When I read Memoirs Of A Geisha when it first came out in paperback in 1997. I was 15 and probably had a difficult time cultivating the patience necessary to read on and on in sometimes-excruciating detail about how geisha dress and learn and put on their makeup every day. Now, although I feel Golden could have cut his magnum opus by 100 pages and it would have read smoother, I have to say that the voice is consistent, the details often moving the plot so seamlessly along that I found myself taking the book 200 pages in a sitting.
The only thing that annoyed me was that, like a pebble in a sandstorm, similies were overused. (Ha ha)