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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.
Although I've seen the film version of Memoirs of a Geisha first, I like the book a lot better. I don't want to spoil too much for those who've never read the book nor seen the... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Reyelene
Beautifully written, it's so hard to find contemporary authors that write with eloquence like the classics. The descriptions, the characters, the emotion that carried through... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Tierra B.
Memoirs of a Geisha became an international bestseller with millions of copies sold. It became a beautifully made film (which I have enjoyed watching on two occasions) nominated... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Anthony H. Young
So overall I really loved this book. I think something about it was just really magical to me. I knew a little about geishas and their place in Japanese history (from my own... Read morePublished 6 days ago by alexis rodrigue
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It keeps you involved and wondering what will happen next. I would recommend it to anyone who loves to read.Published 7 days ago by Kindle Customer
This is my favourite book, I read it first time 15 years ago. And since then I have read the book over another 3 times and watched the movie another hand full of times. Read morePublished 12 days ago by julie
I will never read this book because Golden promised not to reveal the Geisha who confided in him. She offered to help him by revealing the secret world of the Geisha to him, in... Read morePublished 13 days ago by jeimny gonzales
I found the memoir fascinating and intriguing. And learning about this ancient tradition touched my love of history. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Nancy Corbeille