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

WOW, looking forward to watching the dvd

If you could sum up Memoirs of a Geisha in three words, what would they be?

Captivating, enjoyable & amazing.

What other book might you compare Memoirs of a Geisha to and why?

Unique, cannot compare to others.

What does Bernadette Dunne bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Simply brilliant listening

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There were many moving moments throughout this story.

Any additional comments?

I couldnt stop listening & enjoyed this book thoroughly.... a must read.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Corry
  • Grand Rapids, MI, United States
  • 08-30-12

Beautiful

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, absolutely. Complex, tragic, and beautiful story. I read it years ago, and I'm so glad I bought the audiobook. Shines light on a subject that many Americans misinterpret.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lisa
  • Apache Junction
  • 08-13-12

Geisha

I loved the book but the narrator fell a little short. She didn't sound Japanese, and she was a bit of a drone on her voice. But I stayed with it because my love of the story.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • JM
  • 08-13-12

Great cultural story

What did you love best about Memoirs of a Geisha?

Even though it wasn't a thriller, I learned much cultural and historical information about Japan.

What about Bernadette Dunne???s performance did you like?

Different voices were used. It was easy to tell when she switched characters.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jillian
  • Waynesburg, pa, United States
  • 07-12-12

A journey to another world

What did you love best about Memoirs of a Geisha?

The ending. I loved that the Geisha world doesn't end in marriage and other things that they don't get

Who was your favorite character and why?

Pumpkin. She was very relatable

Which scene was your favorite?

The training of a Geisha. I had the same thoughts of the nature of their jobs as many other people. I was pleasently surpirsed how interesting it was.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • Moreno Valley, CA, United States
  • 06-02-12

Beautiful when I close my eyes and listen...

What did you love best about Memoirs of a Geisha?

This listen was such a treat! I never saw the movie, not sure if I want to.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The Life of a Geisha

If you could sum up Memoirs of a Geisha in three words, what would they be?

Japan, kimono, tea house

What was one of the most memorable moments of Memoirs of a Geisha?

When Sayori and the Chairman finally talk in the upstairs room.

What about Bernadette Dunne’s performance did you like?

She has a lovely voice that is well suited to narrate this book.

Who was the most memorable character of Memoirs of a Geisha and why?

The main character (Chiyo/Sayori). the story is told from her point of view. Her "older sister" was also an unforgettable character.

Any additional comments?

This was a beautiful, raw story. The writer was not shy about telling of the poverty and the pain, the ugliness of life but also told of the hope, the beauty, and the resiliency of the people who went through such hardship. It also tells of the day-to-day life of these people and the struggles they overcame

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kevin
  • Las Vegas, NV, United States
  • 03-26-12

Absolutely Wow

Memoirs of a Geisha is one of my favorite novels of all time. I read the book when I was 17 and adored it.

The reader was incredible. Returning to this old favorite and listening to it while doing my housework was an absolute joy.

I thoroughly encourage you to download this title. Even if you've already read the book, you definitely won't regret it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A haunting tale you will never forget

The author of this book taped everything in talking to a friend. The tapes were transcribed into manuscript after her death. The reading is as if someone were talking to you, so being. That is what writing really is, talking via paper. But many writers don't get it. I was never able before to not sleep because of a book, but I found myself getting up in that dark unable to stop reading long past bed time. It is a haunting, sincere tale. Told in the most complete honesty a voice could make possible. Sold as a little girl soon to be orphaned into various slavery of many avenues as was the world of the women in that era in that place. Comes through WWll and the surviving of it. The greatest love story I have ever read. My only regret upon finishing the book, was that she was gone.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Nice story

What made the experience of listening to Memoirs of a Geisha the most enjoyable?

The narration by Bernadette Dunne is perfect.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The main character, she is just so likable.

Any additional comments?

Nice production, nice story, nicely done.