Rising Sun: A Novel [NOOK Book]


From the author of Jurassic Park, Timeline, and Sphere comes this riveting thriller of corporate intrigue and cutthroat competition between American and Japanese business interests.
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Rising Sun: A Novel

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From the author of Jurassic Park, Timeline, and Sphere comes this riveting thriller of corporate intrigue and cutthroat competition between American and Japanese business interests.
“As well built a thrill machine as a suspense novel can be.”—The New York Times Book Review
On the forty-fifth floor of the Nakamoto tower in downtown Los Angeles—the new American headquarters of the immense Japanese conglomerate—a grand opening celebration is in full swing.
On the forty-sixth floor, in an empty conference room, the corpse of a beautiful young woman is discovered.
The investigation immediately becomes a headlong chase through a twisting maze of industrial intrigue, a no-holds-barred conflict in which control of a vital American technology is the fiercely coveted prize—and in which the Japanese saying “Business is war” takes on a terrifying reality.
“A grand maze of plot twists . . . Crichton’s gift for spinning a timely yarn is going to be enough, once again, to serve a current tenant of the bestseller list with an eviction notice.”—New York Daily News
“The action in Rising Sun unfolds at a breathless pace.”—Business Week

The timely, much talked-about #1 bestseller--soon to be a major motion picture starring Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes. The international electronics industry is the fiercely coveted prize in this ingenious, riveting murder mystery that unfolds in the arena of volatile Japanese-American relations. "Guaranteed to raise the blood pressure of every American."--San Francisco Chronicle.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A young American model is murdered in the corporate boardroom of Los Angeles's Nakomoto Tower on the new skyscraper's gala opening night. Murdered, that is, unless she was strangled while enjoying sadomasochistic sex that went too far. Nakomoto, a Japanese electronics giant, tries to hush up the embarrassing incident, setting in motion a murder investigation that serves Crichton ( Jurassic Park ) as the platform for a clever, tough-talking harangue on the dangers of Japanese economic competition and influence-peddling in the U.S. Divorced LAPD lieutenant Peter Smith, who has custody of his two-year-old daughter, and hard-boiled detective John Connor, who says things like ``For a Japanese, consistent behavior is not possible,'' pursue the killer in a winding plot involving Japan's attempt to gain control of the U.S. computer industry. Although Crichton's didactic aims are often at cross-purposes with his storytelling, his entertaining, well-researched thriller cannot be easily dismissed as Japan-bashing because it raises important questions about that country's adversarial trade strategy and our inadequate response to it. He also provides a fascinating perspective on how he thinks the Japanese view Americans--as illiterate, childish, lazy people obsessed with TV, violence and aggressive litigation. 225,000 first printing; BOMC main selection. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
YA-- The celebrity-studded opening of a huge Japanese office building is marred by the murder of a beautiful American woman. Lt. Peter Smith is called in to investigate and is requested to bring along John Connor, an expert on Japanese culture and fluent in the language. So begins a riveting tale that combines suspense, technology, and a full-scale economic battle for survival. YAs will have no problem following the complex corporate business schemes described by Crichton, whose loyalties are obviously with America. Readers who fear that the Japanese are taking over the U. S. economy will not be reassured.-- Katherine Fitch, Lake Braddock Secondary School, Burke, VA
Kirkus Reviews
The Yellow Menace returns in Crichton's shocking, didactic, enormously clever new mystery-thriller—only now he wears a three- piece suit and aims to dominate America through force of finance, not arms. "The Japanese can be tough," says one character here. "They say `business is war,' and they mean it." How much they mean it Lt. Peter J. Smith, LAPD, learns when he's assigned to the murder of an American call-girl at the gala opening of the L.A. high-rise headquarters of the Japanese conglomerate Nakamoto. There, Smith butts heads with men whose alien mannerisms he can't interpret and who insist on their own "private inquiry." Fortunately, he's joined by legendary Japan-savvy cop John Connor, the real hero here, a Holmes to narrator Smith's Watson. At the crime scene and thereafter, Connor, whose love/hate for the Japanese stems from years lived in their land, interprets Japanese ways to Smith: "Control your gestures. Keep your hands at your sides. The Japanese find big arm movements threatening..." Connor's commentary is always fascinating but, as the serpentine case coils on, numerous instances of Japanese financial dirty dealing are cited by characters who disparage the Japanese sufficiently ("The Japanese don't believe in fair trade at all"; "Japanese corporations in America...think they're surrounded by savages") to bathe Smith—and the novel—in xenophobic paranoia: It's not by chance that the only likable Japanese here is a crippled beauty who fled to America because "to the Japanese, deformity is shameful." Crichton's coup is to preach within a breathtakingly supple plot hinging on doctored Nakamoto security videotapes that caught the killer at work, thedeciphering of which takes place in lab-set scenes as technologically riveting as the best in Jurassic Park. And as suspenseful—for as Smith closes in on the killer and the huge-money stakes behind the crime, Nakamoto agents threaten his family, his career, and his life. Brilliantly calculated Japan-bashing that's bound, for better or for worse, to attract controversy and a huge readership. (Book- of-the-Month Dual Selection for Spring)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307763068
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/14/2012
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 57,384
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Michael Crichton
Michael Crichton’s novels include The Andromeda Strain, The Great Train Robbery, Congo, Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, Disclosure, and The Lost World. He was as well the creator of the television series ER. Crichton died in 2008.
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    1. Also Known As:
      John Michael Crichton (full name), Jeffery Hudson, John Lange
    2. Hometown:
      Los Angeles, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 23, 1942
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Date of Death:
      November 4, 2008
    2. Place of Death:
      Los Angeles, California

Read an Excerpt

Actually, I was sitting on my bed in my apartment in Culver City, watching the Lakers game with the sound turned off, while I tried to study vocabulary for my introductory Japanese class.

It was a quiet evening; I had gotten my daughter to sleep about eight. Now I had the cassette player on the bed, and the cheerful woman’s voice was saying things like, “Hello, I am a police officer. Can I be of assistance?” and “Please show me the menu.” After each sentence, she paused for me to repeat it back, in Japanese. I stumbled along as best I could. Then she would say, “The vegetable store is closed. Where is the post office?” Things like that. Sometimes it was hard to concentrate, but I was trying. “Mr. Hayashi has two children.”

I tried to answer. “Hayashi-san wa kodomo ga fur . . . futur . . .” I swore. But by then the woman was talking again.

“This drink is not very good at all.”

I had my textbook open on the bed, alongside a Mr. Potato Head I’d put back together for my daughter. Next to that, a photo album, and the pictures from her second birthday party. It was four months after Michelle’s party, but I still hadn’t put the pictures in the album. You have to try and keep up with that stuff.

“There will be a meeting at two o’clock.”

The pictures on my bed didn’t reflect reality any more. Four months later, Michelle looked completely different. She was taller; she’d outgrown the expensive party dress my ex-wife had bought for her: black velvet with a white lace collar.

In the photos, my ex-wife plays a prominent role--holding the cake as Michelle blows out the candles, helping her unwrap the presents. She looks like a dedicated mom. Actually, my daughter lives with me, and my ex-wife doesn’t see much of her. She doesn’t show up for weekend visitation half the time, and she misses child-support payments.

But you’d never know from the birthday photos.

“Where is the toilet?”

“I have a car. We can go together.”

I continued studying. Of course, officially I was on duty that night: I was the Special Services officer on call for division headquarters downtown. But February ninth was a quiet Thursday, and I didn’t expect much action. Until nine o’clock, I only had three calls.

Special Services includes the diplomatic section of the police department; we handle problems with diplomats and celebrities, and provide translators and liaison for foreign nationals who come into contact with the police for one reason or another. It’s varied work, but not stressful: when I’m on call I can expect a half-dozen requests for help, none of them emergencies. I hardly ever have to roll out. It’s much less demanding than being a police press liaison, which is what I did before Special Services.

Anyway, on the night of February ninth, the first call I got concerned Fernando Conseca, the Chilean vice-consul. A patrol car had pulled him over; Ferny was too drunk to drive, but he was claiming diplomatic immunity. I told the patrolmen to drive him home, and I made a note to complain to the consulate again in the morning.

Then an hour later, I got a call from detectives in Gardena. They’d arrested a suspect in a restaurant shooting who spoke only Samoan, and they wanted a translator. I said I could get one, but that Samoans invariably spoke English; the country had been an American trust territory for years. The detectives said they’d handle it. Then I got a call that mobile television vans were blocking fire lanes at the Aerosmith concert; I told the officers to give it to the fire department. And it was quiet for the next hour. I went back to my textbook and my sing-song woman saying things like, “Yesterday’s weather was rainy.”

Then Tom Graham called.

“It’s the fucking Japs,” Graham said. “I can’t believe they’re pulling this shit. Better get over here, Petey-san. Eleven hundred Figueroa, corner of Seventh. It’s the new Nakamoto building.”

“What is the problem?” I had to ask. Graham is a good detective but he has a bad temper, and he tends to blow things out of proportion.

“The problem,” Graham said, “is that the fucking Japs are demanding to see the fucking Special Services liaison. Which is you, buddy. They’re saying the police can’t proceed until the liaison gets here.”

“Can’t proceed? Why? What have you got?”

“Homicide,” Graham said. “Caucasian female approximately twenty-five years old, apparent six-oh-one. Lying flat on her back, right in their damn boardroom. Quite a sight. You better get down here as soon as you can.”

I said, “Is that music in the background?”

“Hell, yes,” Graham said. “There’s a big party going on. Tonight is the grand opening of the Nakamoto Tower, and they’re having a reception. Just get down here, will you?”

I said I would. I called Mrs. Ascenio next door, and asked her if she would watch the baby while I was gone; she always needed extra money. While I waited for her to arrive I changed my shirt and put on my good suit. Then Fred Hoffmann called. He was watch commander at DHD downtown; a short, tough guy with gray hair. “Listen, Pete. I think you might want help on this one.”

I said, “Why is that?”

“Sounds like we got a homicide involving Japanese nationals. It may be sticky. How long have you been a liaison?”

“About six months,” I said.

“If I was you, I’d get some experienced help. Pick up Connor and take him downtown with you.”


“John Connor. Ever heard of him?”

“Sure,” I said. Everyone in the division had heard of Connor. He was a legend, the most knowledgeable of the Special Services officers. “But isn’t he retired?”

“He’s on indefinite leave, but he still works cases involving the Japanese. I think he could be helpful to you. Tell you what. I’ll call him for you. You just go down and pick him up.” Hoffmann gave me his address.

“Okay, fine. Thanks.”

“And one other thing. Land lines on this one, okay, Pete?”

“Okay,” I said. “Who requested that?”

“It’s just better.”

“Whatever you say, Fred.”

Land lines meant to stay off the radios, so our transmissions wouldn’t be picked up by the media monitoring police frequencies. It was standard procedure in certain situations. Whenever Elizabeth Taylor went to the hospital, we went to land lines. Or if the teenage son of somebody famous died in a car crash, we’d go to land lines to make sure the parents got the news before the TV crews started banging on their door. We used land lines for that kind of thing. I’d never heard it invoked in a homicide before.

But driving downtown, I stayed off the car phone, and listened to the radio. There was a report of a shooting of a three-year-old boy who was now paralyzed from the waist down. The child was a bystander during a 7-Eleven robbery. A stray bullet hit him in the spine and he was--

I switched to another station, got a talk show. Ahead, I could see the lights of the downtown skyscrapers, rising into mist. I got off the freeway at San Pedro, Connor’s exit.

What I knew about John Connor was that he had lived for a time in Japan, where he acquired his knowledge of Japanese language and culture. At one point, back in the 1960s, he was the only officer who spoke fluent Japanese, even though Los Angeles then had the largest Japanese population outside the home islands.

Now, of course, the department has more than eighty officers who speak Japanese--and more, like me, who are trying to learn. Connor had retired several years before. But the liaison officers who worked with him agreed he was the best. He was said to work very fast, often solving cases in a few hours. He had a reputation as a skilled detective and an extraordinary interviewer, able to get information from witnesses like nobody else. But most of all, the other liaisons praised his even-handed approach. One said to me, “Working with the Japanese is like balancing on a tightrope. Sooner or later, everybody falls off on one side or the other. Some people decide the Japanese are fabulous and can do no wrong. Some people decide they’re vicious pricks. But Connor always keeps his balance. He stays in the middle. He always knows exactly what he is doing.”

John Connor lived in the industrial area off Seventh Street, in a large brick warehouse alongside a diesel truck depot. The freight elevator in the building was broken. I walked upstairs to the third floor and knocked on his door.

“It’s open,” a voice said.

I entered a small apartment. The living room was empty, and furnished in the Japanese style: tatami mats, shoji screens, and wood-paneled walls. A calligraphy scroll, a black lacquer table, a vase with a single splash of white orchid.

I saw two pairs of shoes set out beside the door. One was a man’s brogues. The other was a pair of women’s high heels.

I said, “Captain Connor?”

“Just a minute.”

A shoji screen slid back and Connor appeared. He was surprisingly tall, maybe a hundred and ninety centimeters, well over six feet. He wore a yukata, a light Japanese robe of blue cotton. I estimated he was fifty-five years old. Broad-shouldered, balding, with a trim mustache, sharp features, piercing eyes. Deep voice. Calm.

“Good evening, Lieutenant.”

We shook hands. Connor looked me up and down, and nodded approvingly. “Good. Very presentable.”

I said, “I used to work press. You never knew when you might have to appear in front of cameras.”

He nodded. “And now you’re the SSO on call?”

“That’s right.”

“How long have you been a liaison?”

“Six months.”

“You speak Japanese?”

“A little. I’m taking lessons.”

“Give me a few minutes to change.” He turned and disappeared behind the shoji screen. “This is a homicide?”


“Who notified you?”

“Tom Graham. He’s the OIC at the crime scene. He said the Japanese were insisting on a liaison officer being present.”

“I see.” There was a pause. I heard running water. “Is that a common request?”

“No. In fact, I’ve never heard of it happening. Usually, officers call for a liaison because they have a language problem. I’ve never heard of the Japanese asking for a liaison.”

“Neither have I,” Connor said. “Did Graham ask you to bring me? Because Tom Graham and I don’t always admire each other.”

“No,” I said. “Fred Hoffmann suggested I bring you in. He felt I didn’t have enough experience. He said he was going to call you for me.”

“Then you were called at home twice?” Connor said.


“I see.” He reappeared, wearing a dark blue suit, knotting his tie. “It seems that time is critical.” He glanced at his watch. “When did Graham call you?”

“About nine.”

“Then forty minutes have already passed. Let’s go, Lieutenant. Where’s your car?”

We hurried downstairs.

I drove up San Pedro and turned left onto Second, heading toward the Nakamoto building. There was a light mist at street level. Connor stared out the window. He said, “How good is your memory?”

“Pretty good, I guess.”

“I wonder if you could repeat for me the telephone conversations you had tonight,” he said. “Give them to me in as much detail as possible. Word for word, if you can.”

“I’ll try.”

I recounted my phone calls. Connor listened without interruption or comment. I didn’t know why he was so interested, and he didn’t tell me. When I finished, he said, “Hoffmann didn’t tell you who called for land lines?”


“Well, it’s a good idea in any case. I never use a car phone if I can help it. These days, too many people listen in.”

I turned onto Figueroa. Up ahead I saw searchlights shining in front of the new Nakamoto Tower. The building itself was gray granite, rising up into the night. I got into the right lane and flipped open the glove box to grab a handful of business cards.

The cards said Detective Lieutenant Peter J. Smith, Special Services Liaison Officer, Los Angeles Police Department. Printed in English on one side, in Japanese on the back.

Connor looked at the cards. “How do you want to handle this situation, Lieutenant? Have you negotiated with the Japanese before?”

I said, “Not really, no. Couple of drunk driving arrests.”

Connor said politely, “Then perhaps I can suggest a strategy for us to follow.”

“That’s fine with me,” I said. “I’d be grateful for your help.”

“All right. Since you’re the liaison, it’s probably best if you take charge of the scene when we arrive.”


“Don’t bother to introduce me, or refer to me in any way. Don’t even look in my direction.”


“I am a nonentity. You alone are in charge.”

“Okay, fine.”

“It’ll help to be formal. Stand straight, and keep your suit jacket buttoned at all times. If they bow to you, don’t bow back--just give a little head nod. A foreigner will never master the etiquette of bowing. Don’t even try.”

“Okay,” I said.

“When you start to deal with the Japanese, remember that they don’t like to negotiate. They find it too confrontational. In their own society they avoid it whenever possible.”


“Control your gestures. Keep your hands at your sides. The Japanese find big arm movements threatening. Speak slowly. Keep your voice calm and even.”


“If you can.”


“It may be difficult to do. The Japanese can be irritating. You’ll probably find them irritating tonight. Handle it as best you can. But whatever happens, don’t lose your temper.”

“All right.”

“That’s extremely bad form.”

“All right,” I said.

Connor smiled. “I’m sure you’ll do well,” he said. “You probably won’t need my help at all. But if you get stuck, you’ll hear me say ‘Perhaps I can be of assistance.’ That will be the signal that I’m taking over. From that point on, let me do the talking. I’d prefer you not speak again, even if you are spoken to directly by them. Okay?”


“You may want to speak, but don’t be drawn out.”

“I understand.”

“Furthermore, whatever I do, show no surprise. Whatever I do.”


“Once I take over, move so that you’re standing slightly behind me and to my right. Never sit. Never look around. Never appear distracted. Remember that although you come from an MTV video culture, they do not. They are Japanese. Everything you do will have meaning to them. Every aspect of your appearance and behavior will reflect on you, on the police department, and on me as your superior and sempai.”

“Okay, Captain.”

“Any questions?”

“What’s a sempai?”

Connor smiled.

We drove past the searchlights, down the ramp into the underground garage.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 50 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2004

    Very Intelligent

    This book reflects Crighton's ability to research issues and place them in a believable and entertaining story. It's a bit obvious at points that he is preaching on an issue of American culture: how we are losing our country's business to Japan. It raises the brow, making the reader take a philisophical view on how our country chooses to strive. I recommend this book those who likes an intelligent, insightful read, as well as anyone who enjoys a clever suspense.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2001

    A great book marred

    Rising Sun is good. It could have been a lot better if Crichton had not written so many economic business plans. In parts, he almost turns paragraphs into essays detailing how the Japanese are better at business than America. The mystery plot is well done and complex, but at times takes a backseat to Crichton's explanations of why the Japanese were destroying us economically when the book was written. Michael Crichton has far better books than Rising Sun. The book's only saving grace (and it is a big one) is the complex and well written mystery. Crichton's skill at writing such things shines through, but the both anti and pro Japanese business explanations marrs it badly. In conclusion? He's got far better books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2014


    Is in res 3

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2014

    Hey dawn star got your msg

    At bluestars prophocy

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2014

    Welcomd to Dawnclan

    Just ask the leader if you want join. And place your bio at res 1. Thanks!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2013


    Gtgtb bbt baby?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2012

    Great one.

    I liked the part where Peter was trying to study Japanese.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2012


    It was a very good book with twists and turns to keep you reading until the very last page

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2012

    Felt I knew the characters personally

    This was the first book I have read by crichton and it was amazing. Read it back in high school and when I was done I felt like the main character was someone I could actually know and have a conversation with. Loved it. Highly recommend to anyone interested in crichton.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not bad, but he's written more exciting books

    I read this several years ago, finding it moderately interesting. For me it was a look inside modern Japanese culture. It was a bit too political for me. I've found many of Crichton's books to be very exciting, but this wasn't one of them. B&N asked for a review because I bought it as a gift for my son, who loves Japan, and will be going back there in summer.
    If you want to read an exciting Crichton book, read "Prey"!

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  • Posted December 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I loved it! One of my favorites.

    I absolutely loved this book. I can honestly say that it is now one of my favorite books and I will be keeping it in my library for the rest of my life. The characters were really good, my favorite being Peter Smith. I also loved Connor, probably because he is fluent in Japanese and knows the Japanese culture really well. And, he is probably one of the more interesting characters in the book. He figured out things about the murder at Nakamoto that he only tells Smith later in the book, which helps build it's suspense in my opinion. Also, great thriller. If you want to read this book, you want to read it on a weekend or days off like I did because it's a real page-turner.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2008

    A great book.

    This is one of the few books of fiction that I enjoyed. I'm more interested in non-fiction, but this book is the ONLY fiction book that I've read more than once. It was highly immersive and kept me reading. I enjoyed it so much that I reread it a couple of years later.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2005

    Has its moments...

    Crichton does seem to have a thing about protagonists who are single fathers, or who might as well be. With the exception of the main character in AIRFRAME, has he ever written a competent and caring young mother? Peter Smith, the protag of RISING SUN, is a divorced father whose ex-wife literally can't be trusted to change their two-year-old's diaper and do it right. He's also a police lieutenant who has switched from being a detective to the press division - and from there, to being the department's VIP liaison specializing in Japanese VIPs. It's his job to respond whenever a Japanese diplomat or executive gets in trouble with the local law, so that the incident will do as little public relations damage as possible. So one evening as he's studying Japanese (a requirement of his relatively new position), he's called in to smooth matters between an obnoxious detective and the owners of a new office building. Right at the start of their star-studded opening party, those owners have to deal with a murder in their boardroom. Competent writing (I'd expect nothing less from Crichton), a decent although not wonderfully inventive plot, and fairly interesting characters don't save this novel from bogging down whenever the author decides to give his readers a lesson in history, politics, and economics as those disciplines relate to U.S./Japanese relations - especially to the well-known 'buying up' of U.S. real estate and businesses by Japanese investors. I got the feeling that this book was written to sound a warning, not to tell an entertaining story. Yet it does have its moments of crackling suspense, and the relationship between old Japan expert Captain Connor and the much younger Lieutenant Smith comes across both believably and amusingly. Not a total miss, but not Crichton at his best, either.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2004

    juggalo review

    its a great book. very compact with drama and mystery.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2002


    This book is unbelievable. It has so much. It is a great read! The suspense and mystery are wonderful. It is one of Crichton's best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2001


    this book is for people who like suspense and exicetment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2001

    Rising Sun is OK

    This book is okay. It's not Crichton's best. Compared to some of his other ones, it's not good at all. I do usually enjoy this author's works, but I seriously did not like this book very much.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2001

    Crichton at his best!!

    This book has so many twists and turns. I wouldn't pick it up unless you plan on staying up all night at the edge of your bed! I'd tell anyone to read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2001

    This is a GREAT BOOK

    This is one great book! It has sooo many twist and turns, it amazing. I loved it. I recommend this book to everybody.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2001

    This is Crichton in good form.

    Michael Crichton has really written quite a book with Rising Sun. Though many have percieved this book as being racist against the Japanese, I hear it was quite accurate at the time. The mystery which unfolds is great. It really pulls you in and you never expect who the murderer is.... and when you think you know, youre wrong! An excellent mystery.

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