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Memoirs of a Geisha

Narrated by: Noriko Aida
Length: 2 hrs and 59 mins
4 out of 5 stars (69 ratings)

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Summary

In Arthur Golden's poised and beautifully written debut novel, Sayuri tells the extraordinary tale of her life, evoking a quarter of a century of Japan's dramatic history, 1929 through to the post-war years.

Her story encompasses her childhood in a poor fishing village, before taking us, as she was taken at the tender age of nine, into the formal but intimate world of the geisha, a world supposedly of eroticism and enchantment, but also one of exploitation and degradation. Later, when the war has forced the closure of the geisha houses, Sayuri tells of her redemptive struggle, penniless and hungry, finally to forge her own freedom, on her own terms.

©1997 Arthur Golden (P)1998 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

Critic reviews

"Golden tells a mesmerizing story." ( The Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review)
"Astonishing...breathtaking....You are seduced completely." ( Washington Post Book World)
"Many...details serve to enrich Memoirs of a Geisha, giving Sayuri's story a sharper focus and providing the distinctive qualities the heroine herself lacks." ( The New York Times Book Review)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Memoirs of a Geisha

A tear-jerking, funny account of an innocent young girl whose life is turned upside-down when her poor fisherman father is unable to cope with having two young girls and a dying wife and sells her to be a Geisha Girl. This story is fascinating and shows what a hard life these poor girls had after the betrayal of their father. One sold as a prostitute and the other a Geisha. Well worth the read/listen. I have now also bought the book to read!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cathy
  • Newark, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom
  • 06-04-06

Brilliant

This was my first audio book so I have little to compare it to however I enjoyed it so much that I have upgraded my shuffle to a Nano so that I can listen to lots more!

The narrator's accent added to the realism of the story that moved along at a slow pace, allowing you to take in each stage of the main characters life. The attention to detail transports you into another world from which you view the life of a little girl as she is torn away from her family and taken to a city far from home. Here she slowly developes into one of the most important Geisha of her time. You are given an insight into her sense of duty, her hardship, her anguish, her survival and ultimately her feeling of self-worth that finally leads her to love and happiness.

This is far from a love story but is a factual dialogue about Japanese life in former times.

Try it - you won't be disappointed.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jenny
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 30-07-19

Abridged

I didn't realise this book was shortened until reading the reviews, but did have my suspicions given the relationships seem to lack detail and depth and things like the war, or everyday geisha activities seem glossed over. It did give me a taster though and I'd like to read the full book, and the narrator is lovely...might just watch the film.

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

Half the book is missing

As a huge fan of the book, I thought I would download the audio book. I was really disappointed that most of the book is missing, things that is important to the story. The audio book basically follows the film (which is also like) but let's face it, we read the books because they're more detailed than the films and always have more to them. So to sum up, if you want the whole book, don't bother. The positive is the narrator is great.

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

beautiful story, thoroughly enjoyed it! <br />

such in depth descriptions it really opens the imagination. loved it and loved the narrator! highly recommend 😉

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tracy
  • RINGWOOD
  • 26-03-19

I love the history of this story

I read the book and listened to it twice. Great imagery and a peek into to a life now forgotten

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

Abridged too heavily

Noriko Aida tells the story beautifully but the story has been chopped until there is virtually nothing left.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully written, if slightly inaccurate.

Beautifully written, and as its performed by a japanese person only made it feel that much more real. Although its a wonderful story, it is still sad to hear the inaccuracy that geisha sell their bodies, this is not true at all! I highly recommend everybody read 'Geisha of Gion' by Mineko Iwasaki. She was the most famous geisha in Japan and was interviewed by the author of Momoirs of a Geisha (although, their conversation was to remain completely anonymous). This book is basically an exaggerated telling of Mineko's life, I highly recommend gettingher book and truly leaning about the life of a geisha and the incredibly life she lived!

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

A good abridgement

The story was good and it managed to keep the main focus on the story. This version is a short, quick listen.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anne
  • Ramsgate
  • 11-10-17

Disappointed with cuts!

This story is a favourite of mine so I decided to have it as an audio book. It has been spoiled by being abridged losing many key points in the story. I enjoyed the performance though. I guess I will have to check more carefully to avoid abridged books in the future!