As most of you probably know by now, I’m a voracious reader and a total book addict. Which is why I’ve decided to make a special section on my blog to post reviews of my favorite books. Since I have thousands of books I like – literally – probably I won’t be able to write about all of them. Not in this lifetime anyway. But speaking of that, Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha is one of those books you must read at least once in your life.
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.
I’ve read this book for the first time about ten years ago, and I confess I was lost in the storytelling more than in the depth of the characters. However, when I’ve reread it again recently, I discovered how much feeling the author has poured into it. As a longtime fan of Japanese literature, I sensed the difference in the writing style of American author Arthur Golden, who sometimes exaggerates in his efforts to showcase the solid research he’s done about the Japanese culture. However, even if not perfectly accurate, Golden paints a vivid picture of the Geishas and creates a compelling plot that’s definitely worth reading. The story is powerful not just because of the controversial and emotional subject, but also because it’s exotic and gives the reader a good insight into a mysterious, almost forbidden world – the life of a Geisha. That alone makes this book worth reading, not only for entertainment, but also because it’s an interesting piece of history cleverly disguised as bestselling fiction. Five stars!
I also recommend the following books, written in a similar style and guaranteed to draw you in:
And a selection of movies you should see at least once in a lifetime, from one movie aficionado to another: