Reviews tagging Sexual assault

Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden

8 reviews

mikitiale's review against another edition

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informative reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.5

I enjoyed this book but I understand the author betrayed his informant and as someone trained in anthropology, I do not find this forgivable. I plan on reading Iwasaki's book soon.

The plot kept me interested. I wish Pumpkin and Sayuri were able to have a better relationship but I understand Pumpkin's motivations. Watching Chiyo grow into Nitta Sayuri was okay but the people around her were often more interesting than she was. Sayuri still felt like the same person at the beginning of the novel as at the end, though maybe a bit more cynical. Her motivations did not change and her obsession with the Chairman made her seem childish even in her 30s.

I dislike the end with the Chairman's confession about Mameha. It takes away from the relationship between the sisters and it felt like a cheap way to pretend the Chairman actually cared even though he refuses to marry her or have a committed relationship with her after literal decades of essentially grooming her.

I am glad the author spent a lot of time studying Japanese language and culture, even going as far as to have a master's degree in Japanese history, but I feel this story would have been told best by a cultural insider rather than an outsider looking in.

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0l1v1a's review against another edition

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dark emotional inspiring reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

5.0


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stellarheroics's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional informative reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0


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ninjasunknown's review

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emotional hopeful informative medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0


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malloryfitz's review

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slow-paced

2.0


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samreadsthings's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful reflective slow-paced

5.0


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dia_ne's review

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dark fast-paced
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.0


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cheshirevixen's review

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dark emotional inspiring reflective tense slow-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.75

This book holds a special place in my heart, and it's been that way since my childhood when I used to listen to the audio-book. That being said, this is not a book for children. There is a lot of heavy subject matter in this book which went of my head the first few times as a kid. Despite the way it's presented, I think of this book as the heavily fictionalised version of a woman's life, based on true stories, which it definitely succeeds at being. 
 
Overview
 Characters: 5/7
  • Personal Enjoyment: 4/5
  • Interesting: 4/5
  • Consistent: 3/5
  • Development: 3/5
  • Flaws: 3/5
  • Relationships: 4/5
  • Conflict: 4/5
Setting: 1.6/3
  • Personal Enjoyment: 2/5
  • Interesting: 3/5
  • Internal Consistency: 3/5
Plot: 1.6/5
  • Personal Enjoyment: 2/5
  • Setup: 1/5
  • Payoff: 2/5
  • Logical: 1/5
  • Pacing: 2/5

Characters: 
The main character undergoes significant development over the course of this book, which follows her from childhood into adulthood. She is a strong character with understandable flaws, that grows from her many (often difficult) experiences. Her relationships and interactions with the powerful female characters around her are one of the most interesting parts of this book. There are both numerous mentor and rival characters in this book which directly influence the trajectory of the main characters life and thrust her into new phases of her life. I didn't necessarily think all or most of the characters were 'likeable' (in fact almost all of them did something I found immoral or shortsighted at some point during the novel), but I like most of them as characters because they feel real.

Setting:
Given that this book is set in a real place, and I tend to read and enjoy fantasy and science fiction settings more than real ones, it really says something that I thoroughly enjoyed the setting of this book. I'm not overly familiar with Japanese culture and so I am happy that this book doesn't just throw the reader in the deep end and expect them to know all the terminology. Instead, the time is taken to explain and familiarise the audience with new concepts as they are introduced. And the setting isn't just a backdrop, the place, time, culture that the book is set in plays an important role throughout the story and in various plot elements. That being said, I can't speak for the accuracy of the depiction of the place or the culture as I've never had the pleasure of going there myself.

Plot:
The plot of this book is generally just the journey of the main character navigating her society and the challenges she faces. Much of the conflict and events in the books are due entirely or in part to the other characters or uncontrollable events. This is not to say that the main character is passive by any means, but most of her active decisions are in reaction to the bad situations she is placed in by others (particularly in the beginning).

Themes:
This book attempted to tackle a lot of dark subject matter in its pages, and I believe that it generally did a good job exploring its various themes. Firstly, I have to mention the sexual themes in this book. Young girls are sexualised and
Spoiler have their virginity auctioned off to rich older men
. I cannot speak for the how the sexual themes are handled in this book, in regards to the historical and cultural accuracy because I don't feel educated enough on the subject. However, regardless, I think the way these things are explored definitely draw attention to the fact that we are reading from the perspective of someone who is uneducated and doesn't know much about sexual matters. War and the effects of occupation are also explored in this book, more specifically looking at the disruption it causes in everyday citizens lives and lifestyles. 

I think this book was great. But I'm definitely biased by nostalgia so take that with a grain of salt :)

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