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Editorial 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.

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

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Performance

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Nice long story to lose yourself

At first I didn't think this would interest me, but gradually I was drawn into the life so far from America. Not fast paced, but very descriptive and entertaining. Definitely not a laugh a minute, but worth your time.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic

I have never written a review, but felt I must for this one. It is a compelling story beautifully narrated. I have listened to this story more than once, and will surely listen to it again. Well worth the time and money.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ava
  • Westbrook, CT, USA
  • 10-13-08

Caught in the web

From the moment the story starts, I was caught in the author's web. He paints a vivid picture that totally envelopes you within the characters and the settings. I can't wait to see the movie to see if it lives up to the book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent, my first audiobook and still my fave

Although it has been over 10 years since I listened to it. I still recall it as my favourite audiobook. It is well written and the characters are engaging. It is definitely on my list of one to listen to again.
#audible 20 reviews sweeps.take entry

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A Fascinating Listen

This was the first download since opening my account with Audible, and I think I made a great choice. The story of Sayuri was fascinating and taught me a lot about Geisha and cleared up some mis-conceptions of this Japanese profession, that I previously had. The narrator had a pleasant voice and told the story well - I found it hard to switch my MP3 player off and incidentally, finished this book in just over a week. Highly recommended.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Eric
  • PASADENA, CA, United States
  • 04-19-08

Great work

Throughout the book I couldn't believe it was written by a man. It really makes you feel how it would be like to be a Japanese geisha, really impressive.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • Ceylon, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • 02-26-08

Loved it, loved it, loved it

This narration made me want to go and read my copy of the book again. I found every excuse to listen to the book. The story grabbed me when I read it, and the audio was no disappointment.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Captivated

While I haven't listened to many audio books -- this one has captured me like no other. I don't really know how to express my fascination with this story -- my heart seems to ache for the life and treatment that Geisha received. It's difficult for me to understand this type of culture where young girls were treated as pure sexual pleasures -- with what seems like little or no emotional feeling for them. I never thought of myself as prudish, but it's hard for me to comprehend this manner of cold calculated behavior.

You'll love the book -- and likely not be affected as much as I was -- what a sap I can be.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

GREAT!!

I wasn't really sure of what to expect out of this book. The world of the Geisha just spiked my interest. I absolutely loved this book and finished all 16 hours in a couple of days-- NUTS HUH!! I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Geisha opens my eyes

This story was not at all what I thought it would be. It was an amazing story of a Geisha's life.
The reader is excellent and makes the story come alive.