical/urban fantasy that wasn't rooted in the standard modern vampires/werewolves story. While it had a very slow, meandering start (and I mean SLOW, there's not much until 2/3rd in), it nailed the fairy tale tone well enough that my interest never flagged. The supporting cast was also great, although they had a habit of dying rather conveniently for the plot.

My issue is entirely with the ending, for several reasons:
-The Jinni displayed character growth, but never the Golem. She is unchanged from the beginning of the novel.
-After the slow, slow, slow burn of the rest of the book, the climax happens incredibly quickly.
-The ending hinges on mistaking coercion for consent. The Big Bad finds a spell to bind the Golem to a new master, but a caveat of the spell is that it requires consent on the part of the Golem to work. The Big Bad threatens the lives of others to coerce the Golem into agreeing to the spell....which isn't fucking consent. Its coercion. And the spell works. It would be one thing if the Big Bad, being evil, makes this mistake and the spell fails. That would perhaps be a great ending - for all his knowledge, his lack of understanding of basic ethical principles causes the spell to fail, he doesn't realize it, and the Golem breaks free with her newfound independence. That doesn't happen. Instead, evil is correct, coercion is no different from consent, and the man has to step in to save the woman whose only desires are to placidly serve (even though she hated it). That's bad storytelling and bad messaging.
-Too much hinges on determinism. I know that's weird for me, as a behaviorist, to say it, but...the Golem is literally created to be Good. Virtuous. It is her nature and she cannot overcome it. Similarly, the Big Bad is implied to be trapped in Evil and literally cannot escape it no matter what. Its ultimately unsatisfying because it means the characters don't get much in way of nuance, development, or motivation. It feels cartoony. And, to quote a wise dragon, "What is better - to be born good, or to overcome your evil nature through great effort?" The latter makes for a better story/character.
( )
  kaitlynn_g | Dec 13, 2020 |
In late 19th Century New York City, a Golem from Poland and a Jinni from the Syrian desert find each other and become friends. Chava is masterless in that the man for whom she was created died of a burst appendix on the sea voyage from Poland; Ahmad has spent a millennium trapped in a copper container, but once he is freed from that, he finds that he is still bound to the soul of the wizard who initially captured him. The wizard, in his turn, has lived many, many lives during that time because he bound his own soul to Ahmad’s life, which might be very long indeed…. On its face, the concept of a Golem and a Jinni hanging out together sounds like the beginning of a joke (“Golem and Jinni walk into a bar….”), but this novel is actually a beautifully drawn story about a certain time in the history of New York City, about the nature of good and evil, and, in the end, about what constitutes a soul. Really fine; recommended! ( )
  thefirstalicat | Dec 8, 2020 |
This was an interesting blend of mythologies and a compelling story, as well. The pacing was a little uneven, but the writing is good, and it reads fairly quickly for being an enormous book. ( )
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
Visa 1-5 av 280 (nästa | visa alla)
The title characters of “The Golem and the Jinni” are not the book’s only magic. The story is so inventive, so elegantly written and so well constructed that it’s hard to believe this is a first novel. Clearly, otherworldly forces were involved.
tillagd av karenb | ändraStar-Tribune, Curt Schleier (Jun 15, 2013)
 
You think a relationship is complicated when a woman is from Venus and a man is from Mars? Trust me, that’s a piece of cake compared with the hurdles that a modest golem and a mercurial jinni face when they fall in love.
 
The sometimes slow pace picks up considerably as the disparate characters decipher the past and try to save the souls variously threatened by the golem and the jinni, as well as by the Jewish conjurer and (surprise) a Syrian wizard. The interplay of loyalties and the struggle to assert reason over emotion keep the pages flipping.
tillagd av karenb | ändraNew York Times, Susan Cokal (May 16, 2013)
 

» Lägg till fler författare

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Wecker, Heleneprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Beals, Jesse TarboxOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Guidall, GeorgeBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Ljoenes, RichardOmslagsformgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Ruoto, WilliamFormgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat

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The Golem's life began in the hold of a steamship.
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"A man might desire something for a moment, while a larger part of him rejects it. You'll need to learn to judge people by their actions, not their thoughts."
You must learn how to act according to what people say and do, not what they wish or fear.
These were the world's first people. Everything they did, every action and decision, was entirely new, without precedent. They had no larger society to turn to, no examples of how to behave. They only had the Almighty to tell them right from wrong. And like children, if His commands ran counter to their desires, sometimes they chose not to listen. And then they learned that there are consequences to one's actions.
As the daughter of one of the richest and most prominent families in New York--indeed, in the country--it had been made clear to her, in ways both subtle and overt, that she was expected to little more than simply exist, biding her time and minding her manners until she made a suitable match and continued the family line. Her future unrolled before her like a dreadful tapestry, its pattern set and immutable. There would be a wedding, and then a house somewhere nearby on the avenue, with a nursery for the children that were, of course, mandatory.
"Once a golem develops a taste for destruction," the old rabbi said, "little can stop it save the words that destroy it. Not all golems are as crude or stupid as this one, but all share the same essential nature. They are tools of man, and they are dangerous. Once they have disposed of their enemies they will turn on their masters. They are creatures of last resort. Remember that."
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Chava, a golem brought to life by a disgraced rabbi, and Ahmad, a jinni made of fire, form an unlikely friendship on the streets of New York until a fateful choice changes everything.

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