The Golem and the Jinni: Or being inhuman in early New York

The Golem and the Djinni - Helene Wecker

This is one of those books that immediately brings to mind a list of people I want to recommend it to. It's so well written that even when I didn't find myself in the mood to pick the book up I'd find myself reading more pages than my goal. It is masterfully crafted. The descriptions really capture the times and places depicted without being overly verbose, and the characters are well developed and distinct. The plot itself is slow moving, and really secondary to the exploration of the titular individuals, which isn't necessarily a bad thing just something to be aware of if you're in the mood for something fast paced. There is a bit of romance, but it is quietly subtle, so don't expect huge fireworks. All in all this book is a well imagined, excellently written, exploration of what it means to live as a human in the world as discovered by two non-humans.

 

Glowing review right? And justly deserved. I can see how this book managed to get so much traction with non-fantasy readers, as well as bagging so many awards. So then why only three stars? That's on me. The simplest explanation is probably that I'm just not much of a fan of historical fiction, nor longer books that simmer slowly. It's a personal taste thing. Don't allow my lack of enthusiasm deter you - the fact that I enjoyed this book as much as I did when it's not really my go-to speaks highly of its craft.