I just finished “Memoirs of a Geisha“, and enjoyed it immensely. When the movie came out, I heard from many people that it wasn’t very good, so I didn’t bother seeing it, even though I’m a huge fan of movies in general, and Ziyi Zhang in particular (she plays Chiyo/Sayudi).
Now that I’ve read the book, I realize I made a mistake in not seeing the movie. I used to use critic/user reviews to determine which books and movies to read/see and I’ve realized that my own particular tastes are far more important than what people in general think of a particular production. If I like the cast, or I like the general concept, I’ll generally like the movie.
Does the same apply to books? There is no ‘cast’ per se, but the general concept filter still applies. And of course there’s the author. If you like Clancy, you’ll probably like all of his earlier books. Except the later ones seem a blatant attempt to cash in on the earlier work. I’m convinced Clancy, Grisham, Ludlum, Patterson, Steel, … all have summer interns writing their newer material.
Two interesting notes I got from a friend about “Memoirs of a Geisha” – most people think the book is non-fiction. It’s not. Complete fiction. And it wasn’t written by a female, let alone a Geisha.