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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 (1082 )
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Performance
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  •  
    P. Shuart 08-13-09
    P. Shuart 08-13-09 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Robert Ludlum's Attention to Detail A++"

    You are hard pressed to find many books that are so descriptive that it requires less imagination than one would think to be right there with Bourne. Scott Brick is one of my favarite narrators and does a wonderful job on this long awaited recording of the Unabridged novel.

    Beware lover's of the Bourne movies: There is little in these books that you can relate to the Hollywood productions. There is so much more.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erica Brentwood, CA, USA 07-14-09
    Erica Brentwood, CA, USA 07-14-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "One of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to!"

    I looked for this book a few years back and was so excited when I stumbled on to it recently. It does not disappoint!!

    It's rather long, however I was disappointed when it was over. It's a great story that kept me on the edge of my seat. I had tried to read the book a few years back, but thought it was too long and too many twists to make it an easy book to pick up and put down. I also saw the movie and thought the movie was great. This is MUCH better than the movie. There are more than enough twists and differences from the movies that you're guessing. Also, I think that there is so much complexity here that the movie could never easily capture in the time of a movie.

    Such a great story. I listened while I was out walking and it was so easy to just get lost in the story and not realize I had been walking, let alone exercising for a couple of hours. The perfect escape!

    Scott Brick does a great job at reading this and this makes me want to find more of his readings. I absolutely recommend this book!!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dena D. Pinkard CA - USA 02-19-09
    Dena D. Pinkard CA - USA 02-19-09 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Glad I went for it"

    Having seen (and enjoyed) the blockbuster movie trilogy, I had some small apprehension that the book might be 'spoiled' by my familiarity... was I wrong! The book shares only the most essential elements with the movie version; with a 30-year span from book to movie, the book's twists and turns reflect utterly different scenarios, and I was at a loss to guess the progressions from very early in. Highly entertaining, and Scott Brick's malleable and expressive narration never disappoints!

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David C. Kluempers Kapolei,HI 04-07-13
    David C. Kluempers Kapolei,HI 04-07-13 Member Since 2011

    Dave K

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What Happened"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    For some reason I had read this book before but it had to have been quite some time ago since it did not dawn on me until I reached a few sections later in the book. I think the performance by Scott Brick made this less enjoyable than it might have been. His irritating voice saying "Delta is Cain and ..." began to really grate on me and after about about the 20th time I wanted to scream and and jam a poker in my ear. It is rare for me to say that a movie is better than the book but this is one case where the screen writer actually did a better job.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Robert Ludlum again?

    I will certainly look for other Ludlum books but I will avoid Scott Brick at all costs.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Scott Brick?

    I am really not sure to be honest but I recall him doing one of Tom Clancy's books and he did not do it justice. For some reason Mr. Brick just comes across completely wrong for me.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was actually disappointed that I did not enjoy it more since I have read and enjoyed Ludlum before. If I enjoy a movie I like to go and read the book because 99% of the time I like it better than the movie.


    Any additional comments?

    I am really sorry to be down on this book but the story and performance were very lackluster for me.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan E. Hatch 01-22-09 Member Since 2008
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    "great"

    This book is great. I have been waiting forever for the unabridged verson to come out. Robert Ludlum is great and scott brick does a fantastic job reading.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shelley Raleigh, NC 04-30-14
    shelley Raleigh, NC 04-30-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Where the heck did the movie come from?"
    What made the experience of listening to The Bourne Identity the most enjoyable?

    This was such a good book I LOVED it! The Bourne movies are great and I was reluctant to purchase the books because I thought they would be redundant. Maybe a little more fleshed out but boy was I mistaken! The two stories bare some similarities but that's where it ends. This book it Action Packed from beginning to end. There are a lot of characters but I did not think it was difficult to keep up with them. I cannot wait to finish the remaining Ludlum/Bourne books. Not sure if I will listen to the post Ludlum but will probably at least try one.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Silly question! Jason Bourne I would hope.


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    Scott Brick is one of my Favorite narrators. I would be happy listening to him read the phone book!


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

    I think that's already been done.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this book. If you've seen the movie don't look for it the book, forget everything you think you know about Jason Bourne or you will be disappointed. If you do decide to get this you are in for a Very Enjoyable listening experience. This is Robert Ludlum at his best. Certainly worth a credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frances Garland, Texas, United States 08-31-13
    Frances Garland, Texas, United States 08-31-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sure Wasn't the Movie"

    If you can put away the Matt Damon version of Jason Bourne then things will be fine and dandy for you. I have to admit I had a hard time doing that in some parts of this book due to the stilted dialog between Jason and Marie and their instant love affair. You can understand this happening in the movie because they only have 2 hours. Here we have 22 hours but still they fall madly in love in a matter of days. Wow, where can I get me some of that? I was not overly impressed with the whole thing. I felt the action was just dragging along. I just read another spy novel that I felt like that action moved like the Katy Flyer and I was running like He** behind it all the time. Few there be and far between, in my humble opinion, that strike that happy balance of action and character development. I love the voice of Scott Brick, so honestly, that is what got me through. So, I am not sure if I will be trying the next in the series or not, but I will think on it. This review is not going to win me any friends among the die hard Ludlum fans, but I 'calls 'em like I sees 'em. ~ :o)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timoteo Barajas Highlands Ranch, CO, USA 03-16-13
    Timoteo Barajas Highlands Ranch, CO, USA 03-16-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Definately not the movie"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys spy thrillers, even though it it is a bit outdated. I lost some interest when I started hearing about the Vietcong, which is when I looked and saw the book was published in 1980. The story in the book is NOT the movie giving me an unexpected experience that held my attention until the end. The author captures a world in great detail that makes this one of the best spy novels I have ever read. I will listen to the next two Bourne novels curious to find out what happens.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the inner conflict of the main character as he attempts to discover who was and what that information means for his present life. I tend to get irritated with tag on love stories but I enjoyed the relationship between Jason and Marie. It was a little hard to accept that she would fall for her capture and it made me think she was suffering from Stockholm syndrome but I like that her feelings are tested by a strong logical mind that allows for a deeper perspective on Jason's amnesia.


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    I thought Scott Brick's performance was very good, especially his French. Some readers are not very convincing as a female character but his ability to establish intimacy between Marie and Jason was excellent. I have been spoiled by other books that incorporates music and sound effects into the audio books and felt that was missing in this production. At minimum it would be nice to get a beep some audio marker to let you know that there is a transition from one scene to another. There were a couple times when they jumped to Carlos or other characters that I had to rewind because I got lost in who was speaking.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken calgary, AB, Canada 02-27-13
    Ken calgary, AB, Canada 02-27-13 Member Since 2011

    I absolutely love my audible account, makes its from enjoying a book to loving the stories found in the books. Do forgive my errors in the reviews i do have dyslexia but i will share my love with everyone

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So much better then the movie"

    to start off if you loved the movie for the illegal CIA actions, the dark government secrets and all his hand to hand skills. Then be disappointed

    Very few things from the book are shared in the movie. instead of the CIA training a assassin to go and kill potential political threats they, well i wont really say that would be a big spoiler.

    Jason does have amnesia and is trained in many different skills, including hand to hand and weapons training. he is also a master of disguise.

    the only problem is that everywhere he is going some group is trying to kill him. but why? with the help of a Canadian economist named Marie (the movies got her profession wrong too, big surprise) they work together in finding out who Jason Borne is.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer New York, USA 02-21-13
    Kindle Customer New York, USA 02-21-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    848
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    "Amateur Hour in Espionage Fiction"

    When Gilroy and Herron adapted this novel for the screen, they had their work cut out for them. This book needs a good editor in the worst way. Ludlum repeats dialogue whenever he needs a crutch to get him to the next sentence. His characters, including Bourne himself, have oddly inconsistent motivations. There are details that the author tells us and promptly forgets. The villains are mostly sub-Bond cartoon characters.

    Scott Brick's narration is usually competent- I found his rendering of characters and accents consistent- but it has no energy to it. I felt like I was being read a ponderous history tome. It was a very unfortunate choice, given the quality of the writing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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