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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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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; (P)1999 Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Rarely has a world so closed and foreign been evoked with such natural assurance." (The New Yorker)
"Captivating, minutely imagined...You are seduced completely." (Washington Post Book World)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (138 )
5 star
 (72)
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2 star
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Overall
4.3 (16 )
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Story
4.3 (16 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Deborah Parker, CO USA 10-02-05
    Deborah Parker, CO USA 10-02-05 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    97
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    82
    27
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    2
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    "Draws you in and won't let you go...."

    This is an amazing story of an amazing woman. It is truely a look at a time and culture that westerners can only imagine. I found it hard to turn it off, making excuses to keep listening.
    A very, very "good read".

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan Flagstaff, AZ, USA 01-02-05
    Alan Flagstaff, AZ, USA 01-02-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    0
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    "A spell-binding book"

    I listened to this audiobook on a ski trip with my then 18 year old son to Colorado. I often listen to audiobooks on long trips but my son generally tunes them out or listens to his own music. He was so captivated by this one (me too) that when the chance came to ride with his long-time-no-see friend in a different car, he declined because he was afraid that I would move ahead in the story and that he would miss part of it. This book is probably at least part of the reason my son is now studying japanese at college and planning to spend a year studying in Japan next year
    The narrator is excellent and I felt the book gave a real insight into the japenese mind and a world that was hidden even from the japanese for hundreds of years.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Bokeelia, FL, USA 08-07-04
    Sandra Bokeelia, FL, USA 08-07-04 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
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    46
    6
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    "hypnotic & entrancing (dble-spk?)"

    I have listened to this book several times since January of 2002. It never fails to capture me. The voice and the story both are intriguing. It takes the listener to another world and yet gives familiarity also. Very hard to believe that it is fiction. I have recommended it to many others. I also have read it, but listening to the unabridged version improved the quality of the experience in this case. Sandy

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Bonner 08-12-03
    L. Bonner 08-12-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    "Captivating"

    I loved listening to this book and being transported to another time & place. This was wonderfully descriptive, wonderfully read perfection.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ella toronto,, Ontario, Canada 02-19-06
    Ella toronto,, Ontario, Canada 02-19-06 Member Since 2005

    Knowledge is knowing the way. Wisdom is looking for an alternative, more interesting road to get there. Audiobooks are that road.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    989
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    330
    102
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    5
    Overall
    "Short and Sweet"

    This is the shortest book I've ever listened too and it packed quite a big punch. The story is intriguing, the narration was so good it transported you to a whole different world. I chose to listen to the abridged version of this book because it is not really the type of book I am interested in, but the reviews are so good I didn't want to miss it completely. This was a good compromise, I got a good taste of what the book was about without having to listen to 14 hours of it. Enjoyable and educational at the same time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori Franklin, TN, USA 03-18-04
    Lori Franklin, TN, USA 03-18-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    "Tugged at every emotion"

    It felt so personal hearing it. Anyone who enjoys getting to really know characters in a story, must listen to this. Beautifully read. How I wish I could have known this amazing woman. I felt I was walking there beside her throughout her entire life.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Grapevine, TX, United States 06-05-04
    James Grapevine, TX, United States 06-05-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    354
    ratings
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    365
    29
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    4
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    "Superb!"

    Captivating story of a 20th century geisha, read by an excellent narrator. I could not sleep until I finished it!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jami VICTOR, NY, United States 04-12-14
    Jami VICTOR, NY, United States 04-12-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    57
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    REVIEWS
    97
    95
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    2
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too Much Abridging"

    I enjoyed the story and the narration, but I think that too much was taken out in the abridged version. I had not seen the movie nor read the complete book and thought that this would give me a good overview of the story. However, I felt parts were choppy and not connected, so I read the reviews of the full-length book. To my surprise, there were many parts that seemed to be relevant to the story that were not included that I thought would have been helpful, even in an abridged version. This did pique my interest enough that I borrowed the full-length version from the library and am currently reading it to fill in the gaps. My advice is that if you are really interested in the whole story, get the full length version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miyuki Nagoya-city, Japan 08-09-13
    Miyuki Nagoya-city, Japan 08-09-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent performance and splendid atmosphere."

    When a Geisha, Hastumomo speaks, I can feel Kyoto accent though she speaks in English. But there is one concern. As a Japanese woman, I’m worried that Westerners might misunderstand Geisha because of this book. Certainly Geishas are existent in Kyoto and highly respected as a part of Japanese antique culture. But they are not prostitutes as the book describes “Mizu-age”. I’ve heard a lot of foreigners who visit Kyoto try to pay them for sex. Of course it’s illegal and very rude to offer. You can see they dancing and playing music, and play games with them in a very graceful, traditional way. Surely they’ll please the eye.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Abdulaziz Shaab, Kuwait 03-07-12
    Abdulaziz Shaab, Kuwait 03-07-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    5
    5
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    "Great Narration. and beautiful story"
    What made the experience of listening to Memoirs of a Geisha the most enjoyable?

    The way Elaina Erika Davis narrate the book, is really incredible, unbelievable. She has such an ability on controlling the accent she is using, to help our imagination in illustrating the characters. She has the power to hold every word she is saying, and shoot it, like a Bullet, aimed to the target in each sentence.My admiring increased, after I searched for other books she had narrated. I Noticed she is very different, in each book she narrated, entirely different.Amazing reading, with great simple act, logical feelings during all the readings.I call the style of narrating this book, is an artistic Narration.I recommend to read this book for many reasons, on top ofall reasons, is the way Elaina Erika Davis Narrated Good luck


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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