During the grand opening celebration of the new American headquarters of an immense Japanese conglomerate, the dead body of a beautiful woman is found. The investigation begins, and immediately becomes a headlong chase through a twisting maze of industrial intrigue and a violent business battle that takes no prisoners.
The basic plot involves the investigation of the murder of a young woman at a party held at the Los Angeles offices of a large Japanese corporation. LAPD Lieutenant Smith is called in as a special liaison officer to deal with the Japanese VIPs, and is aided by retired LAPD Captain Connor. The mystery the two officers uncover is convoluted, and made more complicated by the fact that the Japanese try to thwart them at every turn, resorting to obstructionism, bribery, and even outright threats. The brazen and over-the-top nature of the tactics employed by these evil Japanese corporate goons really detract from the plausibility of the story, and detract from the fairly solid mystery that makes up the core of the book.
Smith and Connor prove to be mostly incompetent, as their blundering investigation results in a rising body count until they are able to uncover the true culprit. The weakness of the protagonists, coupled with the obvious fear Crichton has of the Japanese (and the resulting portrayal of the Japanese as a collection of corrupt thugs) reduces this book to mediocre at best.
If you want to study Japanese-American relations over the last 25 years then this book will be very educational. The book touches on the USA corporate arena giving the reader an understanding of the corporate ego of the buying and selling of various companies. These garage sales will eventually weaken or destroy our way of life. If want an interesting story by a great author, then this book will fit the bill also. Enjoy it.
I have seen the film Rising Sun starring Sean Connery, but I've got to say the book in much better.
The plot revolves around the murder of a girl in a Japanese business complex in US. As usual MC has
done a great job of story telling. Though its a fictional, you can always learn something from his works.
Literary skill - What does Crichton write that he doesn't write well? The story is indicative of Crichton's art - he is the action packed professor lecturer. You don't get taken for a ride, you get schooled. Teaching on Japanese culture and business practices fill the book. The technological 'wow' is kind of like being in Disney's "World of Tommorrow" (No suprises, just outdated technology.) The story seems timeless, a warning to those who would sell the future of America to the highest bidder.
Worldview - Paranoid Mystery-Driven Angst.
Originality - Written in '92, the high tech flash of this book does not overshadow the plot, like some books do, with deus ex machina plot effects. Like a good mystery writer, he tells you everything, hoping that the pages are turning so fast that you miss the details as they emerge. I was snowed, even after seeing the movie a few years ago. The plot was A+.
Tragedy - Ah... the angst that we felt at the dawn of the Clinton years. America still stands, years later, but you will read this book... and worry for your children. Who is out there, plotting our demise? Who is selling America? Who holds the strings of our politicians?
Offensive language - This ruined the book for me. Unnecessary, Repetitive, Annoying, Pointless repetition of the F word. So 90's. Did I ever think that was cool? I challenge you to look back at some of the movies you saw in high school... (If you were in high school in the 90's like me, that is...) and analyze the dialogue. Vapid, meaningless, annoying profanity. Was this a good book? Yep. Was it full of useless cursing. Yep. Is it beneath Crichton? Yep.
Graphic sexual content - The plot revolves around a sexual indiscretion with a "woman of questionable character." There is some indecency, not a book for young readers by any stretch of the imagination.
The Narrator Has His Epiphany - "I was tired. I climbed the stairs to my apartment and went inside. It was quiet, with my daughter gone. I got a can of Coke from the refrigerator and walked into the living room, but my back hurt when I sat in the chair. I got up again, and turned on the television. I couldn't watch it. I thought of how Connor said everybody in America focused on the unimportant things. It was like that situation with Japan: if you sell the country to Japan, then they will own it, whether you like it or not. And people who own things do what they want with them. That's how it works. (p.388)
Price - $0.25 Union Public Library Discard Pile. Got to love the Library!
Rising Sun is clearly playing into those sentiments and frankly I don't like it. Both cultures, American and Japanese in this book are reduced to stereotypal representations making for a boring, predicatable and insulting read.