Monday, May 28, 2012

Rising Sun – Book Review

Afraid of Japan yet? You will be..

Michael Crichton’s novel about the Japanese business presence in the United States is an interesting read for any who have curiosity about foreigners here in America.  It’s not your typical science fiction thriller he is famous for writing but rather a murder mystery involving high end Japanese businessmen in Los Angeles.  The more I read his novels the more I appreciate what knowledge I’m being instilled with, although a work of fiction he always incorporates as many facts into the story as possible.

                The story centers on a liaison for the Japanese who ends up investigating a mysterious murder a couple floors above a party for the Nakamoto Corporation.  The liaison gets help from an older man who has been around these types of events during his own career.  Together they set out to find the truth as any true detective would be obliged to do.  The most fascinating aspect of the book is learning the business tactics of the Japanese and how they feel superior to Americans.  The Japanese pride themselves on having the best technology and working tediously to stay ahead of everyone else in that field.  They buy out any American company they can to get more of a foothold in this country.  If you don’t know much about the Japanese culture this is a page turner that will put some interesting thoughts into your brain with no doubts.

                As the two men quickly try to unravel what happened on the night of the murder they ultimately focus their attention on video tapes that recorded it.  You learn some about video tapes and what they’re capable of as well which is a neat addition to what’s going on in the story.  It ends up being all about putting pressure on everyone through all sorts of devious acts that culminates in more of a worthy ending for a Crichton novel.  Its true some of his stories don’t wrap up so nicely but the ride throughout is enough to overshadow it.  After finishing the book you either hate the Japanese or realize how inadequate Americans really are in this day in age.  The book shows the good and bad side of the Japanese in a way that makes you want to improve yourself as a result.  I know at least I did. 

                I’ve never seen the movie that corresponds with this book but I’m more eager to now that I’ve read this book.  If you’re into murder and mystery along with trying to figure it all out in a fast paced sequence of events then this will please you most likely.  Crichton has a style that really makes me be able to relate to the character(s) in the story.  He seems to always have at least one person that is simply an everyday type that is thrust into some unforeseen event.  It makes you wonder what you would do if put in that same situation.  It’s a short read as well so take some time during your busy schedule or make it your bathroom reading material for the next week as you relieve yourself.