Rising sun : a novel

by Michael Crichton

Paper Book, 1992




New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, c1992.


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.

User reviews

LibraryThing member benjamin.duffy
I'm sure this was very timely and topical back in the Reagan/Bush era when we were terrified that the Japanese were going to bury us up to our necks in unsold Magnavox and Zenith television sets, but by the time I read it in 2000 or so, it was just a clunky crime novel. In other words, it's one of the better Crichton novels I've read.… (more)
LibraryThing member StormRaven
Rising Sun is a murder mystery that serves to highlight Crichton's fears of Japanese influence in the United States. I almost put the "Techno-Thriller" tag on the book because the plot revolves around a plotted takeover of a U.S. electronics corporation, but decided not to, since the technology really doesn't affect the story at all.

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.
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LibraryThing member andyray
An excellent dissection of the Japanese mind, if what Crichton says is true. He says the Hapanese consider us as primitive, uncivilized animals and, with them, business is war. I knew there was a reason I didnt like Japanese.
LibraryThing member LillyParks
A entaining book by a great author

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.… (more)
LibraryThing member jackravi
As it is in most cases the book is better than the film.
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.
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LibraryThing member danimak
Interesting plot but many passages just seem to be nothing more than Michael Crichton expounding xenophobic beliefs about the Japanese in the troubled economic times the U.S. faced around the time of its publication. Anyone living in the U.S. int he early 90s can remember the paranoia over the rise of Japanese economic power. The book seems outdated in this sense. As a technothriller, the book also loses a certain sense of excitement that it must have had in 1992, when it was published, due to the fact that the technological intrigue, mainly dealing with video technology, seems obsolete given what is now standard software on personal computers. I'm re-reading this book (first read it when it came out and thoroughly enjoyed it) and am surprised to have such a different experience second time around.… (more)
LibraryThing member quickmind
This book did not age well. The murder mystery portion got really bogged down by all of the preaching the "good guys" do about the Japanese. It was very heavy-handed and ruined the plot of the book.
LibraryThing member pastakeith
Enjoyability The narrator is a bit of a bore, playing the common role of 'stupid cast member who asks questions so the writer can demonstrate his respected and valuable knowledge that he worked hard to achieve." It's annoying, but it worked. The tough cop, Connor, is entertaining, playing Holmes to the narrator's Watson, and is the ultimate fusion character for those who like a story with a little this culture is dumb and the other is better. Connor embodies the wisdom, patience, and panache of the Japanese culture, but retains his aggressive, individual, law-enforcing American disposition that makes you wish he worked in your neighborhood. The only thing that could have made him better are Jedi Powers.
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!
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LibraryThing member Czrbr
Book Description: New York: Alfred Knopf, 1992. Hard Cover. First Edition. Private Press. 8vo - over 7" - 9¾" tall. BOOK: FINE. No inscriptions. Red half-boards in FINE condition with black cloth spine. Gilt lettering on spine is intact and bright. Pages throughout tight, neat and clean. DJ: FINE. Not price-clipped.
LibraryThing member pussreboots
Michael Crichton's books are hit or miss. Rising Sun is a miss. I think it's supposed to be taking place during the mid to late 1980s when there was an influx of Japanese business ventures in the United States -- especially in California. I remember the xenophobic response from some people of my parents age and especially of people my grandparents age (not everyone, of course). As a teenager, I was surprised, confused and later embarrassed by the reactions of my relatives.

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.
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LibraryThing member MartinBodek
Absolutely gripping. Quite an elaborate plot relayed in a very simple matter. 200 pages into this 388 page book I thought the case was wrapped, and then "Oh wow!" 150 pages later, I thought the story was wrapped again, and then "Oh wow!" Crichton kept pulling fast ones, with great believable twists. A very, very good book. So good in fact, that I promise never to see the movie. :-)… (more)
LibraryThing member burnit99
This is a fast-paced, competent novel of suspense, murder and international politics between the USA and Japan, in which a Special Services operative, Peter Smith, is called upon to solve the murder of a young Caucasian woman at the opening celebration party of the Nakamoto Tower in Los Angeles. With the help of John Connor, a legendary retired Special Services operative who has spent time in Japan and knows their customs and language, he attempts to penetrate the wall of differing cultures and attitudes that block him from obtaining the truth. This is fairly faithful to the later movie with Wesley Snipes and Sean Connery. It is somewhat marred by Crichton's wariness of the Japanese, which shows in the storyline, John Connor's attitude, and the afterword that follows the conclusion. Crichton is warning us that the Japanese see business as war, and are set on financially conquering this country and becoming our masters. I don't know enough about Japan to know if there's any truth to this, but Crichton wrote of this as an imminent threat 24 years ago, and I don't see any evidence of it yet.… (more)
LibraryThing member dbsovereign
I'm not a big Crichton fan, but found this book fun -- mostly because of the characters who are dealing with culture shock. If you've ever lived abroad, you can certainly sympathize with the characters who feel overwhelmed by the cultural differences they encounter as they start to untangle the mystery behind a young woman's death. Crichton seems to warning us against doing business with the Japanese, but one can ignore his Red scare tactics...… (more)
LibraryThing member Rosenectur
Michael Crichton books are hit and miss with me. Especially when the books are really dated, like Rising Sun. I’m sure it seemed more cutting edge and suspenseful in 1992. Even then I bet people thought it was sort of a rip off of Die Hard. Hollywood has learned how to take this basic plot outline and do it 100% better. Plus it’s full of racism against Japanese. The only reason to read this book in today’s world is if you really want to read through all of the Crichton collection.… (more)
LibraryThing member JBarringer
This book seems awfully extreme until you think about how the US pressures and controls other countries' internal affairs (or tries to). In any case, this book was written before events in Japan changed the power balance and put China in its place as the nation everyone is talking about as 'owning' the US. Some of the underlying messages in Crichton's book are great, though in typical Crichton fashion his messages tend to be delivered through inelegant, preachy, lecture style dialogue rather than more finely crafted, nuanced storytelling. If you can get past the irritation of being lectured at for ~400pgs, though, this was an entertaining and interesting book about Japanese culture and norms as they are perceived in the US, and about the ways that countries influence each other under the radar of popular press and mainstream media.… (more)
LibraryThing member neverstopreading
The story is entertaining, but much of the propaganda and Japanese fear-mongering is dated. However, a lot of the economic and trade talk sounds like something that could come from Trump surrogates.
LibraryThing member Steve_Walker
Interesting plot. Sadly this book was hyped as the novel describing the concern over Japan as an industrial power. Well, Michael Crichton has been gathered to his fathers, and the hype-machine, like a child with AD/HD has turned to another 600 million other issues. Not a bad summer read. The movie with Sean Connery was pretty good too.… (more)
LibraryThing member AliceAnna
Written in 1992, this book was very dated in its plot. Crichton was heavy handedly warning about how the Japanese were rapidly taking over the U.S. Well, the Japanese economy ended up imploding and now the Chinese are taking over. I wonder if he'd be surprised. The plot was pretty good, good characters but it got far too bogged down in the minutiae of Japanese business and culture so it was a slow read at times.… (more)
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