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Memoirs of a Geisha Audiobook

Memoirs of a Geisha

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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 (5009 )
5 star
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4.6 (2244 )
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4.5 (2221 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Thorunn AkranesIceland 03-07-06
    Thorunn AkranesIceland 03-07-06
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "what a great book!!!"

    I never thought I whould enjoy audiobook so much, but I absolutly loved this one! The woman who reads the book is so great and you can picture the whole story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel Corte Madera, CA, USA 03-05-06
    Joel Corte Madera, CA, USA 03-05-06
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    Overall
    "Memoirs of a Geisha"

    The Short and Sweet review is: It is everything that you have heard. I went into this book thinking that there was no way for me to relate to this book. I hung on to each development with anticipation and delight. Buy it. It's a great book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colleen aurora , CO, USA 03-04-06
    Colleen aurora , CO, USA 03-04-06
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "WOW"

    If your wondering if you should get this- GET IT! This is 1 of 2 of the best books I've read this year,the other being Kite Runner. The story is wonderfully written, the narration was perfect- I so lost the fact that this was fiction & that it was written by a man since the terms & the character were so feminie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Hamburg, NJ, USA 03-03-06
    Denise Hamburg, NJ, USA 03-03-06
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    155
    1
    Overall
    "Excellent Choice"

    This book was excellent. I was late for work one day this week because I was sitting in the parking lot listening in my car. I couldn't pull myself away. Great story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Laurel, MS, USA 03-02-06
    Paula Laurel, MS, USA 03-02-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    106
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Paula from Mississippi"

    May be too slow for some but very hypnotic and poetic. I was thinking about the characters weeks later. I love it when a book does that to me!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-28-06 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    43
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    85
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Great!"

    Wow, what a story. I never thought that women who participated in this vocation underwent so much to reach the status. If you want to open up a door to a new understanding to the world of Geisha, please read this wonderful heartful story. It will make you laugh, cry, and sad. Most of all, you won't sit it down until its finished. Be careful, you'll listen to this one again. Great Story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan Rice, VA, United States 02-28-06
    Joan Rice, VA, United States 02-28-06 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    143
    22
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "A fantastic read!"

    What a wonderful story. I feel as if I'd been given the keys to the Geisha house. This story combines art, history and love. The ending comments brought tears. A must read!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon seattle, WA, USA 02-24-06
    Sharon seattle, WA, USA 02-24-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Waiting For More"

    This was a fabulous book, I can only hope that we have a part two in the works. I would like to learn more about here life after she came to the US.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Bethlehem, PA, USA 02-23-06
    Michael Bethlehem, PA, USA 02-23-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Life in another world"

    I am an action/adventure or history book guy. I don't know why I picked this book but I'm glad I did. I thought it was a great story about a life totally different than anything I know (as an American). I am amazed someone recalls so much detail, but I'm glad this woman did. Kind of left me wondering who her son is (implied he is alive and living in the US). The life story actually works a lot like a plot with a good ending, too. I will probably be reminded of things in this book for a long time. I'm not sure the movie can top this, and might not want to ruin things be seing it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adela JIhlavaCzech Republic 02-21-06
    Adela JIhlavaCzech Republic 02-21-06
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    "Enchanting story"

    I could not stop listening to this audiobook to the point that I found myself strolling for hours outdoors with my headset on, immersed in different world, instead of doing my schoolwork. FAscinating and well narrated story.

    0 of 0 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. bloggs
    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
  • 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.

    3 of 3 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.

    13 of 16 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
  • 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

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