Memoirs of a Geisha

Customer Reviews

6,037 Ratings

Overall Ratings

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4,152
  • 4 Stars
    1,383
  • 3 Stars
    357
  • 2 Stars
    83
  • 1 Stars
    62

Sorted By Most Useful

5 out of 5 stars
By Pamela on 12-26-03

A great book, although not a true story

I've been doing some research and, apparently, the story is fictional and not true as so many people believed, including myself. The story written by Arthur Golden was collaborated upon by Mineko Iwasaki, a real geisha who is still living today. If you are interested in her autobiography, she has written a book entitled "Geisha : A Life". I feel a bit silly now for having believed these people were real and I feel a bit disappointed that they weren't. I suppose, in a way, they were real because they represent a historical period and a way of life that really existed. In any case, the story is a wonderful one and I still very highly recommend it to everybody.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Christopher on 10-22-03

Amazing!

I loved this book! I am a very "picky" reader and this book has it all - a great story, beautiful writing, engaging characters, excellent pacing and suspense, moments that will touch your heart, everything! I especially enjoyed the metaphors used by the author throughout the story and watching her learn and philosophize about life as it takes each turn for her. I also gained amazing insights into Japanese culture and human nature. This is a must read, a masterpiece, a manual for living all in one. I now enjoy the wisdom from having lived two lives: mine and one of a Geisha's

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14 of 15 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Michael T Brannock on 05-30-04

In Defense of the Narrator

This is the best novel I have ever listened to. As a guy who spends at least 3 hours a day commuting to and from work, I have listen to a lot of audio books. I want to come to the defense of the narrator, who has been disparaged by several reviewers. She is perfect in every way. Her voice is beautiful and exotic. And she plays the part exactly as I envision Sayuri would speak if she were telling her story - elegantly, but with a matter-of-fact cadence and a detachment required for her sanity and dignity. Of course, you are free to question the wisdom of a guy who spends at least 3 hours a day commuting to and from work.

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36 of 40 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By B. Frank on 11-23-08

BEAUTY AT ITS BEST!!!!

This book effectively brings to mind the vivid beauty of the Asian world. The images that the author describes are palpable. I saw the movie about a year or two prior to listening to this audio book. It definitely pales in comparison. Although the movie does a pretty good job of highlighting some of the main events, it does not do what the book is capable of, sharing with Western world the true life of the Geisha.

I now have a solid, elementary, understanding of the Geisha. No longer does my mind immediately shoot to the image of a high classed prostitute, or call girl, when I think of the Geisha. The author does a wonderful job of fully explaining everything, while maintaining the compelling aspects of the story.

Very riveting, exciting, sad, and beautiful, the life of a Geisha is a must read. I wholly recommend this book to anyone who appreciates beauty. The irony of the story is its paradoxical play on the complexities of manmade beauty. The Geisha must at all times be perfect while her life and love are sacrificed in an effort to give men, who choose her, absolute psychological, and sometimes physical, pleasure.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Roadrunner At Large on 12-16-05

Beautiful

I just couldn't stop listening to this book. I have a long commute and I usually listen just in my car. This one I could not stop listening to. I listened at work and one night I just sat on my sofa listening for 2 hours while at home.

When I finished the book I was on my way home in the car. I began to cry at the end. Not because it was a sad ending but because it was so BEAUTIFUL. The story is just so beautiful.

10 stars!

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Don on 01-10-04

A good story, well told

Even now, I have to remind m yself that this book is a work of fiction. The characters were all so vivid that I can picture each of them in my mind's eye, just as clearly as if I had spent many evenings with them, drinking sake at the Ichi-Rikki Teahouse. More than once, I had the sensation of being in another place, enjoying the company of an aging but still elegant geisha as she told me the fascinating story of her extraordinary life.

This book is, simply put, a pleasure - not to mention a fine work that should stand the test of time.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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