Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

929Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Published November 22nd 2005 by Vintage Books USA (first published 1997)

512 Pages

Goodreads Summary: A literary sensation and runaway bestseller, this brilliant debut novel presents with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan’s most celebrated geisha.

In Memoirs 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 is scorned as illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction – at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful – and completely unforgettable.

Review: For years I have loved the movie but had never read the book until now.  I was a little nervous because in my recent experience if I watch and love the movie before reading the book I end up not liking the book.  This happened when I read Practical Magic and Witches of East End this year.  Fortunately in this case I did end up liking the book.  Not as much as the movie but still enough that I enjoyed reading it.  There were so many more details in the book that weren’t in the movie which is a pretty typical thing with book to movie adaptations.  Unfortunately those details didn’t really feel necessary to the story and it made the book drag a little bit.  It was written beautifully but sometimes that also means that things are dragged out with more descriptive words.  I found myself really feeling for Nobu while reading the book.  In the movie I never cared for him because I was too busy rooting for the Chairman and Sayuri.  But while reading I was almost hoping that she would end up with Nobu.  He is a much bigger part of her life in the book than in the movie.  While I liked reading the book, I don’t think I will ever read it again.  I liked the movie more and it takes less time to watch the movie than read a 500 page book.

4 Stars

Shelf Control – September 16, 2015


Shelf Control is a brand new weekly feature from Bookshelf Fantasies!  The goal is to take a look at the books that are already released that you own but have not read yet.  I have MANY that can fall under that category so this feature is perfect for me.  Check out Lisa’s inaugural post for more details!

For my first week, I’m going to go with a book I have had forever and one that has been on my TBR for far too long!

956241Title: Memoirs of a Geisha
Author: Arthur Golden
Published: Published November 22nd 2005 by Seal Books (first published 1997)
Length: 502 pages

Goodreads Summary: Memoirs of A Geisha is an epic drama about the remote and shimmeringly exotic world of Sayuri, one of Japan’s most celebrated geishas. The novel has been a beloved bestseller all over the world and is now set to become the major movie event of the year. The film stars Asia’s most celebrated movie stars including Zhang Ziyi (House of Flying DaggersHero), Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai), Gong Li (Raise The Red Lantern), and Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).
In this literary tour de force, novelist Arthur Golden enters a remote and shimmeringly exotic world. For the protagonist of this peerlessly observant first novel is Sayuri, one of Japan’s most celebrated geisha, a woman who is both performer and courtesan, slave and goddess.

We follow Sayuri from her childhood in an impoverished fishing village, where in 1929, she is sold to a representative of a geisha house, who is drawn by the child’s unusual blue-grey eyes. From there she is taken to Gion, the pleasure district of Kyoto. She is nine years old. In the years that follow, as she works to pay back the price of her purchase, Sayuri will be schooled in music and dance, learn to apply the geisha’s elaborate makeup, wear elaborate kimono, and care for a coiffure so fragile that it requires a special pillow. She will also acquire a magnanimous tutor and a venomous rival. Surviving the intrigues of her trade and the upheavals of war, the resourceful Sayuri is a romantic heroine on the order of Jane Eyre and Scarlett O’Hara. And Memoirs of a Geisha is a triumphant work – suspenseful, and utterly persuasive.

How I Got It: I bought it but it was awhile back so I couldn’t tell you where from.  Either Half Price Books or my town’s annual hospital auxiliary book sale.

When I Got It: Probably at least 2-3 years ago.  Like I said, it was awhile ago so I don’t really remember when I got it.

Why I Want To Read It: I love, love, love the movie so of course the book has to be better, right?!  I added it to my 2015 TBR Pile Challenge this year but it’s the middle of September and I still haven’t gotten to it yet.  Hopefully soon!