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The Golem of Hollywood

(Detective Jacob Lev #1)

3.27  ·  Rating details ·  3,682 ratings  ·  580 reviews
From Jonathan Kellerman, the #1 New York Times bestselling author and master of psychological suspense, and Jesse Kellerman, the international #1 bestselling author of The Genius, comes one of the most remarkable novels of the year.
 
A burned-out L.A. detective . . . a woman of mystery who is far more than she seems . . . a grotesque, ancient monster bent on a mission of
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Hardcover, 560 pages
Published September 16th 2014 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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Debbe I caught this too. Unlike Robert, I could find no evidence of a Calgary in Ontario. Not saying there isn't one but would it be big enough to host a…moreI caught this too. Unlike Robert, I could find no evidence of a Calgary in Ontario. Not saying there isn't one but would it be big enough to host a conference?! ;^)
He may have been being tricky but who would believe it!? hahahaha(less)

Community Reviews

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3.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,682 ratings  ·  580 reviews


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Carly
~2.5

Have you ever had your entire experience of a book ruined by the ending? This is one of those books.

I'm a strong fan of Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware series. Kellerman plus golems? What could possibly go wrong?
I'm glad you asked.

First, however, I’ll give objectivity--or at least more measured subjectivity-- a try. The Golem of Hollywood is a bizarre pairing of two narratives: that of Jacob Lev, a burned-out, alcoholic, Hollywood detective, and Asham, the sister of Cain and Abel. (Yes, t
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Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
Wow! Where do I start in reviewing this book, this was certainly something I was not expecting and really is the type of book you are best exploring with no expectations of it being like Jonathan Kellerman's other books, if you can do that, you will probably enjoy it more, as it's different. The book is a collaboration between Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman, so it's bound to be different.

The writing in this book is good for the most part. I was sucked into the words and they kept me riveted until
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Barbara
Mar 14, 2015 rated it did not like it

Jacob Lev is an alcoholic, almost washed-up LAPD detective who's been relegated to the traffic department. Then an unidentified severed head is found in an abandoned house along with the Hebrew word for "justice". Lev is reassigned to the ensuing murder investigation, apparently because of his Jewish heritage. It soon becomes clear that this isn't a routine murder inquiry but rather a secretive endeavor to be conducted from Jacob's apartment.

As Jacob uncovers clues he discovers that a series of
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Alex is The Romance Fox
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Is this book really written by Jonathan Kellerman that writes the fantastic Alex Delaware Series? Let me check…yes, that’s what is says on the cover…he wrote this with his son, Jesse Kellerman.
Perhaps that’s the reason that The Golem of Hollywood is my LEAST liked book written by JK!!!

What a bizarre plot..no, wait…two plots interwoven into one story!! An alcoholic burnt-out detective given the task of solving a serial killer’s murders in LALA land and Asham, sister of Cain & Abel…are they
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Mike (the Paladin)
I don't know exactly how to phrase this review. I like the book. On the whole I thought I'd give it 3 stars but it's a better story than that and I do plan to follow it up. I'll be spending a few lines telling you why I can't give it a more rave type review.

First let me say that the story itself is one of great imagination and invention. The story telling is thoughtful and I don't think that you will have seen many like it. There is more depth here than you get in a lot of thrillers and it's th
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Scott Parsons
Oct 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, fantasy
This is a fantastically absorbing and complex novel and a radical departure for Jonathan Kellerman from his Alex Delaware novels. If you picked up this book expecting another schmooze with Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis, put it down. This is an entirely different genre. You will either be fascinated by it or hate it. Witness other reviews on GoodReads and Amazon which illustrate this range of reaction.

I read this novel in three days and only at night. This demonstrates clearly that I was fascina
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Mark Rubinstein
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Golem of Hollywood is not your typical Jonathan Kellerman novel. And it's not an easy read. The novel combines two intersecting story lines. One features LAPD detective Jacob Lev who is tasked with solving a gruesome murder that took place in the Hollywood Hills. The trail takes Detective Lev through his paces, eventually leading to Prague. The other story goes back to biblical times and moves through the centuries. Eventually, the stories intersect, and the reader is taken through aspects o ...more
Sara
Oct 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
Somewhere in this disjointed, nonsensical mess there is a serial killer murder mystery! The outcome and who done it is obvious from the early chapters. The present day story is broken up by a fantasy retelling of the Adam and Eve biblical story, focusing on one of their daughters. Just in case the reader is too simple minded to realize that they are reading about different characters, the pages of these chapters are spotted in gray. I have been a fan of Jonathon Kellerman's Alex Delaware novels ...more
Hennessey Library
Oct 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
The Golem of Hollywood by father-son team Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman seems to be one of those books that garners love/hate reviews. I was surprised when one of our best readers at the library returned the book unread after just a few chapters and took it to read myself. What can I say? I enjoy esoteric writing.

First, it should be understood that the title tells the tale. This is a Jewish book. The subject is not only Jewish, but also mystical. Though the book is written in the style of a mur
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Matt
Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
The father and son team of Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman offer up their first joint effort, a mythical police procedural smorgasbord sure to leave the reader wondering if they might have made a grave error in delving in. The reader meets the run-down LAPD Detective, Jacob Lev, as he is reassigned to a Special Branch and tasked with hunting down a killer who's left his victim decapitated and with an odd Hebrew letter burnt into the counter. As Lev struggles with his alcoholism, inability to make m ...more
LadyTechie
Aug 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have to admit, I am quite fascinated by stories about the Golem ever since I went to Prague last year I have tried to read stories when I find them. Not just any golem story, but, The Golem, said to have been created long ago by a Rabbi in Prague. I received an early release copy of The Golem of Hollywood through the First To Read program by Penguin Group. I have to admit that I have been quite dismayed as I visit different cities in Europe and see what is called "Jewish Ghetto". I am quite fa ...more
Liz Barnsley
So the first collaboration between family members Jonathan and Jesse (also two of my favourite writers when it comes to their own work - check out the "Delaware/Sturgis" series from Jonathan if you havent already and for a mind blowing fun filled absolutely insane novel try Jesse's "I'll catch you" - I was extremely interested to see what this was like.

I loved it I have to say. An excellent blend of mythology and crime fiction, a serial killer thriller with a fantastical twist, I found it fascin
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Sue
Oct 03, 2014 marked it as didn-t-finish
Well I gave this the 50 page test and it didn't succeed. The characters I've met so far are either fairly forgettable, distasteful or unknowable. Then there is a huge change to a mystical, biblical scene, which apparently will come and go throughout the novel. It wasn't easy reading. I don't feel that I can rate the book based on this limited reading, but also do not plan to try again.
Sunnie
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't get it. I had no empathy for the main character. I did not like the mysticism/fantasy. I will not read future books. I like Jonathan Kellerman's books but not this. It was a drag to get through.
Mark
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, crime, dark-tales
Detective Jacob Lev of the LAPD is a burnt out policeman and is currently serving in the department of traffic as he one day gets a transfer against his wishes to a Specials projects and gets send to a crime scene where he founds the head of a victim without any body present and a word written in Hebrew meaning 'Justice". The identity of the victim is unknown even when they find out that the DNA belongs to a serial killer that had never been caught and whose identity is still unknown. It is from ...more
Valerie
Jul 26, 2014 rated it liked it
This 3 is generous. I really like Kellerman's books, but this? Too many story lines, too long tying them together, little empathy or interest in the characters - I just wanted to get it over with. You can easily see the kernels of a really good mystery here but somehow it got lost, too bad.
Devorah
Mar 09, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Monnie
Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a book I've had access to since shortly after it was released, but I kept moving it down a notch or two on my to-read list for several reasons. First, it exceeds 500 pages, and anything much over 400 - unless perhaps it's by Stephen King - is daunting enough that I tend to think twice before opening it. Second, I'm a huge fan of the writings of Jonathan Kellerman and his wife, Faye; their son Jesse, not so much. And last but hardly least, the reviews for the most part are bloody awful (a ...more
Marla Madison
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
For me, foolishly expecting a Jonathan Kellerman type of suspense read since his name was the prominent one on the cover, this book was extremely disappointing.
Jonathan Kellerman is one of my very favorite authors. His wife's books, which always cover large amounts of Jewish tradition and add it at length to the story line are not books that I enjoy reading. Nothing against religion at all, but if I have an interest in studying one, I'll read that kind of book, I won't look for a suspense book t
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Yodamom
Oct 26, 2014 added it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I picked this because of the author only, I've wanted to try his work for a while. I'm not enjoying this piece much at all. From the reviews it seems this is a very "un-liked"work by him.

There is a long and tedious religious rehashing that had my mind thinking about doing dishes, vacuuming,... yes, that bad !
The book goes back and forth from Biblical times to today, two POV's. Both are Dull.

i'm 75% there for DNF on my first day

Nah I just decided I'm erasing it and moving on.
audio
Michale
Oct 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
Having just finished The Golem and the Jinni, I thought I'd try this one. Big mistake. Writing is choppy, origin story lame and grotesque, and did I mention that I don't like bugs? Especially big cockroach-y-like ones? I think they forgot that Kafka's Metamorphosis works due this natural loathing.
Crystal
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: firstread
I received this book as a firstread from Penguin Canada, so thank you to the publisher for sending it to me.

I really liked this book, it's written in a meandering sort of fashion that I enjoyed. Perfect vacation book, easy to read but more than compelling enough to keep you turning the page.

Bonus points because I feel like I learned something about another culture along the way.
Lianne
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Very disappointing book. I had to force myself to finish it and I'm not actually sure why I even did that. I'm only giving it 2 stars because I normally enjoy Jonathan Kellerman books. Not sure how much input he had into this or if it was more of his son's writing.
David
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wild fast-paced blend of mystery, horror, and historical. I'm not sure I've ever read anything else like it.
Gail Strickland
Aug 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
Hands down, the strangest, most boring book so far of 2014.
Ray Palen
Sep 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Fresh off his highly disappointing Alex Delaware novel, KILLER, Jonathan Kellerman returns with a stand-alone novel, THE GOLEM OF HOLLYWOOD. After decades of solid work, Kellerman seems lost and the effort of his last few novels was noticeably sub-par.

With this latest novel, Jonathan is teaming up with his son, Jesse. The improvement, initially, really showed. The story kicks off with a burnt out former LAPD Homicide Detective, Jacob Lev, being called away from his new duties as part of the Traf
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Silvio111
Dec 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mysteries
First of all, the "mystery" of this book was not just "whodoneit," but also, who ARE all these people and what is REALLy happening to the detective? Right up until the last page, I still had not fully worked out the ramifications of all the events presented in the plot. And there were so many parallel mysteries:
The detective tries to solve a serial murder case by travelling to Prague, where he hunts down clues while meeting some odd characters.
The detective's father is an elusive sort of fellow
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Ricki
Sep 30, 2014 rated it liked it
I have read all of Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware novels, and loved them all...The Golem of Hollywood? Not so much...I'm thoroughly confused. I understand Judaism. I understand the mythical Kaballah part. EVEN the Golem.
But some of the book even weirder and more confusing part is the fact the they want us to BELIEVE that GOD LEAVES Abel's wife's "spirit" stuck in a Golem? Or a BEETLE/ bug? What and why? It's she condemned to hell, or earth. Ugh! Maybe I missed something.
Is it reincarnated? T
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Wanda
Aug 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaway, first-reads
I received an ARC of The Golem of Hollywood compliments of Goodreads Firstreads Giveaway and appreciated the opportunity.

I will start by stating that I have been a long-standing fan of Jonathan Kellerman, having read most of his Alex Delaware series. I had not yet read any novels written by his son, Jesse Kellerman, and can now call myself a new fan of this talented writer.

The authors takes the reader through two parallel stories and I was uncertain as to whether I would appreciate their back an
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Roberta
May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've never read anything by Jonathan, Jesse, or Faye Kellerman before, and the mystery/detective genre isn't my usual choice. I found this at a Library book sale and bought it for the Golem theme. I wasn't hoping for a standard detective story,and that part of the story sometimes seemed clumsy or overly-descriptive.

I enjoyed the alternate Biblical history,similar to the style in some of the stories of David Maine, and the integration of myths, fables, references to Talmud, Torah, and Kafka,writ
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Jonathan Kellerman was born in New York City in 1949 and grew up in Los Angeles. He helped work his way through UCLA as an editorial cartoonist, columnist, editor and freelance musician. As a senior, at the age of 22, he won a Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award for fiction.

Like his fictional protagonist, Alex Delaware, Jonathan received at Ph.D. in psychology at the age of 24, with a specialty in the t
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Detective Jacob Lev (2 books)
  • The Golem of Paris (Detective Jacob Lev, #2)
“Grace is false, and beauty is vain. A woman who fears God—she is praised. Give to her of the fruit of her hands, and her deeds will praise her at the gates.” 1 likes
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