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The Bourne Identity [Mass Market Paperback]

Robert Ludlum
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 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 Don't compare it to the movie. June 15 2011
By J Reader TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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 must end. Marie is a completely different character and the plot and story follow different paths.

This novel is loaded with intricate detail and overflows with action and suspense. I enjoyed the evolution of the Bourne character and the very complex supporting characters. This book grabbed me by the shirt and wouldn't let me go until I turned the last page. Anyone who enjoys a good fastpaced adventure packed full of cliffhangers will enjoy this book.

Check out my other reviews for more Ludlum hit's and misses.
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Top-Notched, Thrilling Story, Dec 12 2010
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 and his agony. The story was very captivating and it was a thrilling read.

When it comes to the "spy" novel, there are few writers that exceed Robert Ludlum's talents. When I finished reading this book I came to this conclusion that most "thriller" writers fall way short. The book is fairly long, so set back and enjoy several evenings of an exciting, wonderful story.
I look forward to reading the sequel to this book. Highly recommend.
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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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Two completly different stories Aug. 3 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoyed the movie, simple plot, great story, good cast. But a different story is being told in the book. It's far more complicated: one really has to concentrate and read carefully every sentence in order to understand what's going on. I'm almost done reading it and I still don't have a clear picture on who's who. There's so much confusion and the story is so complicated it's almost annoying. I also don't like the long dialogues between Jason and Marie. They slow the book down enormously. Reading this book should be a heart-pounding experience, but instead it becomes incredibly boring.

Speaking of Marie, I don't like her character either. All that happens between Jason and her, seems so unlikely it's almost funny and ridiculous. She is portrayed as this superwoman, sometimes casting a big dark shadow upon Jason's figure (which should be the strong one). She practically leads him by hand, tells him what to do.
Jason is supposed to be very bright, very strong...a superman without memory. Instead he seems like a frightened child, who needs help from a woman in order to understand what's going on. He therefore becomes weak and dependent upon others. It's not the Jason I saw and liked in the movie.
The plot also never seems to go past Paris, everything is being played out there. I think this book lacks on mobility and tension. I wouldn't recommend it to someone who's looking for the same story of the movie.
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Most recent customer reviews
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 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Smashing Spy Thriller
Setting the standard for international spy thrillers, Robert Ludlum succeeds again at packing more thrills into several hundred pages than one would conceive possible. Read more
Published on June 17 2004 by M. Bernstein
4.0 out of 5 stars Suspense and Surprise....
A surprise at every turn, Mr Ludlum makes me want to keep reading from page to page, chapter to chapter, and on into the next 2 books in this trilogy. Read more
Published on June 9 2004 by Jason Johnston
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