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Memoirs of a Geisha Audiobook

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

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  •  
    A. Commuter 11-26-04
    A. Commuter 11-26-04 Member Since 2015

    highway roadster

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "A note for those who listen in their cars"

    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.")

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Penny Olinda, VIC, Australia 11-25-04
    Penny Olinda, VIC, Australia 11-25-04
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    "Enthralling"

    The only audiobook that I have not been able to put down (or press the stop button on)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erin Elizabeth Wells 11-10-04 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    115
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    Overall
    "One of my all-time favorites..."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. M Metwally 10-23-04 Listener Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    78
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    30
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    "Good exposure to Japan's culture"

    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..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benedict San Francisco, US, Canada 09-08-04
    Benedict San Francisco, US, Canada 09-08-04 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A most civilizing book"

    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.

    Ben

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tara C Tampa, FL 09-06-04
    Tara C Tampa, FL 09-06-04 Listener Since 2004

    TDactyl

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Captivating"

    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!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Renny VILLENA, Spain 07-01-04
    Renny VILLENA, Spain 07-01-04 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "memoirs of a geisha"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark NY, NY, USA 06-20-04
    Mark NY, NY, USA 06-20-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful book!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erika Santa Maria, CA, USA 05-02-04
    Erika Santa Maria, CA, USA 05-02-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Mesmerizing"

    I have to admit that I didn't know what to expect when I decided to listen to this book. I've heard many good things about it but didn't think the memoirs of a geisha would interest me. I was very wrong. This book sucked me right in. It was very interesting and gives you a glimpse at what a geisha actually is and what they go through to become geishas. I loved the narrator too. I have recommended this book to everybody I know. It made my cross-country trip entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Scarborough, ON, Canada 04-08-04
    Ron Scarborough, ON, Canada 04-08-04
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    Overall
    "A very touching story, never wanting it to end"

    My first audible.com book -- it will be hard to find one as good as this for my second month. I listened to it everyday on my commute to and from work. And I shared the story with my wife and 9 year old son... both of them listend to me tell it, very interested.
    Near the end, I could hardly keep the tears inside, never feeling so touched from a book before... with a few tears falling as I sat on my bus.
    A very beautiful book and a story beautifully told.
    Finally finishing it, I felt a bit sad, only in that now I'm not sure what to do -- what to read next... like the sadness and emptiness that comes when you're favourite tv show has had its final episode.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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