Book Review – Memoirs of a Geisha

After a long time, I could read a book which was unputdownable. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. I have not seen the movie, but after reading the book, and being fascinated by it, I am in a dilemma. I do want to watch the movie for the dressing and details, but I do not feel like destroying the cinematographic scenes of my mind.

From the theme, I thought the story would be erotic, and as they mentioned, I thought it would be more of prostitution. But it was not. The sentimental story, filled with emotions of a young girl, and the pain she has to go through at such a young age vividly creates a film of its own and draws you into her. The first person narration adds the personal touch to the story which covers the ups and downs of the geisha Nitta Sayuri in her lifetime. Though the Depression and World War II is mentioned, it is not entirely focussed on them. The theme revolves round her and other geisha women of Gion. Just like in a filmi style, there is villain and hero, and supportive co-actor,  strong woman portrayals with mixed shades of good and bad, and a dramatic climax.

Though, personally, I did not much liked the ending and the pre-climax, the narration was superb.  I was reminded of the courtesans that existed in the early ages of India.  I could not believe that the story is entirely a work of fiction.  I guess the extensive research have finally paid off. Fiction or not, I really enjoyed it.


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