The Golem and the Jinni

Helene Wecker
The Golem and the Jinni Cover

The Golem and the Jinni


So much more I could have written, but ah well, so it goes...

To quote Inigo Montoya: "Let me sum up."

Started out very promising, but I never felt the promises were kept. And some reveals at the end were dissatisfying as I felt they weren't hinted at strongly enough throughout the rest of the novel (though I can wrangle it so the concept was present).

Initial character portrayals are great, I felt, but interactions and developments fell flat and stale when trying to portray the state of mind at the turn of the 19th Century (the dance club chapter in particular).

Even the style somewhat grated on me, though not enough to keep it from being a compelling read: I don't think there is anything any reader would find difficult to process; I can, however, tell she was in university writing program just from the tone, the way the narrator is both a part of and distanced from the action, which gives the narrative a somewhat disjointed feeling.

Which isn't to say this is a bad book. With a bit more rigor in the style and development of theme/character (as time goes on I'm becoming less and less certain of any excluvisity [a word?] of the concepts we use to discuss literature, but that's a topic for another time), this could have been a remarkable book.

As it is, while not a waste of time, I am disappointed in the novel - especially since a week after I bought the damn thing in hardcover I saw it in the bookstore in paper back; oy vey.

Though if Wecker is to carry on in the mode of writing (i.e. the fantastic, not necessarily incorporating the historical or mythological - and yes I know how loaded that seems, but let that part go), I would be more than happy to check out her future works.