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The Bourne Ultimatum (1990)

by Robert Ludlum

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Jason Bourne (03)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,429441,622 (3.59)34
The world's two deadliest spies in the ultimate  showdown. At a small-town carnival two men, each  mysteriously summoned by telegram, witness a bizarre  killing. The telegrams are signed Jason Bourne.  Only they know Bourne's true identity and understand  the telegram is really a message from Bourne's  mortal enemy, Carlos, known also as the Jackal, the  world's deadliest and most elusive terrorist. And  furthermore, they know that the Jackal wants: a  final confrontation with Bourne. Now David Webb,  professor of Oriental studies, husband, and father,  must do what he hoped he would never have to do  again -- assume the terrible identity of Jason Bourne.  His plan is simple: to infiltrate the politically  and economically Medusan group and use himself as  bait to lure the cunning Jackal into a deadly trap  -- a trap from which only one of them will escape.   From the Paperback edition.… (more)
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» See also 34 mentions

English (40)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
Great description of events and place but too wordy during important scenes. ( )
  Lcmcsr | Apr 10, 2022 |
Tenants Harbor - 2022 #1 - This was a dreadfully long slog for me. I started this on my July 4th camping trip, and have finally finished it 6+months later. This does not sound like the encouraging intro to a positive review.....and it is not meant to be. I do usually love Ludlum, albeit they sometimes tend to be a bit convoluted. But this one convoluted into near destruction. My life was such that every time i picked the book up, I could not figure out or recall what the hell was going on.....a steady cacophony of names, from not only this book, but the previous books (which i read eons ago!), kept me in a near-permanent state of fog. Not to mention we have 2 enemies in this tale, 1 so complicated it was hard to follow. If i went back and re-read 3 or 4 pages, i could typically recover and move forward......but by then, often, my limited reading time had passed......WARNING!!!!! - this is not a 5-10 page at a time book (unless you want it to take 1/2 a year!)
So the premise of David Webb vs. Jason Bourne had it heyday in the first and second book.....but the number of times there was a heart-tugging lament of the pain and struggle with his wife Marie, or within his own psyche between these 2 alter egos was positively embarrassing. I GET IT!!! HE IS 2 PEOPLE.....ITS HARD.....BUT FOR GODS SAKE, LET HIM DO WHAT HE NEEDS TO DO AND STOP WHINING ABOUT IT!!!! The touchy-feely quotient here almost led me to do what i have never done.....give up on a book before finishing it! But then i would be unauthorized to write an honest review.....thus, i slogged on.
Is there excitement? Most definitely......here............oh, and there.............ooooo, i found some here, too........but scattered helter skelter. And each bit of it seemed like this might finally be what we have been waiting for......Bourne vs. the Jackal final closure......but the 2" plus of book still unread meant it was not yet to be.......over and over and over we are lead to the brink.......only to be disappointed. Eventually, you are just anxious to plow through quickly, because you know it is not what you are hoping for.....& thus i was less interested in the specifics.....because i knew there were likely 3 or 4 more yet to come......just frustrating.
And Marie.....come on......she knows he has to do what he needs to do for them to have a safe existence.....and she does not want him to be in jeopardy......but he has to be. Marie consistently balled up the works and made his job even more difficult over and over.....continuing to add to the emotional struggle roller-coaster of David/Jason/David/Jason...........oh please......not the book's best quality in my humble opinion. Had she not flown to Europe when she was not supposed to, i might have finished this in maybe 3 months. Enough said.....sorry for the rambling.....I'll stop. I will watch the movie just because......and i will read more of my Ludlum......but it won't be soon..... ( )
  jeffome | Jan 10, 2022 |
just terrible. ( )
  austinburns | Dec 16, 2021 |
So.....the movies are way better even though they have absolutely nothing to do with the books whatsoever, except that they share the same name. That being said, this book was okay. I liked it but it was a little too crazy with the plot. A little too much liberty taken, etc...and way too much swearing. It's just dumb to have people swear that much. ( )
  mcsp | Jan 25, 2021 |
I am a stubborn, anal-retentive completionist when it comes to books. If I start it, I finish it. That being said - this is the first novel I have ever started & then given-up on. It really is that bad. I read [b:The Bourne Identity|7812194|The Bourne Identity (Jason Bourne, #1)|Robert Ludlum|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1267668677s/7812194.jpg|859111] & its sequel, [b:The Bourne Supremacy|763597|The Bourne Supremacy (Jason Bourne, #2)|Robert Ludlum|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1281832085s/763597.jpg|2508588] & while neither was spectacular, I still enjoyed them. I figured I'd finish the trilogy with Ultimatum. I had noticed the abysmal reviews on Amazon.com, but decided I had to see for myself. I just couldn't bring myself to not read the final volume of [a:Robert Ludlum|5293|Robert Ludlum|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1208465267p2/5293.jpg]'s Bourne trilogy.

Stubbornly, I slogged my way through one-third of the paperback, while also reading [a:Vince Flynn|14989|Vince Flynn|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1237150817p2/14989.jpg]'s [b:Extreme Measures|3313418|Extreme Measures (Mitch Rapp, #9)|Vince Flynn|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1299166292s/3313418.jpg|3351033] on my Nook. That's what finally did it for me. I absolutely love reading anything Flynn writes. The man really knows how to write a page-turner of a thriller. While being so absorbed in one of his novels, I couldn't bear the thought of picking up where I left off in The Bourne Ultimatum. I became painfully aware of the lack of fun in reading it.

Many of the common criticisms of this novel I found to be true. I'm normally not one to be critical, but the dialogue is at times atrocious. I understand that when reading a work of fiction it is sometimes necessary to employ a suspension of disbelief, but considering how Ludlum seeks to write fairly realistic fiction, he failed miserably with Ultimatum. Carlos seemed a fairly believable opponent in Identity, however, I felt that in Ultimatum he was a caricature. Ludlum seems to be incapable of referring to Carlos without the word "Jackal" being in the same paragraph. Funny, I hardly recall the moniker of "The Jackal" being used in Identity. Also, how many times must the reader be reminded that David Webb, aka Jason Bourne, aka "Delta" is over-the-hill in this book. Only 5 years have passed since the events of Supremacy, yet the reader is led to believe that the protagonist who was on top of his game as a 45 year old in Hong Kong & China during the events of the preceding novel is now almost lacking in competence at 50. Identity introduced the concept of Carlos utilizing old men on the streets of Paris as his eyes and ears (in a very believable fashion), yet now 13 years later he seemingly has an endless supply of old men who have nothing better to do with their miserable lives than to throw them away by pursuing Bourne around the world (beyond ridiculous). If Bourne is so inept & Carlos is still "the man" then why does Carlos need so many helpers in his quest to assassinate Bourne? I could go on with a laundry list of complaints, but I really don't feel like spending any more of my time even thinking about this rag.

Bottom line - this book should never have been written. Just read The Bourne Identity, and then The Bourne Supremacy, and assume that David & Marie lived happily ever after following the events of Supremacy. ( )
  Adam_Z | Mar 19, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ludlum, RobertAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mcgavin, DarrenReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ingwersen, JörnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lahtinen, Aarne T. K.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schlereth, EinarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Bobbi and Leonard Raichert, two lovely people who have enriched our lives - Our Thanks
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Darkness had descended on Manassas, Virginia, the countryside alive with nocturnal undercurrents, as Bourne crept through the woods bordering the estate of General Norman Swayne.
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The world's two deadliest spies in the ultimate  showdown. At a small-town carnival two men, each  mysteriously summoned by telegram, witness a bizarre  killing. The telegrams are signed Jason Bourne.  Only they know Bourne's true identity and understand  the telegram is really a message from Bourne's  mortal enemy, Carlos, known also as the Jackal, the  world's deadliest and most elusive terrorist. And  furthermore, they know that the Jackal wants: a  final confrontation with Bourne. Now David Webb,  professor of Oriental studies, husband, and father,  must do what he hoped he would never have to do  again -- assume the terrible identity of Jason Bourne.  His plan is simple: to infiltrate the politically  and economically Medusan group and use himself as  bait to lure the cunning Jackal into a deadly trap  -- a trap from which only one of them will escape.   From the Paperback edition.

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