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3.9 out of 5 stars
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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 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 exist...as 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 February 8, 2003
Greek sailors find a man floating in the Med sea, take him in, and their doc finds a couple bullet holes in his back, as well as a laser capsule in his leg with a Swiss bank account number. The man recovers, but suffers from amnesia. Thus begins his quest to regain his identity. Only, when he opens the security box in Switzerland, he discovers passports from half a dozen countries, wads of cash in various currencies, loads of cool spy gear, and a gun.
Soon the chase is on, from Zurich to Paris, as our man Bourne enlists the help of the German gypsy Marie (charming Franka Potente) and eludes the operatives sent by his CIA superiors until a stunning conclusion when he returns to Paris.
What I liked:
Great setting details of Europe, especially Paris. There were a number of key action sequences, including a car chase involving a Mini taking on French police, and the wildest stairway descent I've ever seen on film. I also thought Matt Damon and Franka Potente had good screen chemistry. There was also a moving scene where Bourne confronts one the assassins on his trail, the professor, played by Clive Owen in a small part.
What needed work:
The hero with amnesia card has been played before, and I would have liked a little more development of Damon's character other than him realizing he had all these drilled in spy skills. We never do get a sense of his likes and dislikes. I liked the film ending over the alternate version, but both could have been better.
This is a movie I would watch again.
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on February 4, 2003
I have not read many of the late Robert Ludlum's novels, but this was a good place to start and I plan to read some more. Terrific action and characters; my only complaint would be that the book is actually overly complex and un-neccesarily so. The movie producers tried to remedy that by removing most of the best characters, such as the doctor in France and the retired general and his traitorous wife. They even took out Carlos and his henchmen and the Treadstone team. The left-over characters would be sufficient for a half dozen sequels and a weekly TV show!
Some would question whether one man could be shot this many times and continue operations but I dont like to worry about anatomical details. Ludlum is clearly a master of this genre, superheroes fighting many shadowy enemies in non-stop action, supported by one-dimensional female love interests, apparently based on 1940's movie stars. Dont look for any political intrigue or thrilling technical information. Ludlum tries to conjure up some international political and financial storylines and then seems to lose interest in them without completion.
Ludlum's true genius shows in the way he reveals the story to us. Bourne has lost most of his memory in one of the many times that he is shot. The reader also steps into the story cold and learns page by page, who is Bourne and how did he get here. The movie does not handle this well, as it is too quick to get to the love interest and the battle with Bourne's former managers.
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on January 14, 2003
The book is a great story. Bourne is an amazingly capable guy, who doesn't know it, due to amnesia, probably related to the bullets. The book has rich character development, suspense, plot, and non-stop-action. It's one of those books you will not be able to put down, and you may skip a meal or two to finish it in one sitting, so find a cumfy chair. Two subsequent books: The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum by Robert Ludlum are both good, but not as good as the first. Ludlum books have a style that I enjoy, but I've decided that it's as if they're written to formula, so more than one Ludlum book a year makes them less enjoyable. One Ludlum book a year is very nice to read. The 1988 tv-miniseries version of this movie with Richard Chamberlain and Jaclyn Smith was OK, but I thought that Bourne lacked the skills portrayed in the book, although he did have some of the brains. The 2002 movie with Matt Damon is just the opposite with Bourne having all of the skills (here's a guy you do not want to meet in a dark alley, or even a crouded policeman's shooting range), but none of the brains. In 2002 the female sidekick shows that no smarts at all is enough to stay alive, whereas in the book anyone without 100% amazing training gets wiped out very fast -- and the need for both honed skill and brains is what gives you the respect for the book Bourne. I'll buy the 2002 movie for the hand to hand combat scenes, like the one in the embasy. I hope they're as good as I remember from the movie theatre.
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