This book effectively brings to mind the vivid beauty of the Asian world. The images that the author describes are palpable. I saw the movie about a year or two prior to listening to this audio book. It definitely pales in comparison. Although the movie does a pretty good job of highlighting some of the main events, it does not do what the book is capable of, sharing with Western world the true life of the Geisha.
I now have a solid, elementary, understanding of the Geisha. No longer does my mind immediately shoot to the image of a high classed prostitute, or call girl, when I think of the Geisha. The author does a wonderful job of fully explaining everything, while maintaining the compelling aspects of the story.
Very riveting, exciting, sad, and beautiful, the life of a Geisha is a must read. I wholly recommend this book to anyone who appreciates beauty. The irony of the story is its paradoxical play on the complexities of manmade beauty. The Geisha must at all times be perfect while her life and love are sacrificed in an effort to give men, who choose her, absolute psychological, and sometimes physical, pleasure.
I just couldn't stop listening to this book. I have a long commute and I usually listen just in my car. This one I could not stop listening to. I listened at work and one night I just sat on my sofa listening for 2 hours while at home.
When I finished the book I was on my way home in the car. I began to cry at the end. Not because it was a sad ending but because it was so BEAUTIFUL. The story is just so beautiful.
Even now, I have to remind m yself that this book is a work of fiction. The characters were all so vivid that I can picture each of them in my mind's eye, just as clearly as if I had spent many evenings with them, drinking sake at the Ichi-Rikki Teahouse. More than once, I had the sensation of being in another place, enjoying the company of an aging but still elegant geisha as she told me the fascinating story of her extraordinary life.
This book is, simply put, a pleasure - not to mention a fine work that should stand the test of time.
I've been doing some research and, apparently, the story is fictional and not true as so many people believed, including myself. The story written by Arthur Golden was collaborated upon by Mineko Iwasaki, a real geisha who is still living today. If you are interested in her autobiography, she has written a book entitled "Geisha : A Life". I feel a bit silly now for having believed these people were real and I feel a bit disappointed that they weren't. I suppose, in a way, they were real because they represent a historical period and a way of life that really existed. In any case, the story is a wonderful one and I still very highly recommend it to everybody.
I lost myself in this book. I found the narration appropriately subdued, and she expressed each character not garishly, but with appropriate expression and inflection. The story really steals the show, and you don't even notice the narration, which is the true litmus test of a good audio book (you forget you are listening to an audio book as the story plays out in your head like a vivid and continuous dream). I loved this story and the narration, and would recommend it to anybody!
I never would've imagined I'd listen to a book like this as I am usually a suspense fan. However, this book had me intrigued from the beginning. Even its length didn't seem adequate enough as I found myself wanting more. The writing is brilliant and colorful and the narration is perfect. A good friend recommended this to me, and I will pass the recommendation along to everyone I know. One's normal tastes in books doesn't apply here. This is a story you don't want to miss.
This is a beautifully written novel about one girl's very difficult life as she grew up to be a famous Geisha immediately before WWII and after. The descriptions are so detailed and realistic that it is hard to remember that it is a novel and not a narrative about a real women. Since listening to this book I have read other books about Geisha, and it is very close to the first person accounts of real Geisha. I highly recommend it.
This story actually kept me SITTING IN PARKING SPACE listening to the end, after a 1-1/2 hour commute home. The narrator performed the many characters so well, and the story itself is informative, emotional, and captivating. To top it off, it's a true story.
Great book, well written. Having lived 3 years in Japan and being familiar with the culture it gave greater insight into the role of the gheisha and dispelled certain myths about them. Very entertaining and spellbinding.