Memoirs of a Geisha (G K Hall Large Print Book Series)
Memoirs of a Geisha - G K Hall Large Print Book Series Author:Arthur Golden An alluring tour de force: a brilliant debut novel told with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism as the true confessions of one of Japan's most celebrated geisha. — Speaking to us with the wisdom of age and in a voice at once haunting and startlingly immediate, Nitta Sayuri tells the story of her life as a geisha. In Memoirs ... more »of a Geisha, we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl's virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love, always elusive, is scorned as illusion.
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. Through her eyes, we see the decadent heart of Gion--the geisha district of Kyoto--with its marvelous teahouses and theaters, narrow back alleys, ornate temples, and artists' streets. And we witness her transformation as she learns the rigorous arts of the geisha: dance and music; wearing kimono, elaborate makeup and hair; pouring sake to reveal just a touch of inner wrist; competing with a jealous rival for men's solicitude and the money that goes with it. But as World War II erupts and the geisha houses are forced to close, Sayuri, with little money and even less food, must reinvent herself all over again to find a rare kind of freedom on her own terms.
Memoirs of a Geisha is a book of nuances and vivid metaphor, of memorable characters rendered with humor and pathos. And though the story is rich with detail and a vast knowledge of history, it is the transparent, seductive voice of Sayuri that the reader remembers.
A dazzling literary achievement of empathy and grace by an extraordinary new writer.« less
This book would have gotten 5 stars from me, except that it ended with a fizzle. The opening 2/3 of the book when she's sent to become a Geisha, learns the trade, and the politics within the Geisha house was just fascinating. But toward the end it became tedious and I was finally glad that it ended. Both of my parents read this book as well, and had the same opinion. But this book is still definitely worth a read!
MarySue F. (marysue) reviewed Memoirs of a Geisha (G K Hall Large Print Book Series) on
Helpful Score: 6
I thought this was a remarkable book. The voice of the geisha and the authenticity of the times are consistent throughout the book. I carried it with me to read at odd moments -- something I don't usually do these days with books. The book was completely engaging.
Somehow I managed to not read it for the first 10 years since it was published!
This story is written so beautifully it reads like poetry. A fascinating look into the Geishas of Gion and their world. I could not put this book down, I wanted so badly to find out what happens between Sayuri and the Chairman!!!
I really loved this.... The narrator did an excellent job with this story... really lured you in and made you feel like you were there and part of the story... In the beginning the main character says she is going to explain about the day that "was the best day of her life as well as the worst" and then she goes into her personal accounts of the competition, glamour, and heartbreak that is you experience once you give your life over to becoming a geisha. I was really rooting for the main character throughout her story (beginning when she was just a girl of only 9 years old)--i laughed with her and actually cried with her at times... She really makes you realize that the life of a geisha isnt all glamour and it can actually be quite lonely; however as it is with many things in life even the darkest clouds can have a silver lining...
I knew nothing about Japanese Geisha prior to listening to this story and listened to this on a car ride from MD to NJ (it is only 3 hours long so it isnt as painstakingly long as many audio cds are so its great if you are just commuting to work or good to put on while driving around and running errands)---After finishing the story i must say i was extremly touched by this story and i am fascinated & would like to learn more about the lives of Japanese Geisha. ---Even if this isnt your normal genre of choice, i think most would enjoy this touching story..
I really enjoyed this book about Sayuri's life in Japan during World War II as she learns to become a geisha. I especially liked her relationships with her mentor Mameha, the scarred businessman Nobu, and her friend, the Chairman.