• Memoirs of a Geisha

  • By: Arthur Golden
  • Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
  • Length: 17 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 12-06-01
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.6 (571 ratings)

Editor reviews

After the death of her mother, a young girl from a rural fishing village is sold to a Geisha House in the Gion District of Kyoto. Her fate continually twists, along with Japan's, before, during and after World War II.

This listen captures with great detail the lush glamour of a geisha's world, as well as the brutal realities of indentured servitude. The experience is superior to that of the movie, because each moment is mined for maximum insight. Protocols and relationships, even food and finances, are also meticulously described. The result is total immersion in this fascinating culture.

The narration may seem reserved, but that is appropriate given the book's setting. The sexual content is also very discreet and appropriate. Watching the movie is only getting your feet wet; get the full experience through this listen, a bewitching strong step into not just another time, but another world.
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Shortlisted for Audible's Listen of the Year, 2006. Nitta Sayuri tells us in a voice at once haunting and startlingly immediate of her life as a geisha. Her story begins in a poor fishing village in 1929, when, as a nine-year-old girl with unusual blue-gray eyes, she is taken from her home and sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. We witness her transformation as 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.
©1997 Arthur Golden; Copyright ©1998 by Random House, Inc.
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Critic reviews

"Astonishing...Breathtaking...You are seduced completely." ( Washington Post Book World)
"...a bravura performance, a first novel that provides a vivid view into a largely lost and secret world." ( The Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Coleen on 09-01-06

Didn't want it to end..................

Thoroughly enjoyed this. Had previously read the book (albeit some time ago)but none of the enjoyment was lost. Well written and ably narrated, you become truly lost in the life of a Geisha and of Japan before, during and after WW11.

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14 of 15 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Karen on 09-03-06

An Emotional Rollercoaster

This was my first audible buy and it has really set the standard - I could not bear to be separated from my i-pod as I listened to this gripping story. I was completely absorbed by the story and felt I was sharing all of Sayuri's highs and lows - it was a real rollercoaster of emotions where I found my self screaming out loud at some points as you saw the naivety of some of her decisions/actions and cheering when certain individuals got their just desserts! My 14 year old son has also listened to it and enjoyed it as much as I did (although he probably wouldn?t admit it to his friends!) We both found it a wonderful, moving tale, beautifully narrated.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Amanda on 08-02-06

Perfect ---- in every way

As a fluent (second-language) speaker of Japanese, I was shocked to read that many found the narrator's pronunciation "incorrect". Ms. Dunne has narrated various accents, from a young Japanese girl to a middle-aged Jewish woman (Garlic & Sapphires...), and did a fantastic job with them all. Her pronunciation of the English language was done with the inflection of a native Japanese speaker. Please consider the artistry of speech when listening to an Audiobook. "Not taking the time to learn the correct pronunciation" may not at all be the case.

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21 of 21 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Linda on 01-02-03


This is on my top 10 list of books I'd take to a desert island, no, top 5 list. I was mesmerized by the haunting beauty of the writing. Especially as it is not the kind of book I would normally have chosen. I have recommended it to all fo my friends.

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31 of 32 people found this review helpful

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