Jessica's Reviews > Memoirs of a Geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
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Nov 09, 07

bookshelves: chicklits
Read in January, 2004

I can't remember what made me pick up this book -- it must have been that edition's cover, which was highly gorgeous: bright bright white with big red geisha lips. I think part of me wanted to be above this kind of thing, but you know what? I thoroughly enjoyed it. Memoirs of a Geisha was a fairytale in novel form, and completely absorbing even when it got slightly ridiculous. It's one of those chocolate cake kind of books, descriptively rich, demanding your full attention and almost too sweet but ultimately a great, sticky pleasure.

I finished it one night in a loud, fetive metal bar, and if that doesn't recommend a story to you, I don't know what would. It was the dead of winter, Lindsey was visiting from California, and we were really going nuts out there in Brooklyn, since we hadn't seen each other in ages. Although we were both enjoying the attention, finally I had to leave Lindsey alone at a table with about six enthusiastic long-haired, thickly-tattooed sweethearts while I crept off to a dim corner and finished the last few chapters of this book. Seriously, Lindsey took a picture of me crouched at a table by myself, where every once in awhile someone in a tight vinyl bondage outfit or gory tee shirt would come up and demand to know what I was reading. Finally I wrapped it up and returned to the socializing, and the rest of the night? Well, that's a story of its own, and not a chocolate cake one.
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Comments (showing 1-14 of 14) (14 new)

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message 1: by matthew (new)

matthew i'd like to see that photo, and hear that tale.

this isn't about the white (cough) chick (cough) who became a geisha, is it?


Jessica No. It's about a white guy telling a story about how he imagines it would've been to be a Japanese chick who becomes a geisha.

I've thought about making a "modern-mikado" orientalist shelf, but I'm not sure what I'd put on it except this and John Burdett.


message 3: by matthew (new)

matthew "It's about a white guy telling a story about how he imagines it would've been to be a Japanese chick who becomes a geisha." - i can't say that sounds compelling.


Jessica ....right. But it was.


message 5: by matthew (new)

matthew i'll have to take your word for it. if i'm seen reading this book, i'm sure to be punched, again.


Samantha I agree it was totally entertaining - a very quick read. It's like a dumb hollywood movie that you enjoy at the time but have no interest in ever thinking about again. No lasting satisfaction. It'd be a good choice for the plane trip to Australia where you will be visiting me and having LOADS of fun in just 14 short hours (not including the first flight from NY to CA)!





message 7: by matthew (new)

matthew god, the idea of a flight to australia makes me want to die. what are you doing there?!


Samantha I'm enjoying the start of summer!


message 9: by matthew (new)

matthew heh. it gets hot, i hear.


Lesley OMG, I have never seen so many similes contained in such a small amount of paper space. It is as if similes are like ripe, red cherries overflowing from a paper bowl. Is the author attempting to capture the essence of weird geisha thoughts? Or is this just his flowery, descriptive schtick?

Don't get me wrong, it's a fun read. I'm just saying.


message 11: by matthew (new)

matthew i suspect he's trying for an overwrought "oriental" style, but i haven't read the book.


Laura I couldn't agree with you more about this book, Jessica. Sometimes you need a book like this in your life. I love it. It's kind of like reading a fashion magazine. I really hope there's a horoscope at the end.


Lindsey What a great review! Thanks for writing it, Jessica :)


Marius Hancu While reading Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, you may want to see my questions related to it as answered in the alt.usage.english (AUE) Usenet newsgroup. My thanks to the participating AUE members. The focus of my questions was the language: rare words, funny or original expressions, special or strange constructs — as I saw them, from within my own idiosyncrasies.


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