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The Bourne Identity [Mass Market Paperback]

Robert Ludlum
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (211 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 1 1984
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.

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"Mr. Ludlum stuffs more surprises into his novels than any other six-pack of thriller writers combines."—The New York Times

From the Back Cover

"Mr. Ludlum stuffs more surprises into his novels than any other six-pack of thriller writers combines." -- The New York Times

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good June 1 2004
By Brendan
Format:Mass Market Paperback
One of my main criteria for enjoying a book is to be surprised by the events. Seeing the movie first usually ruins that for me (and recently I have not found out about the book until after the movie comes out). Fortunately, this book is so different from the movie, the plot remains surprising and original. Although Ludlum's style is confusing at times, the action and story are great. We follow Jason Bourne around Europe and America, as he takes on different personalities to learn more about himself.
I look forward to learning more about the main character, Jason Bourne, as he learns more about himself in the next two books. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the spy/thriller genre, as this is one of the better books I have read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The one that started it all! July 8 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ludlum surpasses not only himself but all other spy thriller writers for all times to come. I started in 1977 with Scarlatti Inheritance and have ever since been hooked to Ludlum. But Bourne Identity exploded on me like no other book or experience I had. It is more than a spy story or about a person called Bourne trying to fight tremendous odds with a total memory loss with bursts of memory flashes of the violent past with layers of different personalities. It is about human mind itself discovering its way using the ultimate training of the past to protect it and achieve the objective imprinted in the psyche. The events will linger forever in the mind and you will be hungry to read another book which can match this book. Yes! Read it ,Enjoy it and be haunted by it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nobody is like Jason Bourne July 9 2014
By Anakina
I must admit that Jason Bourne is one of my favourite movie characters. Having seen all the movies so far released in this series, I thought it was time to start reading the books by Robert Ludlum, because given the chronological gap between these films and the films I imagined that they were very different. And indeed it is so. Apart from a few salient points of the plot, we are faced with completely different stories result of the socio-political landscape in which they are set.
Approaching a book of the 70s (1979 to be exact) is not always easy, because immediately you notice some outdated aspects of the language and also the settings that differ from what we are used to, especially for people like me who at the time were very young and do not have first-hand memories. However, there are books like this that are timeless. Although the way of narrating undoubtedly changed over the decades, some authors are already ahead of their contemporaries. One of this is the late Ludlum, who with his first book in the series literally caught me. The character of Bourne who suffers from amnesia and is afraid of being a bad person immediately made inroads into my heart. I couldn't help but love him. Ludlum is so good at diving into his fears and doubts that you must love this "creature" of his. Fragile and deadly, ruthless and tender, Bourne catapults us into a long adventure in Switzerland, France and the United States, where the difference between the good and the bad becomes thin, plunging the character deeper and deeper into an abyss. At every moment we fear for him, both for what may happen to him, and for what he might discover about his own past.
It's a nice long novel that can be read in one breath, one of those you wait for throughout the day.

Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli, author of Red Desert - Point of No Return
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5.0 out of 5 stars A man without a past ... June 1 2004
By M. B. Alcat TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I bought this book mostly because I didn't want to lose the opportunity of reading the book before the release of a film based on Ludlum's book, "The Bourne identity". I really wasn't a fan of the author (and I am not one now), but I loved this book.
To start with, the plot is remarkably good. The "The Bourne identity" is the story of a man without a past, rescued from the Mediterranean Sea by some fishermen. He is very ill, and his body has suffered the impact of many bullets. The man is taken by the fishermen to a doctor in a nearby island, who helps him to recover physically and mentally. Our protagonist doesn't remember who he is, but with the help of the doctor he finds some clues he doesn't like too much. He only knows for certain some things, like that his face has been altered by plastic surgery, that he knows a lot about firearms and that he carried on him a microfilm that contains the code to an account of four million dollars.
In the Swiss bank where the account is he also finds a name: Jason Bourne. But... is he Jason Bourne?. He cannot remember, and if it were for quite a few people, he won't. From the moment he leaves the island onwards, our man without a past will be followed, and attacked. He doesn't understand why, but he reacts in order to stay alive. Add to this already interesting mixture a woman he takes as a hostage, Marie, a number of assasins (including the most famous assassin in the world, Carlos), and the possibility that he is, as a matter of fact, also an assassin, and you will understand why this book is so good. The main character will be hunted all throughout the book not only by the "bad guys", but also by the "good" ones (mainly agents from the USA Government).
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Delivered on time and as expected
I would recommend
Published 1 month ago by Todd
5.0 out of 5 stars Bourne Identity
I am a Robert Ludlum collector and was very pleased with the book I received. The book was in excellent condition and it will be a great part of my collection
Published on Sept. 16 2011 by Mr. David C. Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't compare it to the movie.
The Bourne Identity is a good movie...and a great book, but they are not the same. They share the same lead character and the same basic premise but that's where the comparison... Read more
Published on June 15 2011 by J Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars A Top-Notched, Thrilling Story,
Jason Bourne, the hero is brought to life by Robert Ludlum. The author has a gift to bring this character to a stage that you can almost live his life with him, feel his distress... Read more
Published on Dec 12 2010 by Audrey Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Wooo Hooo. Just brilliant.
This is what spy and action books are all about. This is the ultmate action spy book. The author is just brilliant, How Ludlum writes is beyond me, he seems to write with a paint... Read more
Published on March 7 2009 by John K. Parnell
5.0 out of 5 stars absolutely amazing
This book was absolutely amazing! I can't get over the amount of detail that Robert Ludlum put into the plot of this book. Read more
Published on Sept. 11 2007 by Melanie
5.0 out of 5 stars Bourne's identity IS thrills, chills ... and kills!
For those who have seen the movie before reading the novel (as I have), you won't be spoiled. The films are inspired by his world, but due to the changing times and the limitations... Read more
Published on July 9 2007 by The Detective
5.0 out of 5 stars Bourne an American Intelligence Professor
Lustbader is an acomplished writer with a similar style to Robert Ludlum. Jason Bourne is a hero just the way you remember him. The description of Bournes campus is very good. Read more
Published on June 8 2005 by Brad Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars Just darn fun
While I'm usually one for a bestseller or Oprah pick like "Da Vinci Code" or "Bark of the Dogwood," I do veer off my chosen path and read a mystery or thriller such as those... Read more
Published on June 28 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Good film, great book!
The Matt Damon film was one of my favourite films until I read this book.
Simply put, it's awsome, it wrecks a great film by being better than a movie can ever be. Read more
Published on June 18 2004 by Simon
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