Book Reviews of The Tale of Murasaki

The Tale of Murasaki
The Tale of Murasaki
Author: Liza Dalby
ISBN-13: 9780385497954
ISBN-10: 0385497954
Publication Date: 8/21/2001
Pages: 448
Rating:
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 25

3.4 stars, based on 25 ratings
Publisher: Anchor
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

12 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Tale of Murasaki on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Freshly written. Intimatly drowns you in artistry and japanese custom. Well written with much attention to detail and emotion. A must read for anyone who appreciates history and a look into human thought and feeling.
reviewed The Tale of Murasaki on + 83 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
In The Tale of Murasaki, Liza Dalby has created a breathtaking fictionalized narrative of the life of this timeless poet a lonely girl who becomes such a compelling storyteller that she is invited to regale the empress with her tales. The Tale of Murasaki is the story of an enchanting time and an exotic place. Whether writing about mystical rice fields in the rainy mountains or the politics and intrigue of the royal court, Dalby breathes astonishing life into ancient Japan.
reviewed The Tale of Murasaki on + 72 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Written by the only Western woman to ever have become a geisha, "The Tale of Murasaki" is a highly readable work that will both educate you about 11th century Japan and have you invested in its main character throughout. The story is about the writer of the first novel in history, and is told as a "fictional/historical" diary from that author's perspective. Some reviews have stated the story is too far-removed emotionally, and while it is to a certain degree, the style of writing and the relatability of the main character, Murasaki Shikibu, is more-than-enough to keep a reader entertained and craving more.
reviewed The Tale of Murasaki on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Classic Japanese style - long winded and very descriptive
reviewed The Tale of Murasaki on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Very interesting look into the inner world of geishas and Imperial Court....if you liked "Memoirs of a Geisha," then try this one for even more detail and scope.
reviewed The Tale of Murasaki on + 49 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
fiction of 11th century Japan - based on a historical fragment from the subject's diary
Lyric, poetic, full of results of research
reviewed The Tale of Murasaki on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book is full of poetic language, insight into life in ancient Japan, and it was a delight to read.
reviewed The Tale of Murasaki on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a fantastic book. If you loved Memoirs of a Geisha, you will want to read this one as well.
reviewed The Tale of Murasaki on + 34 more book reviews
This book is full of poetic language, insight into life in ancient Japan, and it was a delight to read.
reviewed The Tale of Murasaki on + 88 more book reviews
Perfectly capturing the sensual mood of its model, The Tale of Genji, this imagined memoir of Murasaki Shikibu--the author of the 11th-century Japanese masterpiece heralded as the world's first novel--sensitively renders Murasaki's inner life and her times in Miyako (ancient Kyoto). Posed as a series of reminiscences discovered after Murasaki's death by her grown daughter, Katako, the novel reveals the mind of a writer who believed that she could "shape reality by... writing." The young Murasaki dreams of serving as a lady-in-waiting at the empress's court, but her father is a humble scholar, a position that doesn't merit such honors for his children. Instead, she is betrothed to Nobutaka, a relative and family friend. Murasaki resists this match, as Nobutaka is much older, and with her girlhood friend she has invented an ideal, "imaginary lover," the shining Prince Genji. When Murasaki's family is transferred to the distant province of Echizen, she falls in love with a Chinese ambassador's son. But the pair are separated, and Murasaki finally accedes to marriage to Nobutaka. To her surprise, she enjoys a few years of quietude and continues writing the Genji stories, which have begun to circulate and win appreciation. Later, she is summoned to serve at court, as the regent wants "those who read the tales of Genji in the future to know they were inspired by [his] glorious reign." The book focuses on Murasaki's observations, rather than on national events, and the story moves at a leisurely pace, best enjoyed for its rich, evocative descriptions--like that of the fascinating practice of communicating via brief poems. The real Murasaki's poems are included throughout, illuminating Dalby's sensitive, well-researched portrayal of the Heian-period novelist, who realizes poignantly that "literary skill will get you noticed... but it won't make you happy."--Publisher's Weekly
reviewed The Tale of Murasaki on + 167 more book reviews
i got this from the book exchange at my gym and its been sitting around for a while. someone requested it from my book swap club so i decided to read it. or attempt to. i got to page 105 before i permanently set it down. i tried a few times to read it and it was just painfully boring. i only read as much as i did because i had a long flight and nothing to do. ugh. so boring boring boring. im not even sure what the story was about it was so all over the place.
reviewed The Tale of Murasaki on + 30 more book reviews
I tried to get into this one, but couldn't.