Written By: Arthur Golden

Narrated By: Elaina Erika Davis

Date: July 2000

Duration: 2 hours 58 minutes

Summary:

Speaking to us with the wisdom of age and in a voice at once haunting and immediate, Nitta Sayuri tells the story of her life as a geisha. Sayuri's story begins in a poor fishing village in 1929, when, as a nine-year-old with unusual blue-gray eyes, she is taken from her home and sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. It concludes with World War II when the geisha houses are forced to close and Sayuri reinvents herself and finds a rare kind of freedom on her own terms.

Genres:

  • Liza

    I listened to the audio book and loved it - Bernadette Dunne is amazing, she has a gentle voice that catches you, something between a little girl or an old women, and so very suitable for a geisha. I was disappointed from the very expected ending, I really hoped that it would end differently. But other than this, the book is told in a magnificent way, the details about Japan and about a Geisha's life draw you into the story. The language is rich and the metaphors are so unusual to the western world. Our life are full of choices, listening to this emphasizes how much - especially since you don't become a Geisha because you want to, it is because you have no choice.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

  • Michael G.

    Very well written And the narrator was magnificent match.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Holly

    An excellent read. The characters are authentic and well rounded and the story is told in a way that is captivating to the point that you think the story may be real even though it is not.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • DF

    This is a story with lots of heart, a romantic drama whose heroine goes through harsh trials and emotional tribulation in the world of Japan's Geisha system. The setting will be exotic for any American reader, but the everyday realities of the world it depicts are grim. I am a man and often found it hard to believe this book had been written by a man; it is such a tender and sensitive chronicle of the inner feelings of the woman whose story he tells.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • St. Simons Sheila

    This is a wonderful story with so much detail of a time and culture I was unfamiliar with. The reader did a wonderful job. I rented the movie after listening to the book... do rent the movie... listening to the book is SO much better.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Sanjay Singhal

    Definitely worth the listen. Don't know if it was because of the abridgement, but I found the early part of the story, how she grew up and became a Geisha, was more interesting than the later part of the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Hillary K.

    Really loved this book. One of my favorites. It was hard to spot listening.

  • Virginia R.

    Great book! I was immediately addicted; I couldn’t stop listening.

  • Charlotte V.

    Loved the book and the narration was really pleasant to listen to

  • Anonymous

    This book offers a unique glimpse into a different culture , with its unusual personal and social relationships. This is a moving story of love, devotion, hope and betrayals that the heroine lives through. The story is captivating and unforgettable.

  • Art

    This was a very good book but there were way too many similes and metaphors. They stuck out like a sore thumb.

  • Lachen b

    I loved the movie and wanted to read the book. Listening to the story was good. But the tracks skip around towards the end and the narrator's voice changes from her being in character to someone just reading it. I wasn't too pleased with it. But either way it's still a great story.

  • Ayela Mujeeb

    I've read this book multiple times and treasure it. It is masterfully written. I decided to try the audio version and was extremely disappointed by the voice.

  • midirons

    Excellent listening, Great metaphors put the listener at the scene.

  • Reader19

    The unabridged is a bit long. Too many silly analogies in the story that don't add to the development or understanding. Great story, however. Lots of references to historical events. Worth a listen.

  • Sue

    Very entertaining!! Really enjoyed the whole long book. Glad I tried it...enjoyed listening to the reader also.

  • KaylaW

    You are transported to a different time and to a place so real. This was everything is described is so...lyrical. I am so sad that it is over. The narrator was wonderful to listen to. Her voice was soft yet choppy, the way you would expect a Japanese with very fluent English might tell her story. I truly enjoyed this work.

  • LisMur

    I really liked this book when I read it, but I didn't like the reader on the audio edition. Still, it's a good story.

  • Lori

    I had plenty of time to relax and listen to this book since I broke my foot and had to have it operated on just as I recieved this in the mail. I'm so glad I got this then. It was a pleasure to be alone and stuck in my recliner while listening to this.

  • Alicia from Austin, TX

    I may be the only person in the world that didn't really like this book. I was disappointed by the ending, and I thought it really was a poor attempt to glorify what in effect was prostitution. The writing is well done, and it was interesting to learn about the customs and history of Geisha. But overall I would not recommend this book.

  • Sharon Allen

    I was uneasy about reading a book by a white male on the very private inner life of naturally modest Japanese women in an even more discreet profession. But the author clearly did his research, and whether or not the details of this secret society are accurate, the writing rings authentic. I was disappointed with the reader's voice: her inflection was monotone, and her mispronunciation of the Japanese words was distracting if not at times annoying. I think next time I'd prefer to read it in print rather than listening to it (this version, at any rate).

  • Kelly Abad

    I really enjoyed this book. I would say that it is one of my favorites. I enjoyed the detail and the opportunity to see into the life of a Geisha.

  • Robert Lanois

    This is a story everyone should listen to. In all of the books this rates as one of my favorites. The reader does such a great job with the story making it as real as any. I would rate her nearly as good as Jim Dale (Harry Potter).

  • Arlene

    The person who read the novel did a great job with the character's voices and the overall mood of the story. Although I enjoyed the book very much - especially the details and descriptions given at the beginning, I felt that the ending was rushed. Highly recommended.

  • Elizabeth Manuge

    i really liked this book. it is told with restraint, integrity and an affection for this girl who had such a hard life fitting into the demands being geisha put upon her. i felt i understood exactly what it would be like first of all to be kidnapped and sold into the hands of 'mother' who saw all these young girls as money makers. this girl was different and emerged as a strong person with a purpose in her life ie to take control of her life and make her own decisions. its hard to believe this story was written by a man. it is a fascinating story, makes one want to meet this woman. it would have been nice if the reader had had a japanese accent.

  • Lyn Dibble

    I was young sailor in the 50's and my ships made many visits to Japan, saw what were probably many Geishas. Just never knew where they fit in sociality. Very good book have ordered the movie to see how they pesented it. My copy of the book have been used quite a bit and had some areas that skipped. I was still able to keep the flow of the story. Looking forward to the movie.

  • Anonymous

    This book is by far the most interesting, informative, entertaining audio book I've heard. I loved the author's use of metaphors and similies. The imagery was powerful. I listened to it twice!

  • KC

    What an amazing book. I saw the movie first and was thus intrigued into reading the book. I couldn't put it down. The images and scenes that are evoked from this book are amazing. I was sorry to see it end.

  • Jean Enright

    I thought this book was awful. I must of got the abridged version as everything talked about was so glossed over. For example: she went to "parties". It didn't say what happened there. There were no details of anything about what geishas do. I thought they were like a paid escort but absolutely nothing referencing this. I read the other reviews and can't understand why everyone liked this book!

  • Katie Hayse

    I didn't feel I had time to read this book when it was on the best seller list, but I can't wait to finish listening to it! I love it so far. I have always liked books by such authors as Pearl Buck and this fits right in with that.

  • Christen

    This book was an incredible read. I listened to the unabridged version which was graphic but it gave me a more detailed insight into the life of a Geisha. It will probably make the movie seem much less informative. The characters were great and the author did an outstanding job. I strongly recommend this book.

  • Anonymous

    I learned alot about geishas. The book is a little graphic. I would recommend the unabridged version. I had the abridged. I loved the reader!!

  • Julie

    I have listened to many audio books and can state without doubt...to date, this book is by far my favorie. The story was addictive, I could not get enough of the characters... a real page turner (so-to-speak) The reader did an excellent job. I have not yet seen the film, just went out and purchased the DVD. For any communter, this is a MUST read!

  • KD

    What a wonderful book! The characters are rich, the story has depth and detail, the author brings to life the world of a geisha, and the reader was excellent!

  • Anonymous

    This book was fantastic! One of the most interesting books I’ve listened to in a long time. I debated between the abridged and unabridged versions and I’m VERY happy that I went with the unabridged version because I didn’t want to miss anything.

  • Anonymous

    One of the best books I've read in a long time. An incredible insight into the life of a geisha. I did feel a bit cheated when I read in the acknowledgements that this was a work of fiction when it reads memoir in the title, though I should have guessed from the way the novel ended.

  • Casper

    Excellent, couldn't wait to listen to more. Wonderfully narrated.

  • Phyllis Brown

    Excellent, I wish it could have gone on forever. I could not wait to get each segment. I was captivated. Would love to read more from this author.

  • Christy Thomas

    I liked listening to this book, however I think I'd enjoy the unabridged version much more. This was easy to listen to though.

  • Anonymous

    I really enjoyed this book. The reader was pleasent to listen to. I liked it much more then the movie.

  • Anonymous

    Fascinating, beautiful and a very "easy read." Wonderful book for summer vacation reading.

Memoirs of A Geisha

by Arthur Golden

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Memoirs of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
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