Rising Sun

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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.

Two LAPD officers are plunged into Japanese-American relations as they investigate a murder at the US headquarters ...

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Westminster, Maryland, U.S.A. 1992 Audio Cassette Good Audio Book 2 AUDIO CASSETTES, tested for your satisfaction for a worthwhile set, in the original printed box, from a ... private collection. Some shelf wear to the box. The audio cassettes are in individual slots, sturdy and reliable. Enjoy this Audio Cassette performance. Read more Show Less

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Szarabajka, Keith (reader) New York, NY, U.S.A. 1992 Audio Book On Cassettes Audio Book Very Good (Cassette Tapes) in Good (Box) jacket Brief summary of content available upon ... request by e-mail. Abridged audio book on 2 cassette tapes. Running time 3 hours. Read more Show Less

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Rising Sun: A Novel

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Overview

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.

Two LAPD officers are plunged into Japanese-American relations as they investigate a murder at the US headquarters of a Japanese electronics corporation. 2 cassettes.

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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: 9780679410997
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/18/1992
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: 2 Cassettes
  • Product dimensions: 4.35 (w) x 6.98 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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.

Biography

Michael Crichton's oeuvre is so vivid and varied that it hard to believe everything sprang from the mind of a single writer. There's the dino-movie franchise and merchandising behemoth Jurassic Park; the long-running, top-rated TV series ER, which Crichton created; and sci-fi tales so cinematic a few were filmed more than once. He's even had a dinosaur named after him.

Ironically, for someone who is credited with selling over 150 million books, Crichton initially avoided writing because he didn't think he would make a living at it. So he turned to medical school instead, graduating with an M.D. from Harvard in 1969. The budding doctor had already written one award-winning novel pseudonymically (1968's A Case of Need) to help pay the bills through school; but when The Andromeda Strain came out in the same year of his med school graduation, Crichton's new career path became obvious.

The Andromeda Strain brilliantly and convincingly sets out an American scientific crisis in the form of a deadly epidemic. Its tone -- both critical of and sympathetic toward the scientific community -- set a precedent for Crichton works to come. A 1970 nonfiction work, Five Patients offers the same tone in a very different form, that being an inside look at a hospital.

Crichton's works were inspired by a remarkably curious mind. His plots often explored scientific issues -- but not always. Some of his most compelling thrillers were set against the backdrop of global trade relations (Rising Sun), corporate treachery (Disclosure) and good old-fashioned Victorian-era theft (The Great Train Robbery). The author never shied away from challenging topics, but it's obvious from his phenomenal sales that he never waxed pedantic. Writing about Prey, Crichton's cautionary tale of nanotech gone awry, The New York Times Book Review put it this way: "You're entertained on one level and you learn something on another."

On the page, Crichton's storytelling was eerily nonfictional in style. His journalistic, almost professorial, and usually third-person narration lent an air of credibility to his often disturbing tales -- in The Andromeda Strain, he went so far as to provide a fake bibliography. Along the way, he revelled in flouting basic, often subconscious assumptions: Dinosaurs are long-gone; women are workplace victims, not predators; computers are, by and large, predictable machines.

The dazzling diversity of Crichton's interests and talents became ever more evident as the years progressed. In addition to penning bestselling novels, he wrote screenplays and a travel memoir, directed several movies, created Academy Award-winning movie production software, and testified before Congress about the science of global warming -- this last as a result of his controversial 2004 eco-thriller State of Fear, a novel that reflected Crichton's own skepticism about the true nature of climate change. His views on the subject were severely criticized by leading environmentalists.

On November 4, 2008, Michael Crichton died, following a long battle against cancer. Beloved by millions of readers, his techno-thrillers and science-inflected cautionary tales remain perennial bestsellers and have spawned a literary genre all its own.

Good To Know

Some interesting outtakes from our 2005 interview with Crichton:

"I'm very interested in 20th-century American art."

"I have always been interested in movies and television as well as books. I see all these as media for storytelling, and I don't discriminate among them. At some periods of my life I preferred to work on movies, and at others I preferred books."

"In the early 1990s, interviewers began calling me ‘the father of the techno-thriller.' Nobody ever had before. Finally I began asking the interviewers, ‘Why do you call me that?' They said, ‘Because Tom Clancy says you are the father of the techno-thriller.' So I called Tom up and said, ‘Listen, thank you, but I'm not the father of the techno-thriller.' He said, ‘Yes you are.' I said, ‘No, I'm not, before me there were thrillers like Failsafe and Seven Days in May and The Manchurian Candidate that were techno-thrillers.' He said, ‘No, those are all political. You're the father of the techno-thriller.' And there it ended."

"My favorite recreation is to hike in the wilderness. I am fond of Hawaii."

"I used to scuba dive a lot, but haven't lately. For a time I liked to photograph sharks but like anything else, the thrill wears off. Earlier in my life I took serious risks, but I stopped when I became a parent."

"I taught myself to cook by following Indian and Szechuan recipes. They each have about 20 ingredients. I used to grind my own spices, I was really into it. Now I don't have much time to cook anymore. When I do, I cook Italian food."

"I read almost exclusively nonfiction. Most times I am researching some topic, which may or may not lead to a book. So my reading is pretty focused, although the focus can shift quickly."

"I have always been interested in whatever is missing or excluded from conventional thought. As a result I am drawn to writers who are out of fashion, bypassed, irritating, difficult, or excessive. I also like the disreputable works of famous writers. Thus I end up reading and liking Paul Feyerabend (Against Method), G. K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy, What's Wrong with the World), John Stuart Mill, Hemingway (Garden of Eden), Nietzsche, Machiavelli, Alain Finkielkraut (Defeat of the Mind), Anton Ehrenzweig (Hidden Order of Art), Arthur Koestler (Midwife Toad, Beyond Reductionism), Ian McHarg (Design with Nature), Marguerite Duras, Jung, late James M. Cain (Serenade), Paul Campos.

"Because I get up so early to work, I tend to go to bed early, around 10 or 11. So I don't go out much. I suppose I am borderline reclusive. I don't care."

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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.”

“Who?”

“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?”

“Yes.”

“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.

“Yes.”

“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?”

“No.”

“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.”

“Okay.”

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

“Okay.”

“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.”

“Okay.”

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

“Okay.”

“If you can.”

“Okay.”

“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?”

“Okay.”

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

“I understand.”

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

“Okay.”

“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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Average Rating 4.5
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See All Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 50 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2001

    DAMN GOOD

    I read the book in 3 days cuase i couldn't put it down its geat.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2000

    A compelling and disturbing mystery!

    Crichton is one of the best writers of my generation, and Rising Sun may be the perfect example why. It is suspenseful, intelligent, and unpredictable. The movie is fairly accurate to the st

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