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Pamela

North Hollywood, CA, USA
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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 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

1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-08-03

Ummm....

I gave a rave review to Ender's Game. I eagerly bought this audiobook as well, expecting a continuation of the well-written and engrossing story. I have removed it from my mp3 player and will not be giving it another chance. 'Boring' is the most applicable word I can use in regards to this book. I couldn't get my mind to focus on what the narrators were saying, because the actual story itself was just so uninteresting, with drawn out dialogs and dull situations.

Part of the reason this story failed for me is because the characters that I cared about from the first story aren't in it (and if they were, I couldn't bear to trudge that far into the narrative to find them). Also, the narrators themselves don't help. They are monotonous and dry. One lady, the one who did the sister in the first book, is almost unbearable. I lived through her intonations in the first book and came to associate her voice with the sister. It's unsettling to hear her voice now associated with another character, read in the same unpleasant monotone.

It almost pains me to give a bad review to the author who so thrilled me with Ender's Game. But I just couldn't finish this book. Overall, it was just disappointing.

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16 of 22 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-09-03

Couldn't finish

I found myself forwarding from one story to the next, hoping maybe there was a good one somewhere. I never found it. I think I only listened to two stories through to the end, and neither one of them left me feeling like I hadn't wasted my time. One of them had a nice idea about a drug that let you relive your memories, but it kinda floundered by end and ventured into the realm of nonsense. Maybe it wasn't nonsense, but the idea wasn't clarified enough by the author to be seen as anything else.

In other words, don't get this book. I'd give it zero stars if I could. I'm just glad I got it for free with my introductory membership. I feel kinda bad for the people who actually used a credit to get it or, worse yet, paid money!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-09-03

A good read

If you're looking to be entertained, or to pass the time in an enjoyable manner, try this book. It's not at the tip top of the line, but it holds its own. The development of the main character was essential to the success of this story, and it is done well. He is charismatic and the reader learns a lot about him by the end of the book, coming to really like and respect him.

I read other reviews before buying this book and was looking out for the out-of-place relationship with the rookie cop that so many mentioned. I, however, found that relationship to be completely necessary to the story. It kept the narrative from constantly revolving around the murder, which would quickly have gotten dull. It added another dimension to the main character, taking away the tough cop facade and showing us the human beneath. I think it was these parts of the story that really caused me to like the guy.

Overall, I liked this book. It was not one that marked me; I probably won't remember it in 2 years. But it kept my mind happily occupied from the time I went in until the time I came out. That's what matters, and I recommend it to anybody who likes a good read.

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26 of 26 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-09-03

By the end, an excruciating experience

This audiobook took me forever to listen to. The main reason for this is because it was boring. The first half of the book was engrossing, in that it introduced an innovative idea for a story. I couldn't wait to see how such a great idea was used. By the end, I was very disappointed.

I think one of the weak points of the story was its failure to really delve into the lives of the characters. In the beginning, we were briefly introduced to each character and given a bit of background and an idea on their personalities. This, however, was not expanded upon and the second half of the book was just one fake dilemma after another, from which the characters had to extract themselves. There are relationships between the characters that would have greatly benefited from some further delving. Instead, these relationships were barely hinted at in a sentence or two and then simply left hanging.

There is even one dilemma that occurs twice and I found myself thinking, 'Didn't we just go through this 50 pages back?' Kate, one of the main characters, finds herself balancing on a beam far above the ground, pursued by soldiers, who are precariously dead-ending her against the wall. Later in the book, hey guess what? Kate, one of the main characters, finds herself balancing on a beam...

The ending of the book was anti-climactic. Due to the lack of characterization, I was generally apathetic to the plight of the characters. I just kept wishing they would hurry up and get it over with so I could move onto the next book. Perhaps if this book had had a few hundred more pages, to further develop the characters, I would have enjoyed it more. As it is, it just seems like a good idea that lacks essential padding, maybe rushed out once the page quota was met.

All in all, I do not recommend this book unless you can get it for free. I won't be going to see the movie. I give it two stars because it was a great idea and the first half successfully pulled me in.

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6 of 9 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-13-03

Well done

I've read Card books in the past and always found them to be a bit too simple for my tastes (I'm more into Jordan or Terry Brooks-sized books). I got this book based on other reviews and was pleasantly surprised. The narrators are really good; though the main narrator's voice took a bit to get used to at first, I really like his style now.

The story is original and engrossing. I usually just listen to my audiobooks on the 15 minute ride to work and back. With this book, I've found myself with my earphones still on 20 mins after I get home, at work and in bed.

I'm getting the other two books.

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5 of 8 people found this review helpful