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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good
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...
Published on June 1 2004 by Brendan

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Heavy on potential, light on delivery.
A very engaging premise with a great deal of promise, but only middling success at delivering the goods. This book would have been much better had it been tighter and more consistent. While much of the intrigue is dated by today's standards, it still has the power to grab the reader's attention. Unfortunately the author's inelegance makes parts of the book tedious and...
Published on Sept. 14 2002 by triskaidekaphilia


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good, June 1 2004
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
By 
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Top-Notched, Thrilling Story,, Dec 12 2010
By 
Audrey Lewis (Memphis, Tn.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Bourne Identity: Jason Bourne Book #1 (Mass Market Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Nobody is like Jason Bourne, July 9 2014
This review is from: The Bourne Identity (Paperback)
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 "Curiosity killed the cat, but sa... (Hanoi, Vietnam) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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). You won't be able to stop reading this book, and you will find yourself asking aloud to nobody in particular "who on earth is this man?" and "what started this whole mess"?.
All in all, I highly recommend this book to those who appreciate a good thriller, and to those who don't usually read this kind of book but are open to new experiences. I belong to the last category, as I only read "The Bourne identity" because I was interested on watching the movie of the same name. By the way, I also recommend the movie (the 2002 version, with Matt Damon), that ended up bearing only a limited resemblance to the book. If I had to choose, I would choose the book without hesitation, but if you have the possibility not only of reading the book but also of watching the movie, do both things... You won't regret it, and you will probably have fun trying to compare the movie to the book !!
Belen Alcat
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bourne is a man on the run, but who is he running from?, April 20 2004
By 
AliGhaemi (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
Jason Bourne is a man with extraordinary skills. He has an altered appearance, access to millions of dollars and can get more using his many talents. The problem is that he does not know who he is, how or why he has acquired his skills and where he comes from. He is a man with no memory.
Stranded in Southern France and nurtured back to health by a drunkard doctor, Bourne is desperate to regain his past, future and identity. How can he do it though if he does not know where to start and what to look for? Moreover, there are individuals out there gunning for his life. A Canadian woman is helping, but will that be enough to remain alive when international assassin Carlos will do anything to end his life?
The thriller moves fast and weaves into and out of different cities and personalities. Twists abound and Bourne has to move fast or risk staring into the eys of death. The book is an action-packed and fast-paced tale of espionage and international deception, with many incredible and often far-fetched coincidences and breaks, but for sheer heart-pumping action The Bourne Identity moves as fast as a bullet to the heart.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Bourne Identity review, April 5 2004
By 
Senior High (Billings ,MT USA) - See all my reviews
What if someone suddenly woke up, was fully grown and developed, was ravaged by bullet wounds, and had no memory of the past. Jason Bourne in The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum experiences this. In his world he is born an adult and discovers quickly that he has very disturbing talents such as brutal self-defense skills, harsh interrogative capabilities, and an extensive knowledge of weaponry. This book offers a very intriguing and fruitful plot. I enjoyed reading The Bourne Identity because Robert Ludlum goes into depth about the modus operandi of all of the antagonists, protagonists, and governmental intelligence agencies. In this book Robert Ludlum has a tendency to elaborate too much about situations at times. Sometimes this would cause me to lose interest and focus. Other than that I felt that The Bourne Identity was very enjoyable to read.
In The Bourne Identity the suspense never ceases to exist. The main characters are always running, scheming, or fighting for their lives. Someone seeking to read an action packed, adventure novel will most likely enjoy this book. Also, someone who enjoys learning about psychology and how the brain works will enjoy this book very much. In this book, one will understand how someone could react in certain situations after having experienced extreme amnesia. Throughout this book Jason Bourne hears certain things or sees certain things that for some reason make him see horrific images. A psychiatrist or psychology teacher would most definitely love this book. Someone wanting a more mellow or laid back book would not enjoy this book because every moment is intense, gripping, and at any given instant something crazy can spontaneously occur. Again, I would recommend The Bourne Identity to anyone seeking an intense adventure.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good read for nonreaders!, April 2 2004
By A Customer
I read the book by Robert Ludlum. It is about a guy who is lost and gets found in the Mediterranean Sea. He had been shot six times in the back. When he wakes up he does not remember anything, not where he lives, not even where he lives. But one that he does remember is how to read, write, and he knew everything that he got taught in school. Well when he gets back to shore he goes to the bank, because he remembered his bank account number. When he got everything out of the account it was all in a small brief case, there was a gun with 8 million dollars in cash, along with a passport that said his name, which was Jason Bourne. Later he leans that he was part of the CIA best man.
The reason that I liked this book is because it was very mysterious. For example, He was in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea and he didn't know he how he got there and who he was, such as his birthday, or even his name. Another thing is that he didn't know his name but he knew how to read, write, and do all the stuff people learn in school.
The second reason why I like this book is because it is very funny. For example, while all of this stuff is happening to him he is still having fun and cracking jokes. Like when he just got done killing a man he saw some gum and a candy bar and he said, "This is my favorite stuff!" and then he ate it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not at all plausible, Feb. 1 2004
By 
G. Hoeppner (Lansing, MI) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I will concede that the book did have a lot of action and plot twists. Without giving away too much of the plot, here's the general idea. The heroine receives some trauma to the head which results in amnesia. The only clue to his identity is a secret bank account number found on his person. Upon trying to track down his identity, the protagonist discovers he has secret-agent-type skills and a seemingly endless number of bad guys are trying to kill him.
The plot did seem to be well thought out and I'd say it is not at all predictable, but one repetitive theme ruined the book for me; it seemed as though the main character is getting shot or blown up in every chapter of the book. That in itself isn't necessarily bad, but he gets riddled with bullets and manages to keep going, and this happens repeatedly. It reminds me of those thriller/horror movies where you think the villain is dead, but he keeps coming back to life for that last attempt to kill the teenagers.
At first, this didn't bother me, and I was enjoying the book; however, I can only take so much unbelievable garbage. As I reached the half-way point I found I had to force myself to continue reading, and after a few sessions after that, I gave up on the book; I couldn't stand it anymore.
If you can overlook this major annoyance, then you probably would like this book, but if you're like me and need certain aspects of the action to have a fragment of realism, then you might want to look for something else to read.
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2.0 out of 5 stars not impressed, Aug. 21 2003
By 
"juliana8" (Morris, CT United States) - See all my reviews
has anyone else noticed that most of the reviews for any product on amazon are all five stars, written by people who "aboslutely loved this book/cd/dvd/whathaveyou"?
okay, well with that said, the Bourne Identity wasn't terrible, but it wasn't particularly good either. While I was reading it, I couldn't help but think it was perfect to send to hollywood as a move plot and lo and behold, poof. The story line has an interesting premise (a man wakes up with amnesia on a fishing boat and the only clue to his identity is a microchip that was implanted in his body...) but it starts to read a little predictably after that, just like a typical hollywood blockbuster should. enter the love interest who will help him understand who he really is and change him through her love, a chase across europe and the united states ensues, etc. etc. it's good mind-numbing reading, but don't expect anything monumentally novel and ground-breaking or life changing. I actually think I liked the movie better, at least, I don't expect as much from hollywood as I do from a book.
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The Bourne Identity: Jason Bourne Book #1
The Bourne Identity: Jason Bourne Book #1 by Robert Ludlum (Mass Market Paperback - Jan. 5 2010)
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