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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

4.6 (5355 )
5 star
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4.6 (2557 )
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Story
4.5 (2538 )
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Alan San Diego, CA, United States 01-01-08
    Alan San Diego, CA, United States 01-01-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    109
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    407
    102
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    "Excellent"

    I enjoyed this story a lot. The narration is very good and the story is a great work of literature. Some humor, suspense, and adventure this story is a narration from the point of view of a young girl as she grows up in Japan before and after WWII. There is nothing erotic in this story. The ending is very sweet.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie sonoma, CA, USA 05-25-06
    Leslie sonoma, CA, USA 05-25-06 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    135
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    94
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    "for the love of simile!"

    Excellent excellent story, very well read. The characters are fabulously developed, the writing is enchanting. I didn't make it to bed before 1 a.m. once I popped on the headphones. My only "issue" with the writing is the saturation of figurative phrasing. However, given that this is a story being "told", I suppose this is how a person who would be telling rather than writing their story would behave, so while it got to be a bit thick, I can understand why Golden chose to write that way, and it didn't get in the way of the story or the characters so it is only a minor issue. It is not a "girly" type of story either, so guys...dig in and enjoy!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JOHN Plantation, FL, United States 02-10-06
    JOHN Plantation, FL, United States 02-10-06 Member Since 2003

    Audible Member Since 2003

    HELPFUL VOTES
    681
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    454
    68
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    39
    3
    Overall
    "Amazing and beautiful"

    It is almost impossible to believe that this story was written by a man. Still, this does not mean that a man cannot appreciate the beauty and near perfection of this story. An amazing piece of literature that I believe will be one which will endure through time as one of the great books.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheila Gilbert, AZ, USA 01-20-06
    Sheila Gilbert, AZ, USA 01-20-06 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    90
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    205
    5
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    Overall
    "Ten stars"

    This is a case where a marvelous book is made better through the talents of the reader. The already poetic lines are skillfully brought to life and I found myself enthralled with a culture I had never before had any interest. This is, by far, the most enjoyable audible selection I have have the pleasure of listening to. It so far surpasses other novels that a simple five stars is not nearly enough.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suze Weinberg Jackson, NJ 12-21-05
    Suze Weinberg Jackson, NJ 12-21-05 Member Since 2012

    Queen of UTEE

    HELPFUL VOTES
    218
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    194
    74
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    FOLLOWING
    14
    0
    Overall
    "So Engaging"

    What a beautiful book. It's almost impossible to believe that a man wrote it. You "experience" every bit of the characters daily lives...you can practically see them by just listening to the readers voice.
    Now I hope I won't be disappointed by the movie because the book was simply stunning.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Veronica Ogden, Utah 12-04-05
    Veronica Ogden, Utah 12-04-05 Listener Since 2004

    carlskobe

    HELPFUL VOTES
    77
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    32
    17
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    Overall
    "Spellbinding"

    I've listened to the book three times and each time was better than the time before.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd Gainesville, VA, USA 11-04-05
    Todd Gainesville, VA, USA 11-04-05 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    31
    5
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    "One of the best books!!!"

    I expected an excellent book after reading the other reviews, but the book and its reader are even better. You will not be disappointed if you purchase Geisha.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill from Florida Florida 08-11-05
    Bill from Florida Florida 08-11-05 Listener Since 2004

    Bill

    HELPFUL VOTES
    69
    ratings
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    59
    14
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    Overall
    "Unbelievable"

    This is a book that you absolutely do not want to miss.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A Seattle reader Seattle 08-09-05
    A Seattle reader Seattle 08-09-05 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    64
    4
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    0
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    Overall
    "Rivetting and superbly read!"

    Do not read this in the abridged form - you will miss so much!

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Lafayette, CA, USA 06-05-05
    John Lafayette, CA, USA 06-05-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    3
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    "A Jewel of a Journey Which Will Bring Peace"

    I cannot explain the power of this book, but believe it is the direct simplistic way a life of unimaginable horror begins and is endured with grace, intelligence, determianation and power taking the 9 year old slight girl with grey eyes, from the tipsy house in the lost fishing village at into the brothel district to be raised as a Geisha, journeying into the political intrigue and need to stay alive as war hits Japan hard and she finds protection and has longing for a special one who is unatainable. Unrequited love, at a distance is painful and beautiful. I can only imagine how loving a woman she became and if I had known of her I would have invited myself to tea to meet her. The story of how this book came to be is also a coup for the author who gained her trust, did not betray and elevated her journey in this world to one of spiritual validity. She transformed herself and all who came into her life, a simple daughter of an old fisherman, who became ... well you have to read the book to see the unfolding. The narrator is incredible drawing you in, pictures form, you taste the sea, smell the make-up, feel the presence of men gathering in the tea houses, sense the danger of war close by, the rustle of silk, and grasp the deep meaning of relationships and how she fostered nutured and treasured each and every one in a humble and honest way. She is a courageous woman who I have come to admire unabashedly.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Ms. Cheryl Sim
    U.K.
    3/30/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Remarkable"

    When the story first started I wasn't sure I liked the narrators voice, it sounded a bit automated. However I got used to it and the incredible story unfolded. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would greatly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    2/1/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "loved it!"

    heart warming story!! you get so involved and it felt as if I was a part of this world. it took me some time to get used to the narrator but she did a wonderful job doing characteristics. overall something I would listen to again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sallyanne McCrory
    1/20/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "an amazing story. couldn't stop listening!!"

    a must read. thoroughly enjoyed this book. it's very poetic and I now need to watch the film.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wosul
    UK
    1/8/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Captivating and alien, it drew me in."

    The dispassion with which she tells her story partly makes you wonder at her blindness to the warped ethics and inequality of the life she and those around her lead, and also wonder at her ability to live so long through the harshness of that and submit to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    12/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book. Better than film. Well read"

    I love the narrator and the story was so interesting. Would recommend to any one

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • K.M
    12/9/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Didn't want this to end"

    I have read the book a couple of times, but hearing it narrated added an extra dimension - great story and excellent narration- recommended

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jayjay
    11/14/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful story, beautifully told."

    A wonderful narration to a beautiful book. The story left me in tears.

    Will definitely be listening to this again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bev
    6/21/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "amazing book"

    this is one of those stories that i keep coming back to. i must have read it a dozen times, and yet always find something new

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • miss E J Gray
    5/29/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exceptionally enjoyable"

    The narrator helped this book come to life and you are immersed in the life of a Geisha.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • christopher james ford
    4/14/16
    Overall
    Story
    "LOVE the story but horrible natration"

    LOVED the story ( for the 5th time) but what a horribly narrated book! i coukd not find an alternative online although many years ago i had a copy read by someone else with a beautiful voice!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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