The Golem

The Golem

March 22, 2017 Novel

The Golem is a novel written by Gustav Meyrink in 1914. The Golem by Meyrink is an unusually atmospheric book. It draws you into the world of illusions and precarious, like a dream, reality. During the whole small novel we follow on the heels of Athanasius Pernath, a craftsman making cameos for precious stones. However, the word “craftsman” does not reflect the true state of affairs. Pernath is a Master, an artist who delicately feels beauty and represents the world around him in his own way. We meet the main hero at a crossroads leading from a simple and monotonous life to a real storm of events and impressions. And the details of his past, as well as hints of the future waiting for Pernath, the author’s keeps in mysterious scenes and meaningful omissions.

There are works that you read, cannot understand anything, but you cannot stop reading. The Golem is one of such books. I tried to find 5 reasons why a novel is worthy of a higher score.

Plot. A lot of people heard about a strange man-made creature, the Golem. So, beginning to read the novel, I expected that Meyrink will just state his version of the legend, giving it a more artistic look. But the book is written differently. The Golem is only a background on which there is an intrigue and the main events develop. This creature was summoned to keep the reader in suspense, but it does not appear in the text very often. But how much things there are in a rather small work: here is the quack doctor, and the thirst for revenge, and the relationship of the main chatacter with three women at once, and the mysterious murder, and the mysterious ancient book, and wanderings between sleep and reality.

Atmosphere. In my opinion, it is the main advantage of the book. You constantly feel the approach of something exciting, terrifying and, most importantly, unexpected.

Language. It is surprisingly easy to read, although you understand how complex, dramatic things the author describes.

Characters feature their diversity and unpredictability, especially women. Although most of all I remember the obsessive medical student Charousek. And what did he achieve with his obsession, besides the senseless suffering?..

Denouement of the work. I usually don’t like such books that are too difficult and complicated. But with the Golem everything is different. I was waiting for such an ending. If it was another, the book would lost its charm and an attractive mystical element, thanks to which the novel turned out to be so fascinating. Such things should leave questions, be thought-provoking, change mind.

About the author

Jonathan Schindler: