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Publisher's Summary

He is a man with an unknown past and an uncertain future. A man dragged from the sea riddled with bullets, his face altered by plastic surgery - a man bearing the dubious identity of Jason Bourne. Now he is running for his life, the target of professional assassins, at the center of a maddening, deadly puzzle. Who is Jason Bourne? To answer that question, he must find the secret buried deep in his own past. And the only one who can help him is a beautiful stranger - the woman who once would do anything to escape him. Plus, hear a preview of Ludlum's riveting thriller The Bourne Ultimatum.
©1987 Robert Ludlum and Bantam Audio Publishing; (P)1987 Bantam Audio Publishing, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Franklin
  • east brunswick, NJ, USA
  • 12-09-03

Then Bourne Identity

The actual book itself may be good, but this audio version is horrible! Between the music and the reader who sounds like he is reading with a mouth full of phlegm it was a nightmare to get through the first 30 minutes.

26 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Robert
  • Mars, PA, United States
  • 07-26-04

If you haven't read the book DON'T SEE THE MOVIE

I can't rate this abridged version since I almost never listen to them. Doug (reviewer on July 7) said he needed to watch the movie to see what the book was about because the abridgement was so bad. Doug, that would be a big mistake. The movie turned Ludlum's noble character into the freak result of the terribly twisted US government - great story in this day and age where its good sport in Hollywood to paint the American govt. as the evil empire. In the book, a CIA agent took a false identity - Jason Bourne - who subsequently took credit for Carlos' murders in an attempt to flush Carlos out and end his career. Note that he wasn't brainwashed or part of a larger group of mummified hit men. When he got shot and left for dead at the start of the book and lost his memory the pieces of that false persona that came back were the result of his being immersed in the role for so long trying to complete his mission. As the book, and ultimately the trilogy unfold there are two story lines; (1)finding and stopping Carlos and (2)David Webb, aka Jason Bourne, finding his way back to his real identity. I personally am on pins and needles waiting to see how Hollywood further bastardizes Ludlum's most popular writing in The Bourne Supremacy. Bottom line - if you want to know what Ludlum wrote there's only one way to do it -- read the book. Audible - where are the unabridged versions of Ludlum's early writings? The Holocraft Covenant, The Matarese Circle, The Bourne trilogy - wonderful writing when Ludlum was at his creative best.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Chris
  • Midland, NC, USA
  • 09-06-07

Disappointing to Ludlum fans

The abbridged version leaves many details out that makes Ludlum writing interesting. The reader's voice and inflections are extremely difficult to understand. I won't get another book by this reader.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Awful abridgement!

I bought this to bring me back up to speed on the Bourne series - I read it so long ago - so I figured an abridged version would be OK. Man is this version awful. Jerky plotlines, poor reading, I hate the music in the background - sounds like a cheesy movie.

Don't waste your time. Buy the book instead. I'm going back to unabridged-only purchases.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Abridged must to be eradicated from Earth!

Because I was in a hurry, I ordered this abridged novel by accident (stupid). If this were unabridged, it would be excellent, however, I find it distasteful that a book which would run several more hours has been boiled down to a little over two. The memory of Ludlum deserves so much more than that. It’s time the publishers stop treating those of us who listen like we are idiots, and start recording ALL the words the Author intended!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Josh
  • Taylorsville, UT, USA
  • 01-20-08

Horrible dramatic reading

The horrible dramatic reading destroys any value that the text itself might have.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jeff
  • Acworth, GA, USA
  • 04-14-08

Hard to Understand

I often could not understand what the orator was saying. I knew the name at the time of purchase of McGaven and liked him as an actor but after listening to the first recording I must admit that I wish I had not bought the other two books. I also found the abridged edition to be fragmented and you can tell some important details are missing. Overall, very disappointing.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mike
  • San Antonio, TX, USA
  • 06-30-04

A Painful Listen

This is the only time throughout my membership with Audible that I wished I had bought the actual book. The narrator will make your skin feel like it is shearing off layer by layer until the last nerve is exposed. What a shame to have dishonored Ludlum's work

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

new reader needed

The reader was awful! The full book is great. this chopped up version was not even the same book. The background music was annoying.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


This abridged version and the other two narrated by Darren McGavin are a waste of time, and money too. I just finished listening to the NEW unabridged version, and it was wonderful.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • CC
  • 08-22-07


I loved the film and I'm sure the full book is great but this version is badly edited, scenes are cut short and the plot doesn't flow at all. Add to the mix the most irritating narrator known to man and you have a disaster. Don't buy this version you will be disapointed.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Audrey
  • 12-09-10

Not as good as the movies

I found this book a bit too fast paced and was very hard to follow didnt enjoy it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Matthew
  • 11-27-08

A work of art!

I've never read the book but, this is ten times better than the movie. Has far more detail and makes much more sence ie. no missed bits, although being an adaptation i'm sure it doesn't contain everything from the 400 page paperback. It certanly kept me intrested. I look forward to hearing the second two books, with the possiblity of actually reading them all after. It wouldn't be the first time!
Excellent must have for anyone who likes action/spy esk novels.
I'd give it 97%

Thank you Audible!

0 of 2 people found this review helpful