The Golem and the Jinni was one of the best books I’ve read so far this year. It was such a great story that I was so caught up in it. I would’ve stayThe Golem and the Jinni was one of the best books I’ve read so far this year. It was such a great story that I was so caught up in it. I would’ve stayed up past my bedtime (all too easy as I sleep before 1030) but with two kids demanding all my energy I need my sleep. Still I managed to read and read this, while pushing the 1yo on his tricycle, while the kids napped in the afternoon, in between doing chores, and during my reading time after the kids went to sleep. I didn’t want this story to end.
It was a truly absorbing, enchanting story, set in New York in 1899. A jinni accidentally released by a tinsmith after centuries in a flask. A golem created a a wife for a man who dies at sea on their way from Poland. Their new lives, separately, are fascinating themselves. One a new being, learning to live on her own, being able to read the desires of the humans around her. The other, centuries old, having to readjust to life in this new world, unable to remember his previous life and how he was imprisoned in the flask.
Then these two mythical beings meet and an unlikely friendship begins. And what a ride it is, partly because there is an element of suspense with a villain tracking them down.
It is part historical fiction, part folklore, part fantasy. But all over a moving, exciting, lyrical and simply awesome magic carpet ride of a read.
I hesitate to write about this book. It – and the first book, The Name of the Wind – probably deserves a whole post to itself. But I don’t quite knowI hesitate to write about this book. It – and the first book, The Name of the Wind – probably deserves a whole post to itself. But I don’t quite know how to talk about it, to write about it. I feel like I need to reread it, reread them. And of course wait for the next book (next year?). The Name of the Wind was such a gorgeous gorgeous loonnnngggg book. The Wise Man’s Fear is just as long (maybe longer – I was reading an ebook version so I can’t really tell), still telling a great story, but a little infuriatingly so, because other parts of the story are not moving along at as fast a pace as I would’ve liked it (saving the exciting parts for the third book, are we?). Instead we have long bits about other things (I’m trying not to reveal any spoilers here) that are still interesting to read, but perhaps a bit too drawn out. I think I would still read pretty much anything Patrick Rothfuss puts out there....more
I’ve come to expect nothing but greatness – with a side of odd, but good-odd you know – from Mr Ness. His brilliant A Monster Calls was one of my favoI’ve come to expect nothing but greatness – with a side of odd, but good-odd you know – from Mr Ness. His brilliant A Monster Calls was one of my favourites of last year. And with A Crane Wife, he adapts a Japanese folktale and turns it into a story set in modern-day England. An act of kindness (helping a hurt crane) leads to the entrance of a mysterious woman, an artist who makes the most extraordinary paper cuttings, a person who changes his life and the lives of the rest of the people around him. It’s a little romantic and whimsical, a lot dreamy and mythical, but still rooted in modern times. Delicately witty and fantastically sad, it’s a delight to read