Customer Reviews for

Memoirs of a Geisha

Average Rating 4.5
( 1652 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

16 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

Beautifully written....a must read.

This book was amazing and a beautiful read. It felt like Chiyo and Sayuri were right next to me telling the story of their lives. Beautifullly witten. This book engulfs the reader in its own world and even the most relunctant readers will find that they can't put this b...
This book was amazing and a beautiful read. It felt like Chiyo and Sayuri were right next to me telling the story of their lives. Beautifullly witten. This book engulfs the reader in its own world and even the most relunctant readers will find that they can't put this book down. I told my friend who only read a book once in a while and she finished the book in about 4 days. The story pulls your heart strings and you will hold your breath to find out what happens next. It is one of those books that when you hear its name again you immediately smile and say what a good book it was. You'll find yourself reccommending it to all your friends and family.

posted by 444716 on November 25, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

Very Disappointing

The author is a fantastic writer. He has the ability to transport you into a different era and place. I feel like I have strolled the streets of Gion and visited the tea houses of Kyoto. However, the story was much longer then it needed to be and it lacked something I c...
The author is a fantastic writer. He has the ability to transport you into a different era and place. I feel like I have strolled the streets of Gion and visited the tea houses of Kyoto. However, the story was much longer then it needed to be and it lacked something I can put my finger on. The ending a unsatisfactory. Sayuri the most selfish person you'll ever meet, after all Nobu has done for her.

posted by Magdalena25 on January 13, 2010

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  • Posted January 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Very Disappointing

    The author is a fantastic writer. He has the ability to transport you into a different era and place. I feel like I have strolled the streets of Gion and visited the tea houses of Kyoto. However, the story was much longer then it needed to be and it lacked something I can put my finger on. The ending a unsatisfactory. Sayuri the most selfish person you'll ever meet, after all Nobu has done for her.

    2 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2014

    Entertaining, nothing else

    While it is very entertaining, you have to be careful when you read it as much of the Geishas or Geikos behaviors in this novel are out of character to what would've been expected in an era that the author is writng. Also the supremacybod whiteness over Oriental beauty was a bit uncomfortable, and it may not seem like it at first but the fact the main character Chiyo or Sayuri has grey eyes (which later change to light blue in the book description) are very strange, especially since at the time there was such a thinbg as the Yamato class mentality which tried to depict everything that wasn't Japanese as an "other" (a technique US and Germany used a lot as well and you can see it in the news reels and war propaganda).
    If you want to kill an hour or spend a good weekend, read this but don't take it as a serious study in Geisha or Maiko (Geisha apprentice or sister) history, for that I recommend Geisha by Liza Dalby and Mineko Iwasaki biography.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2011

    Boring so far

    Right now on page 61 and the book is boring some1 tell me it gets better

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2006

    Not what I wanted to learn

    Although the book was good fiction, I was very disappointed to find out that Golden went against his word. He asked for help from a very fine geisha and betrayed her. Mineko Iwasaki's life has been rough since the book has been published and since then has decided to write her own. It is hard to give a book a good review when the author went against his word and made his inspiration's life terrible.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2005

    Not Good

    I read this book because I picked it up at a bookstore and was enttranced by the opening chapters. However, after reading the whole thing, I was extremeley disappointed. I must admit that the imagery created is spectacular, but Golden's writing has many holes in it and it sometimes doesn't flow smoothly. Sayuri's story is very strange and I don't like the ending at all. What's even worse is that I got the impression Golden actually approved of what she did. I won't spoil the ending for you, so I won't tell you anything, but it doesn't make sense. Sayuri should not be portrayed as a heroine because she is nothing of the sort. She is a malicious and crude character who tries to come across as an angelic and intelligent woman but Golden fails completely.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2005

    Interesting but annoying.

    Arthur Golden should write under a Japanese pen name in order to create the illusion of authenticity of the Japanese voice in the narration. The similes, metaphors and writing style are forcefully 'Asian,' and unavoidably and annoyingly so. The story is interesting, but definitely does not warrant the attention this book is getting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2005

    Sadly Disappointed

    I was recommended to read this book and was told that it would have an awesome ending. It would also alter my life and the way I view it, however I was sadly disappointed. The writing was lyrical, I'll give Golden that, but to me, I didn't feel like I was in Chiyo/Sayuri's shoes. I struggled to get through it because on the most part I could predict what would happen next. I like to be surprised. I think it could have been better had an actual geisha written the novel. It was like watching another rape victim movie on Lifetime. Hopefully the movie will be much better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2005

    Didn't like it that much

    It was probably ruined for me because I read 'Geisha, A Life' by Mineko Iwasaki first. You may recognize her name as Golden's main source. Unfortunately, he broke the terms of their agreement by saying she was his main source, and then proceeded to fill the book with information that was the opposite of what she had told him. The prostitution aspect, for example. She says that geisha and courtesans have been confused over the years but good geisha make a large amount of money and would not need to sell their bodies as well. I also thought the story seemed contrived and I really liked Nobu and didn't think the way she hurt him was okay at all (why couldn't she just talk to him?) And she did it because she was madly in love with a childhood crush.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2004

    I wasn't impressed

    I can't believe how much attention this novel has received over the past few years. The main character is one-dimensional, her emotions never truly come across to invoke empathy from the reader. Her reactions to all of the strife she endured were clinical at best. The plot moved along at a snail's pace. A feminine touch was sorely lacking from this novel. The only character I actually liked was Nobu, without him, this book would have been a bigger disaster. I truly wanted to be moved by this story, instead I was bored. Don't believe the hype.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2003

    A Dull well written book

    Can't say that this book was not well written but it was dull and long. It took so long to get any interest and now that I hear Golden has been sued by the woman on whom he based the story, I like it even less. Maybe she will let us know the real story in her own book. Getting into the Japanese culture is sometimes hard to do but perhaps we will find out what the life of a geisha is really like if we are interested and by the number of young people reading it we should so they don't have a misconception. Many other books about Japan have a better story and we can learn something useful while we read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2002

    Uggggg......

    Something must be terribly wrong with me, but I did not enjoy the book. It was wonderfully written, but the story was so dark and depressing. I kept thinking...it's just gotta get better. Whew...glad when I finished. It was like a bad dream.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2000

    Did I read the same book?

    I thought this book was a huge disappointment. I found it to be dark and depressing. It is also slow moving.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2000

    I DON'T GET WHAT ALL THE HYPE IS ABOUT

    I heard so much critical acclaim for this book, that I was very eager to finish this book. As I was reading, the thought that kept entering my mind was, 'When is this book going to get better?' I agree some of the descriptions used in the book are beautiful, but overall, I found a lack of plot and character development. The main character seemed very flat and shallow to me. If anyone can explain to me what I missed, I would be happy to listen.

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    Posted March 6, 2011

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