No, I haven’t seen the film and, to be honest, before reading the book, I wouldn’t have really wanted to. Now, however, I don’t think I’d mind giving it a try.
The novel is very well written, extremely descriptive, and very vivid, all of which combine to make something that I find fairly difficult to relate to (having never been to the ‘Far East’, let alone Japan before, and it being set a good 50 years before I was born) accessible and approachable. The descriptions used conjure up very clear images and really set the tone for the novel.
Whilst I can’t say how accurate his descriptions of the Geisha culture is, it strikes me that he knows his stuff and is very confident in the way he writes. There’s little bias. Every time you read something that would make me stop and think ‘wow, that’s a bit different’, Sayuri counteracts by adding a point that makes it seem not quite so horrific as it might seem to an outsider.
Written from the perspective of a young girl who is removed from her family and placed into what can only be described as the ‘Geisha Program’, Golden does a superb job of relating things from is character’s perspective and I have to admit that every few pages I was finding myself impressed with his work.
It’s not a book I imagined I was going to enjoy greatly, but I ended up really getting into it and, like I said, it provided the impulse that would make me happy to get a copy of the movie. Which isn’t a bad thing, necessarily.