Rising Sun

Rising Sun

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Business is War: Rising Sun by Michael Crichton
Biography: Michael Crichton
Michael Crichton was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 23, 1942. His siblings consisted of two sisters, Kimberly and Catherine, and one brother, Douglas. While growing up in Roslyn, New York, he was influenced by his dad’s will for him to type and write. The Internet Movie Database states that “…his father was a journalist and encouraged him to type and write.” (IMDb.com, Inc.). Considering he was a journalist himself, he wanted his son to follow in his footsteps. Crichton attended Harvard University where he first started studying English. He later quit the English program because of frustration with the teachers and pursued a career in medicine. He graduated and performed post-doctoral studies, but never became a licensed practitioner of medicine. While in medical school, Crichton wrote many books such as A Case of Need and Scratch One under the pseudonym John Lange. Later on in his career, he reverted back to his initial pursuit, or that of his father’s, and became a full time author, writing several award winning books that have been translated into over 30 languages.
Some of the books written by Michael Crichton are as follows:
 A Case of Need (1968)
 The Andromeda Strain (1969)
 The Terminal Man (1972)
 The Great Train Robbery (1975)
 Congo (1980)
 Sphere (1987)
 Jurassic Park (1990)
 Rising Sun (1992)
 The Lost World (1995)
 State of Fear (2004)
In these books, Crichton uses a style of suspense that makes you not want to put the book down. He is known as the “father of the Techno-Thriller”. The action in every page is so exciting it gets your heart pumping faster. Also, he tends to throws a lot of loose ends out, but it’s not until the end do they actually tie together.
Plot Summary: Rising Sun
As the book begins, you are placed in a small apartment in Culver City, California. Lieutenant Peter Smith is at home with his two year old daughter, Michelle, watching the Lakers’ game. As a new Special Services liaison officer for the Japanese, he is studying the indifferent language, trying to make it his own. Unsuspectingly, he receives a phone call to report to the newly built Nakamoto building, a Japanese company, in downtown Los Angeles for a reported murder. He is joined by Captain John Connor, a retired liaison officer who is fairly accustomed to the Japanese culture, seeing as he lived there for a few years earlier in his life.

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Upon arriving to the crime scene, the two are shocked to see a party in progress on the main floor of the building. It is not until later do they realize that the crime has taken place on the floor above the party. They arrive at the crime scene to see a beautiful, young girl laying face up on a meeting table in the middle of a board room. It is complete chaos in the room, with officers and confused Nakamoto employees running wild. The employees do not want the party to be interrupted because it is the grand opening celebration of the new company. And, in their point of view, it would have been seen as a complete disaster and foreshadowing of the company’s failure if the party were to be interrupted. So, in compliance with the Japanese, the officers keep the investigation and the crime itself on the down low. After a few minutes of checking out the crime, Smith is approached by several Japanese men in very classy suits. They seem very confused and fidgety, appearing to be stalling the two officers for some odd reason. The men are ignored and the officers continue their investigation. Upon looking up at the ceiling, they realize that there are multiple cameras in perfect position for evidence of the crime that just recently took place. They hurry down to the security room where they are greeted by a man in a Nakamoto uniform. They question him about the cameras and the recordings of the incident. The man claims to not know what they are talking about and says he just arrived a few minutes ago. But, there is obvious evidence that the tapes of the earlier incident had been tampered with and replaced. They finally get the guard to give them some information on where they went and he gives them a name, Eddie Sakamura. They quickly leave the crime scene and arrive at the given address of the suspect. They knock on the door and there seems to be a party going on. After some time passes, Eddie, a man of Japanese heritage, answers the door. He greets them and John Connor and the man have previously been acquainted so there are a few minutes of mutual conversation between the men. Then, they begin to question the suspect on the tapes they are looking for and he complies with them but insists on not having the tapes. But, he provides them with information that helps the officers with the cause of the murder. He suggests that the murder may have been an attempt at ruining Nakamoto’s grand opening party and therefore their whole business, possibly done by a competitor of the company. Connor explains to Smith how in Japanese culture, business is war, and it is meant literally. According to AllReaders.com, “…the famous Japanese saying ‘Business is War’ applies everywhere…” (Krishnamurthy). He tells him how anything will be done in order to have a successful business. In fact, that is the idea that the theme of the book revolves around. Now the conflict the two liaison officers face is to find the tapes and prove someone guilty in the crime. Then, they decide to find records of where the murder was called in from and who reported it, seeing as that would be a definite suspect. They go back to the Nakamoto tower and trace all the calls that were received in the time frame of the crime. They do and the only reasonable one is linked to a man named Ishigura. They track down this man and find out he is one of the Japanese men that were trying to stall them in the tower earlier that night. They question this man on the tapes and he humbly brings them forward. Connor later explains that Ishigura probably realized he was in deep and was just trying to get a little slack. The officers take the tapes and watch them. It is difficult to identify anybody in the tapes because of the poor lighting. They take them to a University, hoping someone can help them enhance the video tapes. Fortunately, they do and begin analyzing the tapes. They soon find out that the tapes given to them were not the originals but a copy that has been tampered with, to hide the murderer and keep his identity secret. Discouraged and mad, they head back towards the Nakamoto tower to do some more investigating. While on the way, they get a call from Eddie, the first suspect. He arranges a meeting and tells them he has a package for them. It turns out; he was the one to take the tapes but was forced to do so by Ishigura. But, when Ishigura demanded them from him, he gave them all, except for one. The two officers took the newly acquired tape and watched it. It clearly shows Ishigura violently killing the girl, later identified as Cheryl Austin. With the new discovery, they go back to talk to Ishigura with the intent of arresting him. But, when the finally find him and attempt to talk with him, he jumps into a construction hole, killing himself. With the case solved, Smith heads home with the intent of raising his two year old daughter.
Throughout the plot, Crichton successfully lays out continuing action packed scenarios, creating twists and turns that leave you wanting more.
Character Analysis: Lieutenant Peter Smith
In this novel, Peter Smith is the main character. He is an impatient person that handles stress very well, which is needed in his career choice. He began his career in the police force as a detective and was so for quite some time. Then, he fell in love with a girl, Lauren, and they had the intent of getting married. After finding out that she is pregnant, they hurry up the marriage process and tie the knot almost immediately. In order to balance the love of his life and the newly acquired family member, he is forced to switch jobs. He is offered the position of the Japanese Special Service liaison officer because of the recent retirement of former officer Captain John Connor. The job was very convenient for Smith at the time, considering it consisted of less, more normal, hours, and higher pay. This way he could juggle his job, his wife, and his newborn baby. But, after the baby is born, Lauren can’t handle the commitment and leaves Peter by himself with the baby. He constantly calls on his neighbors for help in watching his daughter while he goes out and works. After the Nakamoto case though, he leaves the Special Services though, now free to raise his daughter as he pleases.
Captain John Connor is also an important character in this novel. He is perceived as the Japanese wanna-be. He is unusually knowledgeable of their culture and in fact lived there for a little bit. He returned for the mere fact that they were to racist over there for him to tolerate. The novel states “… ‘I was tired of being treated like a nigger. I couldn’t stand getting the looks and rude remarks I received. When walking down the street, people would immediately move to the other side in order to avoid me. I couldn’t take it anymore so I left’ Connor stated solemnly.” (275). He is single and is never referred to as having any family. He is an extraordinary detective and shows that in the novel.
Also, Tom Graham was an important character in this novel. He is a little overweight and extremely impatient and rude. He can’t stand the Japanese and believe they are taking over the United States. Also, he was never the best at anything he did. He was always short of expectations. The novel states “When Graham played halfback at U.S.C. he never made first string. That bit of history stuck like a character trait…” (17).
Book Review
In my opinion this book was very “reader friendly”. It was not hard to understand while at the same time it had so many twists and turns you had no clue what was going to happen next. I very much so enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to others. This is because of the mere fact that it kept you going. There was never a dull moment in this book and you never want to put it down. You find yourself yearning for more even after the book is finished.
I believe that the teenage age group or adults who are very into business competition and technology would thoroughly enjoy this book. All of the action contained in a book will diminish the fact that it is not the shortest book in the world. It can be guaranteed that you will be so caught up in the events taking place you will not even realize the number of pages in the book.
The only minor problem I had with this book is that it referred to Japanese society and way of life to many times. It was crucial information in understanding some of the events in the novel, but it was unnecessary to repeat it over and over again. Other than that the book was superb and an excellent choice for a good read.
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