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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 (3591 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Judy East longmeadow, MA, United States 01-24-04
    Judy East longmeadow, MA, United States 01-24-04 Member Since 2002

    jazkibbe

    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
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    "Memoirs of a Geisha (unabridged)"

    Very Good -- I found it fascinating if not a little self-serving an account for the author. But she acknowledges up front that it is her perceptions which have to be a tad biased by definition. I would recommend to anyone curious about Japanese culture as regards Geisha.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RacerX JAX, FL 09-24-03
    RacerX JAX, FL 09-24-03 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
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    "Wonderful story, excellent narrator"

    I was very pleasantly surprised with this work. I thought the story was excellent, as well as the narration. To me, the narrator's style (accent, attitude, etc.) made me feel like I was inside the mind of Sayuri experiencing the events in her life. I was also surprised at how much Japanese history, culture and philosophy is in the book, even though it is fiction. It definitely would be on my "top 10" list. And unlike another reviewer, I couldn't put the headphones down; I always wanted to hear just a little more.
    Highly recommended though. Very well done!

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Fort Oglethorpe, GA, United States 11-27-11
    Rebecca Fort Oglethorpe, GA, United States 11-27-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Simply amazing!"

    This is now one of my all-time favorite books.

    The writing is so compelling I felt transported to the world of the novel at all times. My house was cleaner than it had been in months because I would look for things to do (clean) so I could listen just a little bit longer!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Greenville, NC, United States 01-13-11
    K. Greenville, NC, United States 01-13-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sound quality good, narration...not so much"

    I have read this book numerous times and decided to purchase the audio format just so I could listen to the book while running errands or tending to housekeeping. The story line gets 25 out of 5 stars!!! On the otherhand, the narrator that was selected reads through this piece as if it were a text book. Much detail is given about the soft, charming voice in which Sayuri has. Maybe I'm naive, but I thought perhaps the publisher would hire someone that would fit the bill.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Springfield, OR, United States 01-01-11
    Beth Springfield, OR, United States 01-01-11 Member Since 2004
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    "What a terrible reader for this book"

    Until a new version is available that doesn't sound like it is being read by an elementary school teacher, skip this audiobook. Her reading of simple Japanese words will pull you right out of the story. It is cringeworthy!

    If there is ever a new version, I'll buy it, but this one isn't worth the credits or a sale price.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Halle Scott 06-02-10
    Halle Scott 06-02-10 Member Since 2009
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    "One of my top picks so far"

    Great story, and reader.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mia Silver Spring, MD, USA 06-07-09
    Mia Silver Spring, MD, USA 06-07-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Stunning-I couldn't stop listening"

    I was immediately drawn into the wonderful, gripping story!! It was so real, so vividly written, and beautifully narrated. The story line is compelling and the written is so descriptive. It is a great novel -- I loved this book. It is the best book I have listened to or read in a long time.
    I also have to say that it is incredible that a man wrote this book. What a great story. I got totally lost in it. You are tempted to believe it is an actual memoir, then have to remind yourself it is a work of fiction. Amazing!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kris Cordova, TN, USA 05-22-09
    Kris Cordova, TN, USA 05-22-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Can't stop listening to this book!"

    I find myself looking for excuses to get in my car and listen to this book! It is wonderful - very interesting to learn the way of life for a Geisha in Japan, very fasinating! Definitely recommend!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    04-12-08
    04-12-08 Member Since 2007
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    1
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    "Wonderful!"

    I haven't researched the history of Geisha but found this to be captivating, heart breaking, heart warming, and very believable. A great read!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Hallandale Beach, FL, USA 04-10-08
    Nancy Hallandale Beach, FL, USA 04-10-08
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    "Loved it!"

    I've had the book for years and finally read it when I d/l the audiobook. So glad I did, I even watched the movie, which... of course, wasn't nearly as good as the book. The narrator did an excellent job and had me so interested, that I would fall asleep w/ my mp3 player and earphones in because I didn't want to stop listening.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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