Author: Helene Wecker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Shelf: Magical Realism, Historical Fiction, Recipe for Awesomesauce, Myth-mix
Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. 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 1899 New York, the Golem and the Jinni try to fit in with their immigrant neighbors while masking their true selves. Meeting by chance, they 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.
For the majority of the book, I didn’t want to live outside of the story. Could never think of living, loving anything else. It was TORTUROUS to pull myself away. But today was a bad day-at least the last third of the book made it seem so. At around 70%, the story/writing lost everything that had me hypnotized. By the end, it wasn’t THAT bad but I can’t tell you how disappointed I am at the loss of at the magic.
There was a wide range of perspectives, looking at the story from multiple angles, giving no feel amidst the infusion of religion of condemnation, or boredom. And the tales in the desert! I practically swooned. It was like I was holding an expansive wonderland in my hands.
Frankly, where it starts to go downhill is when the action starts. The writing style was much more conducive to a magical slice-of-life writing and explorations of limitations, characters, magic and history. I cannot express how much I love all that in general, and in particular, within this story.
In any case, the first half of this book! I remember thinking that the existence all other books, no matter how wonderful and touching and shit, was moot. Eek!
Basically, for the majority of the story, this was me: