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The Golem

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,220 Ratings  ·  194 Reviews
classic novel of Kaballah & legend, tr M Mitchell
Kindle Edition, 270 pages
Published (first published 1915)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Bill  Kerwin
Mar 06, 2016 Bill Kerwin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Question: I am thinking of an author of novels and short stories, a speaker and writer of German, who lived in a predominately Czech-speaking area of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the early years of the 20th Century. His works are often set in the city of Prague, a setting he fills with menace and dark surrealism. He seems both attracted and repelled by Judaism, an ambiguity reflected in his themes of patriarchy and autonomy, authority and law, isolation and identity in an unjust and chaotic wo
Dec 04, 2013 Forrest rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While the story of The Golem alone deserves four stars as Gustav Meyrink's masterpiece, the Tartarus Press edition, of which I happen to be a fortunate owner, pushes the book-as-artifact into the five star category. This book is one of my most prized possessions, one of the books I'll reach for if the library ever catches fire. Everything about it screams "I defy you to find another book as cool as me". From the outstanding internal artwork to the silk ribbon marker to the weight of the pages th ...more
Jan 24, 2011 Greg rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Hello. My name is Greg and this is my review for:

I should first warn anyone reading this review that I suck at reading and you'd probably be better off reading reviews written by people who don't suck at reading. I only discovered my reading suckness last week, so I shamefully apologize for anyone who has read any of my six hundred and eight other reviews and thought they were reading a review written by someone who didn't suck. This review is probably a much more informative review than mine:

Con ‘El Golem’ no hay término medio. O la consideras una obra capital dentro del gótico del siglo XX, o la desprecias sin más, teniéndola por una novela enrevesada y pesada. Yo soy de los primeros. Al principio, y sin tener mucha idea de lo que me iba a encontrar, pensaba leer una historia de terror con la figura del mito del Golem de la literatura judía como tema principal. Y no es así, porque el terror brilla por su ausencia. Es posible que este sea uno de los principales motivos por los que l ...more
Nickolas the Kid
Oct 20, 2015 Nickolas the Kid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, gothic
Λοιπόν αυτό ήταν ένα παράξενο βιβλίο... Ο συγγραφέας μπλέκει δυο πραγματικότητες εκ των οποίων η μια είναι η ονειρική!! Μέσα από μια Γκόθικ ατμόσφαιρα και στηριζόμενος σε ένα εβραϊκό μύθο (αυτό του Γκόλεμ) ο Μέιρινκ μας βάζει μέσα στην εβραϊκή συνοικία της Πράγας όπου φαινομενικά ο βασικός πρωταγωνιστής είναι ο Αθανάσιος Περνάθ ένας χαράκτης πολύτιμων λίθων...

Θα συναντήσουμε περίεργους χαρακτήρες όπως μαργιονετίστες, μάγους, γιατρούς, παλαιοπώλες, πόρνες και αλχημιστές σε σκοτεινα σοκάκια, χαμαι
Nov 06, 2015 Chris_P rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Golem" is one of those books which I don't feel quite capable of writing an apropriate review for. It's deep, multi-layered and deeply philosophical. At times, it was hard for me to believe that it was actually written in the early 20th century. Some of its most distinct techniques are still widely used today in books that try to mess with the readers' minds.

To make a long story short, I was impressed and I feel that this story will stay with me for a long time.

A very good and memorable Gothic tale, that is only loosely based on the original 16th-century Golem of Prague narrative, although this one's also set in Prague (at the present time of publication, 1915 or some 33 years earlier). If you're not put off by mysticism–Jewish and otherwise–I recommend you check it out. It definitely has literary value! I'd put it somewhere in the vicinity of Poe and Kafka, with a little Lovecraft in the mix. It's a quick read, and the ending is, although not entirely
Dec 16, 2008 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you don't like this book then you probably suck at reading.
Το Άσχημο
Τί αριστούργημα θεέ μου! Με τί κομψό τρόπο το όνειρο αγγίζει την πραγματικότητα! Και η Πράγα, περιγράφεται σαν μια πόλη γεμάτη μυστήριο και μαγεία, ειδικά η εβραϊκή συνοικία, εκεί που ζει ο Αθανάσιος Πέρναθ, ο καλλιτέχνης (χαράκτης λίθων) που αποτελεί το κεντρικό ήρωα. Νομίζω πως το Γκόλεμ είναι η επιτομή του φιλοσοφικού μυθιστορήματος. Κι αν αυτό ακούγεται υπερβολικό, έστω είναι ένα από τα πιο αριστοτεχνικά γραμμένα και βαθιά φιλοσοφημένα μυθιστορήματα που έχω διαβάσει.

Στην αρχή νόμιζα πως θα
A golem is not the Gollum of Tolkien lore. I say this because I already had to explain this to someone at work who got super excited because he did not know a book about Gollum had been written separately. Sigh.

A golem is an animate being made from inanimate substances, often like mud, etc. and the stories hail from early Judaism. The most common concept is that the Hebrew word for truth (Emet) written on a piece of paper is placed on the Golem's head, or in the mouth, which then brings the Gole
Ann Schwader
Mar 12, 2015 Ann Schwader rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, classics
This “review” is more in the nature of a few comments on my first-time reading experience. I am frankly not qualified to discuss German language literature – even in what I’m told is an excellent translation. I know little about Gustav Meyrink, beyond a couple of biographical articles, and I’ve never read anything by him before.

That said, I’ve just had a truly mind-bending excursion through the Jewish ghetto of pre-WW I Prague. The atmosphere is pure Gothic. The narrator is thoroughly unreliabl
The Golem is a high-brow literary thriller. Very readable, even re-readable. Here's what the great Jorge Luis Borges wrote about it in 1936: "...An extraordinarily visual book that enchantingly combines mythology, eroticism, tourism, the 'local color' of Prague, prophetic dreams, dreams of past or future lives, and even reality." A "wonderful book." This quote is from a brief review of Meyrink's The Angel of the Western Window, about which Borges was far less enthusiastic. (See JLB, Selected Non ...more
Feb 01, 2010 Rick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Golem, said to have been created by the Rabbi Loew for the protection of the Ghetto in Prague, is a mysterious figure that apparently takes many forms, reminiscent in some ways of Leo Perutz’s Marquis of Bolibar.

Gustav Meyrink’s novel THE GOLEM, set in the turn-of-the-20th-century Prague Ghetto, revolves around the main character and narrator, Athanasius Pernath, who is searching for his identity. His memory of his own past has been blocked, and he is seeking both memory of that past and the
Jun 30, 2009 Evan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another Borges recommendation. The guy just cannot steer you wrong!

This is one of those wandering, paranoid hallucinations -- the plot is largely unnecessary, in a good way. An exemplar of the novel as a more experiential form than anything else. The prose stimulates all five senses constantly, and there is an almost allegorical thing going on that successfully resists understanding but provokes intense curiosity.

I read it in three bursts separated by long stretches of time, and felt that the st
aPriL does feral sometimes

‘The Golem’ by Gustav Meyrink, is an early 20th-century literary gothic (published in 1915). However, instead of the horror or monster drama that we, gentle reader, may be expecting, he explores the meaning of identity, mystically speaking, in the form of a highbrow 19th-century book written in the style of a psychological gothic of the time.

The word golem is a word used once in the Bible, specifically in Psalm 139:16, although we English speakers never see it because of translation issues. The
Iva Kenaz
Jul 20, 2015 Iva Kenaz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review of The Golem I'm a big fan of Meyrink's work, because I love novels that one can read many times and still find something new and inspiring to focus on. I found Golem to be so atmospheric that I felt as if I was there in the old Jewish Town, feeling the claustrophobic melancholy of the place, seeing the variety of people who lived there, hearing the old medieval houses whispering their ancient secrets, absorbing the mystery of the stones. I was born in Prague and grew up in the city, but ...more
Sep 18, 2015 Knjiski_Moljac rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: september-2015

Odlična knjiga. Pomalo nejsana u početku, ali kada dođete do kraja sve dobija svoj smisao. Bitno je samo da pregurate prvih 50-60 stranica.

Recenzija je objavljena mom blogu.
Feb 14, 2010 Oscar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent novel, full of surreal imagery from fin-de-sciècle Jewish Prague. Though the plot is engaging and mysterious, the book's main assets are the esoteric imagery and oneiric flow. Recommended if you're looking for something Kafkaesque and mystic.
Nicki Markus
Feb 09, 2012 Nicki Markus rated it really liked it
This is an intriguing piece of fiction that takes you into a claustrophobic world, reminiscent of the works of Meyrink's contemporary, Kakfa. Like Kafka, Meyrink offers us an intriguing glimpse of life in the backstreets of Prague, most notably the Jewish Quarter, and there are certainly some parallels with Kakfa's The Trial towards the end of the book.

The story follows a man who, having put on another's hat, finds himself transported into that man's mind, making this other man the protagonist.
Oct 10, 2013 Simon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I didn't really know what to expect before reading this and afterwards it is quite hard to talk about.

Initially I think it was quite hard to get into, being introduced with new characters with each new chapter and the somewhat disjointed feel from chapter to chapter. But after a while one gets into the flow and embroiled in the story.

Looking back, it doesn't really feel like a horror story as such, although it definitely fits into the category of a weird tale with it's strange occurrences, unrel
Vit Babenco
Sep 24, 2014 Vit Babenco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Rabbi Löw, well versed in all of the arts and sciences, especially in the Kabbalah, had fashioned for himself one such servant out of clay, placed in his mouth the magic formula, and thereby brought him to life”.
Such is the legend. But Golem of Gustav Meyrink is a creature that comes in dreams.
“It is the narrow, hidden tracks that lead back to our lost homeland, what contains the solution to the last mysteries is not the ugly scar that life's rasp leaves on us, but the fine, almost invisible w
I can honestly say I still don't know what was real and what was not. The first scene was breathtaking and all other dreamy scenes following it were equally fantastic. Dreams, hopes, mythology and a hint of reality mixed together with a dash of creepiness.
Nov 28, 2015 Sinem rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
biraz gotik biraz fantastik bir Yahudi efsanesinden oluşan güzel bi kurgu. meraklısına.
Extenso libro de las obras más importantes de Gustav Meyrink que incluye dos novelas, El Golem y El Domínico Blanco y un libro de relatos, Murciélagos.
Realmente ya no me atrae este tipo de literatura. Le percibo como un tanto arcaica, y la característica de los cuentos y novelas un tanto repetitiva al momento de utilizar recursos literarios.
A favor, puedo decir que Meyrink tenía una imaginación frondosa a la hora de describir imágenes, pasajes y situaciones , usualmente adornadas de un lujoso ni
Yet another book I knew I was going to enjoy, like Alfred Kubin's The Other Side, The Golem conjures up a fantastic atmosphere. Now it's time to watch the 1920 movie adaptation.

"The well-padded door swung to with a sigh behind me as I entered the Cathedral and stood in the darkness of the side aisle. The nave was filled with the green and blue shimmer of the dying light slanting down through the stained-glass windows onto the pews; at the far end, the altar gleamed at me in a frozen cascade of g
Apr 25, 2015 CalypK rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Amantes de la fantástica gótica
Recommended to CalypK by: La estantería de clásicos de mi librería de confianza
Terminado de leer 16/01/2015

ATENCIÓN. La siguiente reseña puede contener spoilers no etiquetados, por lo tanto, advertidos quedan.

Nunca hay que calzarse en la mollera el sombrero de otro hombre.

El mito del golem se remonta al siglo XVIII, cuando un rabino habría podido crear (adelantándose al monstruo de Frankenstein de Mary Shelley) un ser artificial mediante las fórmulas de la cábala. Dicho hombre artificial habría sido concebido para servir de criado y realizar los trabajos pesados (Jo,
Jan 16, 2015 Andy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can barely find the right words for the feelings i have for this book. You have to read this one really carefully but you will be well rewarded if you do so. Meyrink makes heavy use of symbolism and foreshadowing, and often makes references to characters, symbols and events which happened earlier in the book. One of the most enjoyable things for me is reading a story where the autor starts to blend the inner feelings of a character and his surroundings, the structures like buildings but also t ...more
Dec 21, 2014 Anysha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
„Když lidé vstanou ze svých loží, mylně se domnívají, že ze sebe setřásli spánek, a nevědí přitom, že se stali obětí svých smyslů a kořistí nového spánku, jenž je daleko hlubší než ten, jemuž právě unikli.“
Mar 15, 2015 Arwen56 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Questo romanzo mi ha tenuta impegnata un mese intero e sono riuscita ad arrivare alla fine con fatica. Molta fatica. Tantissima fatica. Una fatica della madonna, considerando che sono solo duecentocinquanta pagine. Non ci ho capito assolutamente niente. Anzi, diciamocela schietta: non ci ho capito un beato cazzo. Non ho la più pallida idea di dove volesse andare a parare l’autore, né se da qualche parte stesse andando o volesse effettivamente andare. Di solito, in questo tipo di evenienza, ho no ...more
Dieses Buch war ganz anders, als ich erwartet hatte. Zum einen spielt das unheimliche Wesen, der Golem, gar keine so wesentliche Rolle, er tritt – für meine Begriffe – lediglich als eine Art Versinnbildlichung der alten Judenstadt Prags in Erscheinung. Zum anderen ist der Stil des Romans expressionistisch, kafkaesk, stellenweise hat er mich gar an Wolfgang Borchert erinnert, und das ist ja jetzt so gar nicht mein Ding. Vor allem zu Beginn des Romans ist die Handlung so verworren und konfus, dass ...more
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  • The Other Side
  • The Manuscript Found in Saragossa
  • By Night Under the Stone Bridge
  • Alraune
  • The Devil's Elixirs
  • The Dark Domain
  • Die schwarze Spinne
  • The White Hands and Other Weird Tales
  • Là-Bas (Down There)
  • The Tenant
  • Simplicissimus
  • Hill of Dreams
  • Severin’s Journey Into the Dark : A Prague Ghost Story
  • Valerie and Her Week of Wonders
  • Malpertuis
  • Glorious Nemesis
  • The King in the Golden Mask and Other Writings
  • The Complete John Silence Stories (Dover Horror Classics)
The illegitimate child of a baron and an actress, Meyrinck spent his childhood in Germany, then moving to today's Czech Republic where he lived for 20 years. The city of Prague is present in most of his work along with various religious, occult and fantastic themes. Meyrinck practiced yoga all his life.

Curious facts:

He unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide at the age of 24. His son committed su
More about Gustav Meyrink...

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“It is the narrow, hidden tracks that lead back to our lost homeland, what contains the solution to the last mysteries is not the ugly scar that life's rasp leaves on us, but the fine, almost invisible writing that is engraved on our body.” 11 likes
“I have not let myself be stultified by science, whose highest goal is to furnish a `waiting room', which it would be best to tear down.” 10 likes
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