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Memoirs of a Geisha | [Arthur Golden]

Memoirs of a Geisha

In a voice both haunting and startlingly immediate, Nitta Sayuri describes her life as a geisha. Taken from her home at the age of nine, she is sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. Witness her transformation as you enter a world where appearances are paramount, virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder, women beguile powerful men, and love is scorned as illusion.
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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 (4006 )
5 star
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Overall
4.6 (1310 )
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Story
4.5 (1296 )
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Samantha 12-09-05
    Samantha 12-09-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    115
    9
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    0
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    Overall
    "Excellent"

    Wonderful book! I couldn't stop listening and found myself sneaking out during my luch break to eat in my car and listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony waterboro, ME, USA 12-07-05
    Anthony waterboro, ME, USA 12-07-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    11
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    0
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    Overall
    "One of the most interesting I have read"

    I am not a mushy reader. I don't go for tons of heartfelt sentiment nor do I do the whole long-lost love thing.....

    But in this novel it was amazing. True or not what a journey! The narrator was fantastic and showed the unique character emotions well. Although I put this in a Dan Brown catagory, good FICTION, it was interesting to delve into such a foreign culture...true or not! This book is rated my favorite of 2005. The visualization of this pretty young japanese girl growing anf going from a simple beginning to the posh world of geisha was enough to keep you tied to this novel. I would definatly suggest you get the unabridged version for the sake of the detail really are what make the story. You end up wanting to know about the small girl with the grey eyes. This one gets 5 stars!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gordon Kenmore, WA, USA 12-05-05
    Gordon Kenmore, WA, USA 12-05-05 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    89
    ratings
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    220
    16
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    3
    1
    Overall
    "Rich story, but a bit drawn out"

    My only criticism is that the angst-ridden love affair with the chairman is a bit too slow and drawn out ... almost to the point (but only at the end of the book) where I was really questioning the characters. Was nothing else interesting happening in her life? How could she stay that fixated? Otherwise, a great listen. Tons of interesting details about Japan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheldon orlando, FL, USA 12-04-05
    Sheldon orlando, FL, USA 12-04-05 Member Since 2005
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Amazing"

    This was by far my favorite audiobook that I've ever listened to. The narrator captured the emotion of the book beautifully. I found myself sneaking a chapter at work because I couldn't wait until I got home. I am so looking forward to the movie which opens this week. I found the author's use of imagery and metaphors to be quite enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CarlB Torrance, CA USA 12-04-05
    CarlB Torrance, CA USA 12-04-05 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    103
    10
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    Overall
    "Disappointing"

    I was really disappointed in the substance of this book. If you set it some place other than in mid 20th century Japan, it would not have drawn any sort of notice.

    I also thought the reader was a very poor choice for this. She might have done a good job on some other material, someone who could at least come close to pronouncing a Japanese word would have been better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Theodore Decastri Jr. Nashville, TN 11-14-05
    Theodore Decastri Jr. Nashville, TN 11-14-05 Member Since 2011

    Ted

    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    333
    8
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    Overall
    "Great Story, Vivid Detail"

    Did not think I would love this book, but indeed I did. It will make you want to visit Kyoto...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheldon Woodbridge , VA, USA 11-08-05
    Sheldon Woodbridge , VA, USA 11-08-05 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    207
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    0
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    "Moving, touching, lasting memories"

    The poetically written memoirs provided almost 18 hours of sheer listening enjoyment. I am looking forward to listening to it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea Cambridge, MA, USA 11-07-05
    Andrea Cambridge, MA, USA 11-07-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    72
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    Overall
    "The unabridged version is fabulous"

    This was a wonderful "read"! It is a telling statement that is relevant for today regarding the effect of poverty on women's lives. It is a fascinating story of the times which echoes into this day of children being sold into sexual slavery. The geisha of this story lived as a geisha in pre and post World War II Japan. In some way she seems to romanticize her life; however, this is understandable given that she was sold to be a geisha at an early age due to the imminent death of her mother and stepfather. I was drawn along into the story and recommend it highly. I learned a lot about the Japanese culture of the past and as mentioned above, it?s lessons are valuable today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Parker, CO USA 09-22-05
    Deborah Parker, CO USA 09-22-05 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    101
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    83
    28
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    2
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    Overall
    "Absolutely Fascinating!"

    I EXPECTED this book to be good but I was blown away by its beauty and scope. I love reading, love books, but this was way over the top in the enjoyment department!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry Charlottetown, PE, Canada 07-28-05
    Terry Charlottetown, PE, Canada 07-28-05
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    1
    Overall
    "Memoirs of a Geisha (Unabridged"

    Fantastic Listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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