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The result is a novel with the broad social canvas (and love of coincidence) of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen's intense attention to the nuances of erotic maneuvering. Readers experience the entire life of a geisha, from her origins as an orphaned fishing-village girl in 1929 to her triumphant auction of her mizuage (virginity) for a record price as a teenager to her reminiscent old age as the distinguished mistress of the powerful patron of her dreams. We discover that a geisha is more analogous to a Western "trophy wife" than to a prostitute--and, as in Austen, flat-out prostitution and early death is a woman's alternative to the repressive, arcane system of courtship. In simple, elegant prose, Golden puts us right in the tearoom with the geisha; we are there as she gracefully fights for her life in a social situation where careers are made or destroyed by a witticism, a too-revealing (or not revealing enough) glimpse of flesh under the kimono, or a vicious rumor spread by a rival "as cruel as a spider."
Golden's web is finely woven, but his book has a serious flaw: the geisha's true romance rings hollow--the love of her life is a symbol, not a character. Her villainous geisha nemesis is sharply drawn, but she would be more so if we got a deeper peek into the cause of her motiveless malignity--the plight all geisha share. Still, Golden has won the triple crown of fiction: he has created a plausible female protagonist in a vivid, now-vanished world, and he gloriously captures Japanese culture by expressing his thoughts in authentic Eastern metaphors. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
This book is a page turner, and Chiyo is a sympathetic character for most of the story.
Such a beautiful work, which weaved a real life like story, it was difficult to believe that this was a fiction written very well.
One of the ways I like to rate books is how much I miss them when I'm finished and I feel as though I've lost a good friend.
Really enjoyed reading this book albeit I felt that it was a bit long winded.
The story could've ended sooner as I found myself slightly bored nearing the end. Read more
I got it used, a little water damage at the bottom, does not affect my reading, for 3 bucks I can't complain. just so happy to finally have this book in my collection! Great read.Published 2 days ago by Bree Cuevas
I love this book. It very much speaks about how a man or woman can change their own stars. The author gives great visual imagery to many of the scenarios in the book. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Destiny
Somewhat interesting, very dull writing, predictable story. Gives insight into the physical life of a Geisha but given that its fiction from a US author written at a different... Read morePublished 13 days ago by review
I did not like this story, it dragged on and on, too much detail that did not matter. I was glad to get to the ending, I had to skip over very mundane ramblings.Published 15 days ago by Pat Samples
the only book in my life that i finished reading it in less than 2 weeks
my favorite book ever
i even red it twice :)