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The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

The Bourne Identity (1980)

by Robert Ludlum

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Bourne (1)

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    Better Off Dead by Tom Wood (AFHeart)
    AFHeart: An assassin who is an unlikely hero.

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English (121)  Dutch (3)  Spanish (3)  Swedish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (129)
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A man is shot, left for dead, later rescued from the sea. Surviving but with no memory, he is given a name: Jason Bourne. Physically and mentally agile, he retraces his past through a harrowing personal labyrinth. SOFT
  JRCornell | Jan 29, 2019 |
The Bourne Identity is the story of a man who loses his memory in a violent event at sea. He is rescued by fishermen and delivered to a doctor on a remote island south of France where his body is healed but his mind remains injured. Not knowing who he is and with only a single clue - a bank in Zurich and a bank account number surgically hidden on his body - the man leaves to find out the answers to who he is. From this basic premise Robert Ludlum introduces us to the very enigmatic man variously known as Jason Bourne, Cain, and Delta. Bourne must discover who he is, and in the process must fight for his life from the assassin Carlos and the US Government.

The Bourne Identity was originally published in 1980, and maybe had I read the book back in the 80's (I grew up reading Tom Clancy, Larry Bond, and other similar writers) I might have given the book version a higher rating. Certainly the book is action-packed, moving rapidly across Europe and the US as Jason Bourne and his hostage/companion/lover Marie St. Jacques try to stay one step ahead of Carlos's assassins while trying to find Carlos to stop him. However, I have read the book version well after the Borne movies have been released starting Matt Damon. And because of that I have been spoiled and become jaded to the book. This is one of those rare instances where I think Hollywood has done a great job and made a product that is better than the book.

The movie version and the book follow very similar paths at the beginning, introducing us to the character who loses his memory and must travel to Zurich to try and start to piece together who he is. But from there the book and movie take divergent paths. The Bourne of the movies is a soldier and assassin who is not only skilled at physical attacks but uses his wits. Matt Damon's Bourne is crafty and wily more often out smarting his opponents as opposed to confronting them and killing them (though he does his share of that too). Ludlum's Bourne is equally skilled in physical attacks and defense, but his wit is lacking. He is a fighting machine that charges through like a bull in a China shop, not a skilled tactician. There are glimmers of whit and intelligence, but usually Bourne just bumbles along making the situation worse. For example, in the book Borne is following one of Carlos's minions who leads Bourne to the famed assassin. Bourne - struggling with a terrible case of PTSD - blunders forward to attack Carlos, causing the assassin to flee and alert him that Bourne is close to him. I can only imagine that had the scene been played in the movie version (the writer's of the movie scoured all references the the mythical assassin from their version) that Damon's Bourne would have been able to slyly follow the assassin, leading him into a trap that would have given the advantage of the hunt to Bourne.

In addition Ludlum's Bourne is kind of an asshole and thug more often than not. He uses force and intimidation rather than guile and diplomacy to get what he wants, and usually makes the situation worse because of it. I will chalk up some of this to Bourne suffering from amnesia and severe PTSD, but his actions greatly lessened my enjoyment of the character.

The Bourne Identify is a good book, but it doesn't live up to the image that the Hollywood version has created for me of the character. If you enjoy action-packed books, with lots of twists and turns and quite a few gotcha type plot twists, then you will enjoy the read. If you want to follow a compelling character who you want to root for then I recommend that you stick with the movie version. ( )
  GeoffHabiger | Jun 11, 2018 |
5562. The Bourne Identity, by Robert Ludlum (read 1 Jun 2018) This spy novel was published in 1980 but I have not read anything by Ludlum till now. The story is action-filled and one never wonders when something will happen--things are happening all the time. The central character, called Jason Bourne, has lost his memory but remembers all his fantastic skills and quickly encounters a woman and in a couple of days falls in love with her and they promptly commence living together as Jason seeks to determine if he was a good guy or a murderer. He extracts money from a Swiss bank and goes to Paris and determines that Carlos is a deadly enemy. Jason seldom does anything unsuccessfully, and I figured he was indestructible. But at the end of this book both he and Carlos are alive--obviously setting the stage for a sequel It it exciting but I get the idea and will not expend more reading time on Ludlum, excitingly as he writes.. ( )
  Schmerguls | Jun 1, 2018 |
I bought the book out of curiosity, the description on the back side was very interesting. And, I must say that the contents of the book did not disappoint me. It was my kind of novel: plunging in the middle of things, not knowing anymore than the main character does. It kept me reading, curious how things would end, somehow full of compassion for the man that was victim of he didn't know what.
Of course it is quite a story, and it is kind of strange, all that happens to Jason / David. But, somehow as a reader I believed the story and went along untill the end of the book, wondering what would be next. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Mar 27, 2018 |
I read this a few months ago after having it on my shelf for a decade, LOL. Its amazing how little the film had in common with the source novel. I enjoyed the story (my first Ludlum novel), but I'm not particularly fond of Ludlum's writing style. ( )
  Adam_Z | Mar 19, 2018 |
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Roman po kome je snimljen i cuveni istoimeni film sa Mat Dejmonom u glavnoj ulozi. Džejson Born je covek koji nema prošlost, a moguce je da nece imati ni buducnost. Jedino cega je svestan jeste da ga je Mediteransko more izbacilo na obalu i da mu je telo izrešetano. Polako ce shvatiti da se nalazi u zamršenoj slagalici iz koje nece moci da pobegne kao ni od svoje prošlosti. I niko ne može da mu pomogne, niko osim žene koja je nekada želela da pobegne od njega.
added by Sensei-CRS | editknjigainfo.com

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ludlum, RobertAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Virtanen, AnttiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Glynis
A very special light we all adore.
With love and deep respect.
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The New York Times, Friday, July 11, 1975, FRONT PAGE


France expelled three high-ranking Cuban diplomats in connection with the worldwide search for the man called Carlos, who is believed to be an important link in an international terrorist network. (Preface)
The trawler plunged into the angry swells of the dark, furious sea like an awkward animal trying desperately to break out of an impenetrable swamp.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553260111, Mass Market Paperback)

Jason Bourne.

He has no past. And he may have no future. His memory is blank. He only knows that he was flushed out of the Mediterranean Sea, his body riddled with bullets.

There are a few clues. A frame of microfilm surgically implanted beneath the flesh of his hip. Evidence that plastic surgery has altered his face. Strange things that he says in his delirium -- maybe code words. Initial: "J.B." And a number on the film negative that leads to a Swiss bank account, a fortune of four million dollars, and, at last, a name: Jason Bourne.

But now he is marked for death, caught in a maddening puzzle, racing for survival through the deep layers of his buried past into a bizarre world of murderous conspirators -- led by Carlos, the world's most dangerous assassin. And no one can help Jason Bourne but the woman who once wanted to escape him.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:06 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

His memory is blank. His bullet-ridden body was fished from the Mediterranean Sea. His face has been altered by plastic surgery. A frame of microfilm has been surgically implanted in his hip. Even his name is a mystery. Marked for death, he is racing for survivasl through aa bizarre world of murderous conspirators--led by Carlos, the world's most dangerous assassin.… (more)

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