We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
Memoirs of a Geisha Audiobook

Memoirs of a Geisha

Regular Price:$38.60
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Audible Editor Reviews

After the death of her mother, a young girl from a rural fishing village is sold to a Geisha House in the Gion District of Kyoto. Her fate continually twists, along with Japan's, before, during and after World War II.

This listen captures with great detail the lush glamour of a geisha's world, as well as the brutal realities of indentured servitude. The experience is superior to that of the movie, because each moment is mined for maximum insight. Protocols and relationships, even food and finances, are also meticulously described. The result is total immersion in this fascinating culture.

The narration may seem reserved, but that is appropriate given the book's setting. The sexual content is also very discreet and appropriate. Watching the movie is only getting your feet wet; get the full experience through this listen, a bewitching strong step into not just another time, but another world.

Publisher's Summary

Nitta Sayuri tells us in a voice at once haunting and startlingly immediate of her life as a geisha. Her story begins in a poor fishing village in 1929, when, as a nine-year-old girl with unusual blue-gray eyes, she is taken from her home and sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. We witness her transformation as we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl's virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion.

It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction - at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful - and completely unforgettable.

©1997 Arthur Golden; Copyright ©1998 by Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Astonishing...Breathtaking...You are seduced completely." (Washington Post Book World)
"...a bravura performance, a first novel that provides a vivid view into a largely lost and secret world." (The Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (4529 )
5 star
 (2998)
4 star
 (1109)
3 star
 (298)
2 star
 (72)
1 star
 (52)
Overall
4.6 (1800 )
5 star
 (1295)
4 star
 (376)
3 star
 (97)
2 star
 (20)
1 star
 (12)
Story
4.5 (1779 )
5 star
 (1191)
4 star
 (418)
3 star
 (133)
2 star
 (16)
1 star
 (21)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Pamela North Hollywood, CA, USA 12-26-03
    Pamela North Hollywood, CA, USA 12-26-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "A great book, although not a true story"

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan 06-21-12
    Jan 06-21-12 Member Since 2011

    Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1887
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    490
    226
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    156
    11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I waited too long"

    I was afraid this book would contain graphic sex and I was hesitant to purchase it... waited way too long. Of course the story can't be told without sexual relationships, however, they are so beautifully and simply told that I couldn't find it offensive. Adult reading for sure...but not vulgar. Such a beautiful story, I came away not wanting to read anything else for a while and keep this one in my thoughts.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roadrunner At Large 12-16-05 Listener Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    94
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Beautiful"

    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.

    10 stars!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Hillsborough, NC, USA 10-11-05
    Kathy Hillsborough, NC, USA 10-11-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "So good that I had to write my first review"

    Wow! I began listening to audio books about 6 months ago while commuting. I used to read hard copy of the usual predictable best selling fiction authors--crime, adventure, suspense, a little romance. 'Memoirs' was outside of my usual box and I'm thrilled that I did that.
    This has been my favorite and provoked me to write my first review. The narrator was wonderful and the story full of imagery and the characters were so richly painted for me. It's a gentle, thoughtful listen.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Newport Beach, CA, United States 12-10-04
    David Newport Beach, CA, United States 12-10-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "So Real I thought it Was Non-Fiction"

    I bought the printed book some time ago but never got around to reading it so I decided to get the audible version. I am glad I did as it is probably the best audio book I have heard to date. From the very beginning I was entranced and drawn into the world of this Geisha. The accent and tone of the narrator was so appropriate it made me believe it really was Sayuri telling her story to me. I could not stop listening until the story had been told through to the end. In fact it wasn't until I picked up the physical book did I realize that this was in fact a fictional novel based on actual historical facts rather than a true biography.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victoria 11-12-03
    Victoria 11-12-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    88
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    270
    42
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    "Good Narration"

    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!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eileen Tinley Park, IL, United States 03-25-03
    Eileen Tinley Park, IL, United States 03-25-03 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    308
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    140
    57
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    11
    0
    Overall
    "Fantastic story"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Warren, PA, USA 12-17-05
    Pamela Warren, PA, USA 12-17-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Best Listen Yet"

    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.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mariel newark, NJ, United States 09-07-10
    Mariel newark, NJ, United States 09-07-10 Member Since 2010

    Hi, well first of all, I love books, I have been reading since I could remember. Is something that I'm very passionate about. BOOKS FOREVER!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    20
    Overall
    "Wonderful!"

    This book was so inspiring and it was beautifully written. The author was fantastic and the narrator did a great job. I have read and seen the movie and listening to the book has been a great experience.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Halle Scott 06-02-10
    Halle Scott 06-02-10 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "One of my top picks so far"

    Great story, and reader.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Karen
    Salisbury, Wiltshire, United Kingdom
    3/9/06
    Overall
    "An Emotional Rollercoaster"

    This was my first audible buy and it has really set the standard - I could not bear to be separated from my i-pod as I listened to this gripping story. I was completely absorbed by the story and felt I was sharing all of Sayuri's highs and lows - it was a real rollercoaster of emotions where I found my self screaming out loud at some points as you saw the naivety of some of her decisions/actions and cheering when certain individuals got their just desserts! My 14 year old son has also listened to it and enjoyed it as much as I did (although he probably wouldn?t admit it to his friends!) We both found it a wonderful, moving tale, beautifully narrated.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Coleen
    LondonUnited Kingdom
    1/9/06
    Overall
    "Didn't want it to end.................."

    Thoroughly enjoyed this. Had previously read the book (albeit some time ago)but none of the enjoyment was lost. Well written and ably narrated, you become truly lost in the life of a Geisha and of Japan before, during and after WW11.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • J. barrow
    Surrey U.K.
    1/30/06
    Overall
    "A remarkable life"

    Beautifully written in an elegant style befitting its subject and brought to life by superb narration. I was carried along by the emotion in this captivating story. I did not want it to end.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Jeanette
    ShenleyUnited Kingdom
    11/27/05
    Overall
    "Amazing !!"

    I had no idea how good it would be but once I started could not stop listening !!! An amazing true story, beautifully written and always with such emotion and elegance.

    22 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • Christine
    Whitehead, Antrim, United Kingdom
    8/16/08
    Overall
    "fascinating insight"

    I had Memoirs of a Geisha for several months before I listened to it. Somehow I thought it might be a bit dry but from the first few minutes I was captivated.

    Information about how the author came to write the book is interesting and adds to the overall picture.

    The personal story is told with great detail and no self pity - it is a fascinating insight into the world of Geishas and Japan at that time.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Anonymous
    11/14/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What's with this narrator?"
    Any additional comments?

    I listened to the abridged version before this full version. Why did they change the narrators? The Japanese narrator was far better, and didn't mispronounce Japanese words. It's highly irritating. I enjoy getting immersed into a book by the narrator but this Bernadette Dunne did a poor, robotic and dull job.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Carolyn
    Hampton, United Kingdom
    11/13/06
    Overall
    "better than I thought it wopuld be!"

    There were parts of this story that I found slightly dull, but at no point did I want to stop listening. I think it paints a colourful picture of pre-war Japan without lengthy or boring description. A little sadness, a little love, revenge and intrigue and a story that maintains a good pace throughout most of the book. I was suprised that such a story could keep me so entertained.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Oliver
    LondonUnited Kingdom
    3/16/06
    Overall
    "Robotic narration"

    I am somewhat bemused by the other reviews of this. The book may well be fine though to me the prose seems to be rather clunky - I can't tell - I may not be doing it justice as the narration is so appalling. The narrator has a painfully de-lib-er-ate style of delivery almost completely lacking in inflexion and expression - bizarre. To me it sounds like nothing more than an old-style voice simulator. Odd and near-unlistenable.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Joanne
    Ras Al Khaimah
    3/6/06
    Overall
    "Amazing..."

    So much colour, texture and smells eminate from this book that I didn't want it to end. Dazzling story of a most misunderstood role in life.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Anita
    Bodedern, Holyhead, United Kingdom
    2/20/10
    Overall
    "Memoirs of a Geisha"

    I thought this was a beautiful book, the narration was excellent and I enjoyed it enormously.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.