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The Bourne Identity | [Robert Ludlum]

The Bourne Identity

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. Initials: "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.
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Publisher's Summary

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. Initials: "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.

©1984 Robert Ludlum; (P)2008 Random House Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1096 )
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4.2 (740 )
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  •  
    Rioux Kennewick, WA, USA 06-19-10
    Rioux Kennewick, WA, USA 06-19-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Will always be a favorite"

    I loved the movie when it came out, but when i read the series i was hooked and amazed by how in depth it is. Not many of Ludlum's books get my attention as this series (first 3) have. The audiobook didnt disappoint. Scott Brick will be a favorite reader of mine forever, the story is engaging, is not overbearing, and for once the hero can get hurt.
    completely worth it

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Krista Wilbur, WA, United States 07-20-09
    Krista Wilbur, WA, United States 07-20-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
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    199
    38
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    1
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    "Better than I remember"

    Read this book a long time ago, and listening to it now was great. The narration by Brick is wonderful- great combination of Ludlum as the author and Brick as the narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert E. Scarcelle 08-05-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    133
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    859
    37
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    8
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    Overall
    "I am probably in the minority"

    Don't get me wrong I did enjoy the book but feel that this is one of the few occasions that the screenplay and subsequent movie surpass the novel. Also, I am normally a huge fan of Scott Brick (listen to him narrate In Cold Blood) but didn't think he was the best choice for this book. The action sequences didn't jump out and grip me as I expected, it was a bit repetitive at times and could have used a little editing at times. Maybe my expectations were too high. It was enjoyable, just not "edge of your seat, can't wait to find out what happens" enjoyable.

    I also hate spending 2 credits for any one book.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean Dundee, IL, United States 01-22-09
    Sean Dundee, IL, United States 01-22-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Great Voice"

    The speaker did a great job on inflection, pause and his voice could make a lion purr. All in all my only complaint is that he did not record the remainder of the Bourne series.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Will Blairsville, GA, United States 07-29-10
    Will Blairsville, GA, United States 07-29-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "Great book, bad narrator"

    Scott Brick is the most frustrating narrator to this listener. His tonality and inflections are unnatural. Every sentence bore the same cadence that you would expect to hear from a baptist minister during the final remarks of a sermon. I will be more selective from now on - evaluating narrators as well as the book itself before I download.

    9 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patti O. Kreider the great american south 08-22-14
    Patti O. Kreider the great american south 08-22-14 Member Since 2012

    dixie poodle

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "E Ticket ride"
    What did you love best about The Bourne Identity?

    Mr. Brick's voice


    What other book might you compare The Bourne Identity to and why?

    Tarzan, because he too searches for compelling answers to his origins.


    Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?

    Jason Charles Bourne


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Revelations of Jason Bourne


    Any additional comments?

    Looking forward to reuniting with Mr.Brick in the sequel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy 07-27-14
    Amy 07-27-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    1
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    "Really enjoyed it!"
    Would you listen to The Bourne Identity again? Why?

    I would. Forget the movie because this is much better


    Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?

    All of them were good


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    WOW! There were moments that I thought' holy cows'!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Rocklin, CA, United States 01-06-14
    Ryan Rocklin, CA, United States 01-06-14 Member Since 2012

    Big fan of Sci-Fi. Sometimes I like the Sci and sometimes I like the Fi.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Old and dated. The movies are better."
    Any additional comments?

    Unfortunately, this book didn't do it for me. It was hard for me to get into. I thought I was going to do the whole series but everything is so outdated it takes the excitement out of it for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PAUL surprise, az, United States 11-15-13
    PAUL surprise, az, United States 11-15-13 Member Since 2011

    my ipod and audible make the daily 10 mile walks a "breeze"....

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "disappointed"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    very confusing


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    disappointed


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    started of terrific...then went in too many directions


    Could you see The Bourne Identity being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    it is a movie...and in my opinion...the movie was better


    Any additional comments?

    I was all set to buy the other 2 "Bourne" books....now I will rethink that

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A music lover Alexandria, VA USA 06-27-13
    A music lover Alexandria, VA USA 06-27-13 Member Since 2007

    in Alexandria

    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    5
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    3
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    "Lovers of the movie will be disappointed"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A better written, more plausible novel.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    "The Guns at Last Light," by Rick Atkinson


    Did Scott Brick do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    The prose was dreadful. Brick's reading merely made the awful seem annoyingly portentous.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The conceit fueling the action (top-notch spy loses his memory) is an ingenious one.


    Any additional comments?

    "The Bourne Identity" (the 1980 novel) is a mess. "The Bourne Identity" (the 2002 movie) is a minor masterpiece. Equally astonishing is that the two follow-up "Bourne" movies (in 2004 and 2007) were just as sparkling and inventive as the first. For sustained high quality, the 2002-2007 "Bourne" trilogy is one of the marvels of modern Hollywood movie-making. Too bad the inaugural novel of the "Bourne" trilogy does not remotely approach the fluid style, conciseness, and inventiveness of the movie of the same name.

    Of course, thoughtful and attentive readers will find both the novel and movies far-fetched. This is scarcely a problem in the movies, because the speed of their action and the mystery of the protagonist's situation give watchers little opportunity to dwell on the improbabilities of the plot. By stripping out some of the more roccoco plot elements, the movie's screenwriters also make the action somewhat more plausible.Implausibility is not the greatest sin in fiction.

    Great novels can have great implausibility (think "Huckleberry Finn"). But skilled writers will make you suspend disbelief, something Ludlum (at least in this novel) seems incapable of doing. The prose is overwrought and the hero singularly unappealing. In this the novel contrasts strongly with the Bourne character memorably played by Matt Damon in the movie. In addition, Bourne's love interest, though certainly the most appealing character in the novel, is much less distinctive and plausible than the quite different character winningly played by the great German actress Franka Potente.

    People who have seen the movies need not be worried that the movies take away the suspense of the novel. The plot differences and even the differences in major characters are big enough so that readers will encounter plenty of surprises along the way. Unfortunately, one of the biggest surprises is that an overlong, badly written, and confusingly narrated novel could be turned into such an entertaining and memorable film. I kept doggedly reading to the end mainly to see how the movie screenwriters performed such a neat trick: What did they jettison? What did they keep? What did they ignore altogether? After reading the novel and seeing the film, most readers / moviegoers may agree with me that the screenwriters deserve A+ for their efforts. Alas, the author deserves a gentleman's C, even from a generous grader. Almost all that grade is earned for the ingenious conceit that fuels the action: A spy who loses his memory. Among the worst features of the writing is the truly horrendous dialog. If you have friends or business acquaintances who speak like this, you would run for the exits.

    I managed to listen to volume 1 of Ludlum's famous trilogy. There's no chance I'll be listening to installments 2 or 3.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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