Title: Rising Sun
Author: Michael Crichton
Page Count/Review Word Count: 416
This book felt pretty dated again, but I think that’s just an ongoing theme with Michael Crichton’s books. The problem is that he was into writing about technology, and that’s a subject that doesn’t necessarily age well because of how quickly technology moves. I don’t think you can fault him for that, and if anything it’s just kind of fascinating to see what tech looked like back at the start of the nineties.
But there was something else that was pretty dated, and that was the approach to foreign nationalities, as well as to women. For example, there’s an attractive woman who works in a technical role, and someone immediately asks them why she isn’t a model. We then learn that she’s missing an arm, as though the only reason that an intelligent, attractive woman would choose to work a technical job instead of modelling is that she has a disability.
But when you get past that, it’s actually a pretty decent read thriller with a lot of political intrigue. It’s also technically a murder mystery, although if you’re a fan of the more traditional stuff then you might be disappointed because it’s not quite a cosy mystery in the vein of Agatha Christie. In fact, the murder almost takes a back seat when you compare it to all of the other stuff that’s going on.
I’d probably still recommend it though, if only because it’s pretty fast paced and it keeps you going from start to finish, even though it occasionally heads off on a bit of a tangent. It kind of has to due to the nature of the story, although it probably could have been fifty pages shorter if they’d cut out some of the meandering. But I can’t say that it was a particular problem.
All in all then, I still think this one held up pretty well, all things considered. Even with the issues that I settled on, it was offset by a gripping story line and some great characterisation, and I’m glad that I picked it up and gave it a read.
I’m kind of noticing a theme with Crichton’s books. The story lines and the characterisation is generally pretty good, but the science fictional elements are just modern enough that it actually makes them kind of dated. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, just something that’s noticeable when reading.