The Life of Shinke

Memoirs Of A Geisha

Posted on: August 18, 2010

Title: Memoirs of a Geisha

Author: Arthur Golden

Published: 1997

Description: A literary sensation and runaway bestseller in hardcover, this brilliant debut novel offers, with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism, the true confessions of one of Japan‘s most celebrated geisha. (Taken from Goodreads)

I remember when this book was relaunched after the movie came out and all my friends rushed out and got it and I remember not being the least bit interested in reading it. Then I saw it on the 1001 books you must read before you die list and realized I’d have to give it a shot.

It started out slowly for me and continued that way for probably three-quarters of the book. I just wasn’t pulled into the story. I learnt a lot about Japan, geisha and their culture but other than that I couldn’t give two hoots about the story.

My problem was that I already knew she became a successful geisha so no matter what they threw at her I knew she’d come out on top. It really did take the suspense out of the story.

I suppose it got interesting right after she became an apprentice geisha and met the Chairman and Nobu-san. Her love for the Chairman and her affection for Nobu-san made it an interesting read there-after. It was a nice little love triangle.

It wasn’t a terrible read, it was boring for me in the beginning at least since I had nothing to really look forward to, no romantic interest, and no doubt in my mind that she would become a successful geisha in the end. However the obstacles she had to overcome, her personal struggles and the valuable information you learn about Japanese and geisha culture make it a most interesting read overall even if the beginning sucked lol. Now I find myself wanting to watch the movie to see how they portrayed it on film.

So if you’re into Japanese culture, memoirs or even non-fiction books, I’d recommend you give it a try. I gave it three and a half stars out of 5.

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1 Response to "Memoirs Of A Geisha"

What a great book! I read it about 12 years ago I want to say, when I saw everyone reading it while commuting on Washington’s metro system. I remember breezing through it in about 4 days!

I still haven’t seen the movie though, perhaps I’ll go ahead and add it to my Netflix queue.

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