Maybe rating this book 5 stars is slightly excessive, but I can't help it. It's just that much fun, even if it's a non-fiction book, it doesn't just dMaybe rating this book 5 stars is slightly excessive, but I can't help it. It's just that much fun, even if it's a non-fiction book, it doesn't just deal with facts. At its most basic, the bare bones of the book consists of facts about Korean dramas (in South-Korea the word is used in a broader sense, for every acted television series) and interesting aspects in their production, plots and mise-en-scène.
In short: this book is not interesting at all if you're not interested in dramas, and even if you'd like to start watching, it probably doesn't really serve as a proper introduction. The book however is great when you already have some knowledge of dramas, even if it's basic. Javabeans and Girlfriday are both well versed in the world of dramas and are able to explain some occurences culturally as well. Even if you already know most of the information in the book... I'd say it's still interesting, because these women are just fantastic writers.
The book basically explains a few key themes and issues in dramas, that might get lost in translation for Western viewers. It's a quick guide, so the entries aren't too long, and there aren't too many examples of dramas mentioned (on a personal note, I really liked that they mentioned some of my favourite dramas, such as High Kick! 3, Queen In Hyun's Man and Rooftop Prince). However, just the range of dramas used as an example in this relatively short book should convince the reader of the fact that these women really know their stuff.
Should you be in doubt whether or not you'd like the book, you should probably check out the articles on their blog: Dramabeans.com. You will see that both Javabeans and Girlfriday have succeeded in creating a writing style that's informative, to the point and hilarious. I can really only recommend this eBook to fellow drama-lovers, and am personally very pleased there will be other volumes released....more
Certainly an enlightening read about what it means to be a Geisha. I heard talk about this book mostly in relation to Memoirs Of A Geisha, a story I eCertainly an enlightening read about what it means to be a Geisha. I heard talk about this book mostly in relation to Memoirs Of A Geisha, a story I enjoyed, but this book definitely disproves a lot of the details about the life of a Geisha as depicted in that work of fiction.
As for this book itself - it was rich in detail, which I appreciated. I did wonder at times how Mineko could remember things from the past in such detail however, especially from when she was still young. Sometimes I didn't really like her as a narrator either. She seems to have been raised as a princess, and sometimes I really got annoyed by this air of superiority. Maybe it's just a distorted image one gets because of the examples she used in the book, but there was often a case where she said that she'd gotten compliments about having done this or that particularly well.. which eventually got on my nerves. I understand that she's a legend in her field (and a bit of a workaholic) and probably earned the right to be proud of what she's achieved in life, but sometimes it made her seem condescending towards others. It wasn't always pleasant to read about.
Overall though it's a very informative book, if you want to learn to look beyond the stereotypes of traditional Japanese culture and Geishas....more