This is not my usual type of book, and I only read it because a friend pushed me to read it. I am so grateful he did. It was wonderful. A classic in the making.
Wanted to write a quick note to those who listen while they drive to and from work: this is a best practice in audiobooks. The volume is consistent, the voice clear and easy to understand. The reading is unhurried so that you can savor every word. The story of course is totally absorbing. The end result: noisy highway or quiet streets don't mean you have to constantly adjust the volume controls. You can cruise along completely immersed and happy. Wish more audiobooks were read like this one! (Obviously I am not a big fan of stage-worthy "voice acting.")
This book was fantastic. The story was compelling and the reader was perfect. It's a long story, but it's so good that I listened to it twice. I HIGHLY recommend it.
The book can be viewed as a good exposure to Japan's culture, traditions and history....The book had a lot more to offer to those who are trying to do business with Japan than those who are interested in its night life...A delighting book to listen to on the treadmill or while driving..
There is a reason this book sold 4,000,000 copies, at least. It is a very moving story even for a "man". Really, the most interesting character to me beyond the heroine was her love interest, the "Chairman." In this book the Chairman is a the head of an electrical appliance manufacturing company. He is the most decent man I have run across in fiction or non-fiction anywhere. The closest example I could think of today that reminds me of the Chairman is our Secretary of State, General Colin Powell. I can imagine Mr. Powell's only problem is that there are not more civilized, thoughtful, effective people around like himself. He and the "Chairman" are what the world needs today.
Our geisha heroine in the book explains how presence of mind can help us get through to difficult people. She is also one of the finest examples I have seen in literature of the civilizing influence of women upon men.
Kudos to the author Arthur Golden for presenting such fine characterizations. It takes some brilliance just to put them into plain words, like he does.
I should hope that one day we will have women, as well as men, who can combine the great qualities of the main characters of this book.
I can only imagine what it would be like to have our great corporations run by people such as the Chairman, and I believe it should and could happen.
P.S. I really stepped into something when the next book I listened to was "Hiroshima" by John Hersey. My life cannot be the same after these two books.
I could not get enough of this book. This is one of the most compelling stories I have heard in a long time. Too bad it was my first audiobook, because nothing has topped it since then!!!
fantastic gripping book. It kept me busy for a very long drive, and then thinking about it for the return trip! Only regret is the pronunciation of japanese words by the reader, but on the whole very positive.
I loved every bit of this book. I believe listening to it on audio enhanced the story. I went into the story thinking it was true, and came out wanting it to be true. It was well narrated and a truly great, great story. It had everything I look for in a book. It was very well rounded and lacked nothing. I recommend it to everyone.