Review: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden –  Book and Audiobook  vs DVD 

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 love this audiobook! I saw the film for the first time in 2006 and loved the costumess, elegance and atmosphere surrounding the world of the Geishas. I really felt for Sayuri and for all she’d been through at a young age. I was glad she had her friend Pumpkin for awhile in her life, and it was nice to see the bond the two girls had away from the strictness and routine of being Geisha. The book was beautifully presented, with wonderfully delicate illustrations on the first and last few pages. As always, the difference between the film and the book was the amount of historical detail that was in the book, that wasn’t in the film. Overall, the amount of research and attention to detail that’s gone into the writing of this book is astounding. This book will always have a special place in my heart. It’s quite long, over 400 pages, but is a joy to read. A fascinating. insight into Japanese history and culture. I have the film on DVD and have watched it many times. The DVD has some interesting extra features, such as a “making of” section and cast interviews. 

Book (Paperback) 

  
Pros 

Illustrations on first and last pages 

Well-researched 

Available as an ebook and audiobook 

Cons

The paperback has print that’s too small for me to read 

Audiobook (Audible

  
Well narrated 

Easy and engaging to listen to 

Much more accessible for me than a paperback 

Film (DVD

  
Some images from the film 

  
  Full of amazing imagery and details 

Well- researched 

Music helps the atmosphere in parts of the story

  
Bonus features: 

“Making of” section 

Cast interviews. 

I have watched this time and time again and am not bored of it 

  
Cons 
I get the feeling that this would be amazing on bluray for those who can appreciate the special effects when watching blurays, but this will be lost on me unfortunately because I’m unable to see small details and fully appreciate special effects because of my vision. 

After reviewing different formats, I would choose the audiobook, because it has details that aren’t in the film, such as snippets of Chiyo’s (Nitta Sayuri’s) and her sister’s lives before they were sold to the Okiya (geisha houses), as well as what they both went through trying to run the house with their father while their mother lay ill. All formats manage to get across Chiyo’s/ Sayuri’s  fun personality and direct way of expressing herself, which, at times, has a touch of humour about it, and at others is serious, but always kept me focused. 

Finally, I’d like to share a favourite quote of mine from the film with you 

   

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