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3.9 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-10 of 138 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on 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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on December 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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on February 18, 2005
I have been a fan of this movie since it first came out, so when they annouced a new EXPLOSIVE EXTENDED EDITION, I got real excited and couldn't wait to own it, now I do, and guess what? Really, really desapointed in this dvd.
The movie is still great of course, but the EXTENDED version is nothing to brag about... first of all, the actual deleted scenes which you can access on the special features menu of the original dvd and this version dvd, are not included in the EXTENDED VERSION... and the only 2 clips that are added, are a new begining and alternate ending. These last two new clips need to be accesed by pressing an icon which appears while the movie is playing, and the switch is cheaply done; lacking the original movies quality...
It would have been nice if the Extended version would have been made up without the PRESS THE ICON feature, and WHAT do they mean by EXPLOSIVE???? The only excitement and action is in the original movie.... nothing else.
This is a real rip off in my opinion. If you own the old version; stick with it... this new version is REALLY NOT WORTH IT!!!!
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on July 18, 2004
Robert Ludlum wrote "The Bourne Identity" in the 1980's and it is the quintessential "spy" story. It is a thriller and the characters are so rich and well drawn.
A man is dragged from the sea. He has two bullet wounds and a "chip" embedded into his body. These are removed; the man recovers from this ordeal. He does not, however, remember anything, His name, where he is from from and his entire identity has been lost. He takes the chip and goes in search of himself. In a bank in Zurich he finds his identity- Jason Bourne and several other passports and lots of money. Enough information for Jason Bourne to change his identity whenever he needs to. But what does this mean? It appears to mean that many people are after Jason Bourne, that he has information that many people want or they want this information to die!! Around every corner is danger and there is no one that he can trust. He meets up with two CIA analysts who appear to be trustworthy, but are they really? He travels all over Europe and changes identities at every turn. He meets very interesting people at every turn. His life is full of risk and danger. Jason Bourne is an important person with so much hidden information that he doesn't remember. But as time goes on, the people he meets share some of what he is missing, and he is beginning to put the pieces together. He begins a love affair, and he thinks this is what he has been looking for. Why can't he be happy as a single man leaving the "spy" profession and finding his true love?
The movie stars Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, and he does a credible job. The action filming is wonderfully done. The car chases and the flights on foot and in trains are very real and I felt I was amongst them. I was part of the action!! Franke Potente plays Jason Bourne's love interest. Chris Cooper is the enemy and as always is a star- a cruel man who completes his job. The scenery is fantastic and brilliant. What I did miss in this movie that was not transposed from the book, is the storyline of Carlos, The Jackal. This is an important part of the book, and is not in the movie at all. Jason Bourne and Carlos have much admiratiion for each other even though they are sworn enemies. This is a significant loss, and the movie does not have the drama, background and richness of the book. This is, however, a movie to be enjoyed- I understand the sequel, "The Bourne Supremacy" is out this week. A Must See. prisrob
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on July 11, 2004
I was in the mood to watch an entertaining action flick that hopefully had some brains behind it, so I decided to pop "The Bourne Identity" into my DVD player (that, and the previews for the sequel looks really good, so I wanted to see this right away). What I got was exactly what I expected, and then some. This is a very exciting and sharp movie that is a lot of fun to watch. There's lots of intense action to be enjoyed from this film.
Jason Bourne has a serious problem on his hands. When he is left for dead and his body is discovered by fishermen, he awakes and realizes that he cannot remember who he is. His memory is gone and he has no idea why or how he's there. And even though he doesn't know who he is, he is very skilled at hand-to-hand combat and is a deadly weapon who can take down just about anyone. When he tries to uncover his past and his identity, he finds people around every corner trying to kill him. Turns out that he is in reality an agent/assassin for the U.S. government (a very secret branch of defense). Since Bourne had failed his mission, they cannot afford to have him found out by others, so they know he must be terminated. Well, Bourne isn't going to take that lightly. He will take them head on and bring the fight to their doorsteps in order to find out who he is and why they want him dead.
This really was a good time. I haven't been terribly impressed with some of the latest action blunders, so it was nice to see something that was entertaining and was actually smart at the same time. Another plus is that the film doesn't try to be overly goofy, as a lot of other action flicks tend to be at times. Granted, there is humor, but it's evenly spread out and is never overused. Not only does the film have incredible action and fight scenes, but it also has a smart script and great character interaction. The movie also shows that Matt Damon can be one heck of an action star. I thought he could never pull it off, but he sure proved me wrong. He's very believable in his role and he's able to pull of the action scenes with real authenticity.
The DVD has a few extras to offer. First off, the movie looks very good and the sound is also terrific. Extras that can be found on this DVD include commentary from the director, an alternate ending and an extended "farmhouse" scene, deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, a great music video by Moby, and some really neat DVD-ROM extras. I didn't care much for the alternate ending, so I'm glad that they just stuck with what is in the movie. All in all, not a bad package.
"The Bourne Identity" can be enjoyed by those who want a smart and clever action movie that delivers. There's a great script, a fantastic cast, and some out-of-this-world chase/fight scenes. This was definitely a great time for me and I'm glad I finally got around to watching it. If you haven't checked it out yet, then I really recommend it, especially if you're an action fan. -Michael Crane
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on April 20, 2004
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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on April 2, 2004
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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on May 27, 2003
I waited 5 months to get this book from the library, so I had a bit of frustration and anticipation built into getting to read The Bourne Identity. I had seen the movie when it came out in the theater, but otherwise this is not a genre that normally interests me. I decided that I wanted to read the book anyway.
While the book and the movie started the same, it became quickly apparent that the movie deviated quite a bit from Ludlum's novel. The novel opens with two newspaper clippings about an assassin named Carlos. It moves right into Bourne being shot and falling into the ocean. He is pulled from the water and is put into the care of a doctor. The doctor heals Bourne, but Bourne does not remember his past. He does not know his name or how he came to be where he is. All he has is an account number for a bank in Zurich. It is with this knowledge (and the lack thereof) that Jason Bourne begins his quest to unravel his identity. Bourne's actions are determined by the little information that he has, but he quickly learns that someone is trying to find him and kill him. He finds out the name of a company that he thinks he works for, Treadstone 71. But when I tried to contact this company, it doesn't near as he can tell. However, the closer he comes to finding who he is and why he has all these skills (fighting, espionage) and memories that he can't explain; the closer he is to being killed.
Starting from the simple concept of one man trying to find out who he is, this book travels up the ranks of the U.S. Government to covert ops from the CIA. The book also has the other side hunting Bourne: the organization of an assassin named Carlos (the Jackal). This was an extremely engrossing novel and is far superior to the recent movie adaptation.
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on March 10, 2003
First off, when I first heard that they were making a movie version of Robert Ludlum's novel, I had mixed feelings. I had read and thoroughly enjoyed the book many years ago and knew that it had been adapted into a TV movie back in 1988, with Richard Chamberlain and Jaclyn Smith, although I have to confess that I never did get around to seeing it for fairly obvious reasons.
So why the mixed feelings? Partly because, for a variety of reasons, movies rarely if ever live up to the novels on which they are based. Maybe this is because we have our own rigidly set perceptions of what the characters look like or because we are already familiar with the plot. Sometimes studios rewrite the plots of our favourite novels and the movie adaptation ends up being so dissimilar to the book that everything that was good about it has either been lost in the editing, or changed to the story's detriment.
In the case of The Bourne Identity, the novel is a pretty substantial affair, full of plots and sub-plots, which would be pretty hard to cram into a mere 2 hours, without making significant changes. The Bourne Identity's script was reportedly written and re-written countless times. It took two years to shoot and, during this time, Matt Damon completed two other movies (Ocean's Eleven and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron). With this kind of background it is almost a wonder that this film was ever completed and as a result pre-release expectations were none too high. However, against all odds, Doug Liman (Go, Swingers) has produced a slick and competent thriller.
Matt Damon stars as Jason Bourne, an amnesiac found drifting in the Mediterranean sea after being pumped full of lead and left for dead. After being rescued by a fishing boat and nursed back from to health our hero sets off from Marseille with the intention of trying to rekindle his lost memories. Along the way, much to his bemusement, he not only finds himself pursued by shadowy would-be assassins, he discovers that he has skills and instincts that suggest that he himself may also be a ruthless trained killer.
So cue some great action sequences; several impressive fight scenes and an excellent car chase through Paris and enough of the original novel's twists and turns to keep the audience interested. Plus, throw in Franka Potente as an interesting female lead and unwilling companion, Clive Owen and Brian Cox in good supporting performances and two hours slip seamlessly by. However, although detractors will point out that The Bourne Identity is probably not the most memorable movie you will ever see (true), it is also fair to say that this is good old fashioned Saturday night at the movies entertainment and definitely worth a watch if you are looking for something undemanding. Matt Damon, excellent in The Talented Mr Ripley and Good Will Hunting as a credible action hero? Now there's a pleasant surprise and with several sequels penned by the late author Robert Ludlum, we may not have yet seen the last of Mr Bourne.
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on February 24, 2003
Other than a few bits and pieces, this movie strays badly from Ludlum's artistry. However, if you've never read the Bourne series, or if you're willing to forget the books, then this is a great little movie. Matt Damon does a fantastic job playing the part of the amnesia suffering hero, Jason Bourne, who at every turn finds out things about himself that leaves him increasingly aghast - like the book, the movie makes a hero out a character that would be a murderous thug in any other setting.
Franka Potente plays the part of the mystified free-spirit who befriends Bourne (enticed initially by some cold-hard-cash), and eventually becomes an enthusiastic confederate. I suppose it is too much to expect a movie to capture all the intrigue, maneuverings, clandestine subterfuges and treacheries that Ludlum wrote into the books - and it is probably proper that the movie really doesn't try. It never could capture 10% of the first book in the length of the video - let alone the whole series -- but still this well worth seeing. I do miss Ludlum's Jackal, but there's still lots of action, good technicals and not too much gratuitous vulgarisms, as well as superb acting. Good high-drama flick!
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