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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, captivating story!
This book by Arthur Golden has been on my "To Be Read" list for a long time! I thought the narrator, Bernadette Dunne, did a beautiful job. I think I enjoyed this book much more hearing it than reading it, as I could hear the names and words spoken in the way that they were meant to be. I have always been fascinated with other cultures, so this book was a real treat...
Published on June 14 2011 by Darlene

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars White Man's Fantasy...I give this book a half star.
Sayuri's a perfect male fantasy: An Asian sex slave with western features (grey/blue eyes). Now, why couldn't she just have been a drop dead gorgeous Japanese woman? Why the colored eyes? But that's not what gets me. Would any intelligent person fall in love with the type of man who takes her away from her dying folks, forces her sister to be a cheap ol' hooker, and...
Published on Feb. 23 2000 by Shampoo Love


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, captivating story!, June 14 2011
By 
Darlene (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Memoirs of a Geisha (Audio CD)
This book by Arthur Golden has been on my "To Be Read" list for a long time! I thought the narrator, Bernadette Dunne, did a beautiful job. I think I enjoyed this book much more hearing it than reading it, as I could hear the names and words spoken in the way that they were meant to be. I have always been fascinated with other cultures, so this book was a real treat.

The book is about a young girl, Sayuri, who is sold into slavery to a geisha house in Gion, Japan. As she gets older, she must learn the geisha ways and traditions of the geisha, including: the tea ceremony, how to wear the kimono, the elaborate hair and make-up, the dancing.

The writing was beautiful, and I was totally captivated by this story.

My rating: 4.5 stars!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Memoirs of a Geisha, Feb. 16 2014
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Beautifully written, you feel as if you may actually experience a little of what Gion was. The joy and heartbreak of a child and women, in a world that few would consider possible
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Portrayal of Geisha Life, Nov. 12 2008
This review is from: Memoirs of a Geisha (Paperback)
Arthur Golden spent a fair amount of time researching this book, speaking to geishas whose stories in one form or another appear here. The book basically presents the biography of one geisha who through often very harsh events in her life transforms herself from the daughter of a fisherman into one of the most famous geishas of Japan. Both she and her sister are thrown into geisha houses to be taught this profession although her sister falls quickly into misfortune. Geisha houses demand strict discipline and service and have firm hierarchies that allow the use of power either purposefully or with cruelty. Jealousies and rivalries threaten the course of this woman. Once she achieves her goal, there remain tough decisions about whom she will serve. Economics and survival prevail over personal preferences and sentiment. The stability of her career is precarious as numerous events threaten to destroy it as they have for other geishas who are then often dragged into lives of prostitution. The intrusion of WWII presents other unexpected challenges and compromises to cope with shortages and lean times. A vivid and captivating book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars very moving!, July 21 2008
This review is from: Memoirs of a Geisha (Paperback)
I have to admit it took me a while to read this book. The beguining about her childhood is a bit long, but once you enter the real world of a geisha house... I could not put this book down. The rivalry & mean competition between the women is outstanding. The culture & customs are so beautiful. Please read this book first if you intend to see the movie & not the other way around or you will be very dissapointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down., Jan. 23 2008
This review is from: Memoirs of a Geisha (Hardcover)
This is one of my all-time favourite books. It's beautiful. Vivid. Eloquent. I just love it. I love the detail and how the story is painted. It's a glimpse into a life I had very little knowledge of before. And I even lived in Japan for a couple years. I love the characters, the ending... It's the kind of book I want everyone to read just so I can talk about it with them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best so far., Dec 10 2007
This review is from: Memoirs of a Geisha (Paperback)
I've read excellent books and this one is also an excellent, but somehow I feel that it is a different type of excellent. Perhaps I didn't treat it as a simple fiction. After reading this book, I felt like I just went to different teahouses in Gion and whereever they talked about. The descriptions are very very amazing and it definitely tells the story of a geisha, in her point fo view in particular. This book teaches us about Japanese culture, relationships and most of all, an emotional book that you might be on the edge of crying, and then the next moment, you'll be smiling again. Don't even compare it to the film, treat them as two different piece because they are two seperate piece.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Exceptional Novel, Dec 8 2007
This review is from: Memoirs of a Geisha (Paperback)
By using his detailed long-term research on the geisha culture in Japan, Arthur Golden wrote a historical fiction novel entitled "Memoirs of a Geisha." The book drives one to experience the entire life of young geisha by the name of Nitta Sayuri, beginning from her origins as a fisherman's blue-ish green-eyed daughter to her achieved status of a well-known geisha in Kyoto, Japan. Through the eyes of an emerging geisha, the author created a plausible fictional story that involve vivid historical events, and he capture the readers to encounter the Japanese culture with his use of Asian metaphors, attitudes, and portrayals. There are thirty-five chapters in this novel with an addition of the "Translator's Note," which introduces a fictional character by the name of "Jakob Haarhuis," who the elder Sayuri was recounting her life story to.

This book explores the profession of a geisha in prewar Japan. The women in prewar Japan tended to be viewed as women who cared for others in their home and obeyed only their father, husband, and son throughout their lives. Before Second World War, geisha was a profession in Japan that preserved the culture of art, music, and dancing in which the name of geisha means an "artist" (p. 141). The profession of a geisha was not an easily achieved status. To be a geisha, a young girl would have to be accepted by renowned elder geisha before putting her through the apprenticeship which might involves living with the geishas. The process of being a geisha required a long period of time because they would have to learn all of the arts including dancing and music, and the casual manners that a geisha would have to perform in the presence of wealthy and rich men. In the Japanese society, a geisha functions as an entertainer in the teahouse for paying male customers and as a performer in the public productions. A geisha's main function was based on preserving the Japanese traditional arts in an era where Japanese people would not be able to respect and honor their oral tradition and ancient culture of their grace country of Japan. In prewar Japan, the profession of a geisha was an equivalent to a career of an artist, a performer, and an entertainer, but not to a prostitute as one might believe.

One can apprehend the subordinated role of women in the Japanese society by looking at the geisha profession in Japan, the fitting role of a geisha, Sayuri's attractiveness, and Japanese men's appreciation of geisha's virginity throughout this book. With his decade of research in Japanese culture and the geisha life, Arthur Golden created an exceptional novel which expresses ravishing and interesting perspective about a geisha's life and the role of women in the Japanese society in his "Memoirs of a Geisha."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Engulfed in her life!, Dec 3 2007
By 
M. McDonald (Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Memoirs of a Geisha (Hardcover)
From the very first page of this book I was enthralled. The book is so well written. All the emotions in this book is astounding. While reading the book I could see myself living right beside all the characters, experiencing their lives.

If you have not read it, please do. There is so much detail in the book itself that the movie misses.
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4.0 out of 5 stars great story, July 10 2007
By 
Toni Osborne "The Way I See It" (Montreal, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Memoirs of a Geisha (Paperback)
A remarkable and breathtaking novel, the author unlocks the complex world of rituals with insight, grace and intelligence. It is beautifully written and immensely believable.One can easily enter this exotic world where appearances are so important.

The story spans a lifetime, a girl is sold into slavery at a very young age by her father and is taken away from her village only to be groomed into beguiling the most powerful men. This story is seen through the eyes of the main character as she struggles to become and to be one of the most sought geisha in Gion .

This part fairy tale and part historical novel drew me in from the very first page. I wonder how close the movie came in describing this world without falling into too much Americanism, well maybe I will have to watch the DVD one day and judge for myself.
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1.0 out of 5 stars White Man's Fantasy...I give this book a half star., Feb. 23 2000
This review is from: Memoirs of a Geisha (Paperback)
Sayuri's a perfect male fantasy: An Asian sex slave with western features (grey/blue eyes). Now, why couldn't she just have been a drop dead gorgeous Japanese woman? Why the colored eyes? But that's not what gets me. Would any intelligent person fall in love with the type of man who takes her away from her dying folks, forces her sister to be a cheap ol' hooker, and pays her way to becoming a dumb little tea pourer? I'm talking about the Fisheries Manager and the man who eventually ended up being her sugar daddy. For Christ sake, these men were old enough to be her father! Talk about pedophelia and hooking. This book is pretty sick...sugar coating the male intent with a very willing female narrator.
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Memoirs of a Geisha
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (Paperback - Jan. 26 1999)
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