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The Golem

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  2,793 ratings  ·  168 reviews
Roman Golem čitaoci su odavno uvrstili u red kultnih knjiga, a kritičari u klasiku mistične književnosti. Radnja ove uzbudljive knjige smeštena je u stari jevrejski geto u Pragu. Kroz drevni mit o Golemu, pisac nas majstorski uvodi u mistični svet alhemije i okultnog, oslanjajući se na kabalu prožetu staroegipatskim mističnim mudrostima...
Od ortodoksnih Jevreja osuđivana k
Paperback, 262 pages
Published June 28th 2000 by Dedalus (first published 1915)
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The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan KunderaThe God Complex by Chris TitusThe Trial by Franz KafkaThe Metamorphosis by Franz KafkaThe Golem by Gustav Meyrink
Best Books Set in Prague
5th out of 66 books — 59 voters
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Metamorphosis by Franz KafkaPeter Pan by J.M. BarrieHowards End by E.M. ForsterA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
Best Books of the Decade: 1910's
67th out of 237 books — 375 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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:

Bill  Kerwin

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
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
If you don't like this book then you probably suck at reading.
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
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
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

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.
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
Ann Schwader
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
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
Iva Kenaz
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
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
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.
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
“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.
„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.“
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 4 of 5 stars  ·  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,
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
If I were to judge this novel strictly on the atmosphere it creates in the Prague ghetto and for its descriptions, especially of dreams, I would give it five stars. Generally I am not a fan non-linear fiction, but Meyrink does it extremely well as he doesn't become entangled with writing style.

My criticism of the novel is that it strays into a private mythology without, at times, giving the reader a way out. The mixture of delusion and mysticism is sometimes not well balanced, and the reader is
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
Oct 07, 2007 Greta rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Jung fans, Jewish history
Multifacted book has much to say about fragmentation of the self and identity. Although disjointed narratives brillliantly contribute to the themes of the book, some readers (not me) may be put off by them.Interesting connections to Jungian ideas and Jewish history. Poignant moments in book, as one sees the liveliness of the Jewish community before the Holocaust.
Unbelievable read. I will have to read it again in the future, as it left me a little confused and asking a few questions (in a good way), but beautifully written with a genuinely likable character. had my heart thumping a few times.
Phenomenal story that blew my mind away. Wish there were more
Martin Sebesta
„Jenom mi tak napadlo, když předtím ty kabáty tak poletovaly, jak je to zvláštní, když vítr pohybuje neživými věcmi,“

odpověděl rychle Prokop, jako by se omlouval za své mlčení:

„Vypadá to tak divně, když se náhle začnou třepetat předměty, které jinak leží jako mrtvé. Ne? – Viděl jsem jednou na nějakém úplně liduprázdném náměstí, jak se velké kusy papíru – já jsem přitom vůbec žádný vítr necítil, byl jsem totiž kryt domem – zběsile honily v kruhu a navzájem se pronásledovaly, jako by si přísahal
Daniel Gamboa
I enjoyed the novel as a moment in the life of Athanasius Pernath. It's the world in which Mr. Pernath lives, the characters he meets and the ghetto of Prague, what makes reading this book fascinating. The aura of uncertainty and mistery, along with the misery, hatred, obsession, greed, amorality, love, murder and a vast array of human feelings and acts, permeates this novel to the point of an intoxication that leaves you wanting for more.

My only problem is that I am not familiar with Jewish mys
Feb 24, 2013 Ariel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Sara
Shelves: favorites
It's not even March yet and I know that this is going to be one of the best books I'd have read all year.

I heard of this novel thanks to Borges, who wrote its prologue a year before his death. The influence of Meyrink on Borges' work seems obvious to me now. In fact, this book may have influenced many other works. I'll have to describe the book the way wine professionals describe a wine's flavor, by comparing it to other flavors. The Golem is a strange combination of Poe's William Wilson, The Ma
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  • The Dark Domain
  • The Tenant
  • By Night Under the Stone Bridge
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  • Severin’s Journey Into the Dark : A Prague Ghost Story
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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...
The Angel of the West Window Walpurgisnacht The Green Face The White Dominican The Opal (and Other Stories)

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“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.” 11 likes
“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.” 9 likes
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