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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is how a thriller should read
There is a cliché that says a book is a real page turner and it certainly applies to this book. I picked it up because I loved the film and I imagined the book would be just as good. The novel, however, leaves the film standing. Don't expect a movie tie-in because this is certainly not that. Jason Bourne is found floating in the ocean and that's about where the...
Published on 5 Jan 2003 by Curns

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So much to enjoy, and so much left to satisfy
Robert Ludlum sets, in this book, the tone and pace right off the bat. The story rips along, the plot is a cracking page-turner, the pace is almost eye-watering. And yet... And yet, what? In the analysis, in the end, you kind of get the feeling that that's EXACTLY where it's at for Robert Ludlum. He's an action man. He's falling over himself to carry you to the...
Published on 4 July 2011 by Mr. I. Garforth


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is how a thriller should read, 5 Jan 2003
By 
Curns "curns" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Bourne Identity (Paperback)
There is a cliché that says a book is a real page turner and it certainly applies to this book. I picked it up because I loved the film and I imagined the book would be just as good. The novel, however, leaves the film standing. Don't expect a movie tie-in because this is certainly not that. Jason Bourne is found floating in the ocean and that's about where the similarity starts and finishes. Some great scenes in Zurich and Paris are the only other resemblances to the film.
I'd never read a Robert Ludlum book before but this has me searching for the next. It's written at a pace that keeps you hooked, the story is much more complex than the film and the characterisation and plot is a joy to read. I was hooked to the very last page.
On the downside, if you have seen the film one of the crucial story twists is known to you. If you haven't seen the movie - read the book first for this is how a thriller should read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic by the Master, 8 Nov 2002
By 
A. Lee (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Bourne Identity (Paperback)
I bought this book after having watched the movie and having finished it in a matter of 3 days I can say the two bear little resemblance save for names and a title. Robert Ludlum is a master at his craft and this book is riveting. His attention to detail shows in every paragraph he writes. Jason Bourne is found, drifting at sea, shot 4 times and near death, with no memory of who or what he is. His voyage of discovery takes him to Zurich, via Paris and finally to the States, all the time discovering just a little bit more about the man he 'thinks' he is - or rather, the man everyone else thinks he is. This book is packed with action, some romance and enough close-calls to keep you on the edge of your seat.
If you've seen the movie, go out and get this book to see what the real thing is like - there's just no comparison between the two.
A highly-intelligent, spellbinding read that will have you back at the bookstore in no time buying everything else this man has ever written.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bourne Identity, 23 Feb 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: The Bourne Identity (Unbound)
Gripping and thought-provoking thriller, but only if you like to think! Mindless readers should not attempt this intricate story of an amnesiac who tracks down his own history from clues he doesn't even realise he's picked up, efficiently surviving asassination attempts without knowing why "they" are out to get him, or how he acquired these deadly skills. Those who found the film differing wildly from the plot of the book should track down the original film starring Richard Chamberlain and Jaclyn Smith, far superior to the latest Matt Damon scramble.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book makes the film a painful experience..., 1 Aug 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Bourne Identity (Paperback)
I too, like many people have offered reviews, saw the film before i read the book. After being pleasantly satisfied with what hollywood had to offer i was sceptical as to what the book could offer that the film hadn't already...
It took only the first few chapters for that scepticism to wash away, much like Bourne's limp body in the opening of both book and film. This book offer's more depth, twists, morale dilemmas, teasing questions, and surprising answers than the film could ever have done, even if it were to run for abother 10 hours. I ask you, in dilluded confusion, where was Carlos in the film? The most gripping, intriguing and heartwarming elements of the story are elated from the film for absolutely no reason!
"Bourne's" history is, in itself an intruguin story of loss and dealing with it, and the knock on effect leading to the pier in Marsaille is just bewildering.
The depth and detail of which Ludlum presents for Carlos' army of old men, and the tedious encounters around the analyst's conference room in the 'mighty' USA CIA headquarters, lend a delightful and delicate intricacy to a world unknown to all that read. Every strategic decision Bourne makes, based on his training, lends a new dimension to the stereotpyically 'Muscle-bound' world, that we so readily associate (through hollywood, i presume) to a spy.
Now for my complaints, of which i only have one:
Ludlum hints at the identity of a 'certain character' to be significant and, at the very least, surprising... Why was this abandoned?
Ludlum is, without doubt, the most accomplished Spy thriller writer of this century, and The Bourne Identity is his finest work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So much to enjoy, and so much left to satisfy, 4 July 2011
By 
Robert Ludlum sets, in this book, the tone and pace right off the bat. The story rips along, the plot is a cracking page-turner, the pace is almost eye-watering. And yet... And yet, what? In the analysis, in the end, you kind of get the feeling that that's EXACTLY where it's at for Robert Ludlum. He's an action man. He's falling over himself to carry you to the point where he can tell you about the next broken bone. Or gun shot. Or car chase.

And that's great, but there's something about his style where - and maybe it's just something from a bygone age - but it just hasn't aged that well. I enjoyed this book, I really did. I just think there were too many missed opportunities - too much missed about moral question marks, too much 'blind faith' and love in adversity. Too many, bizarrely, introspection in italics. The spooks are conveniently just slightly incompetent, and yet somehow worthily blameless. Really? They do some pretty dark stuff, and I want them to be held to account. Bourne does some pretty dark stuff, yet kind of waltzes through it. The bad guy doesn't seem to do THAT much dark, and yet it doesn't come across as satisfyingly complex as I'm making it sound.

Nice try. But not quite...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest ever thriller novels., 24 Jun 2011
The original and best Jason Bourne novel, although if you're expecting it to follow the events of the film you'll be disappointed. The only similarity between this and the film is the plot device of Bourne waking up in the sea with amnesia. After that it's a nigh on a completely differently tale. Not that this is a bad thing. Ludlum's version is hands down the best of the two.

In such places as Marseille, Zurich, and Paris, Bourne races around trying to find out if he was a bad guy in previous life or a good one. Along the way he's hounded mercilessly by terrorists and also people from his own government, and he has to juggle all this with his blossoming `friendship' with economist Marie St Jacques (a character who gets much better treatment here than in the movie).

The book is simplistic at first but gradually becomes very complex. It's brilliantly woven together by the author though. You can read the book several times over and still find yourself unable to remember which part of the plot comes next. Dud chapters are non-existent. It's gripping all the way through.

It also has a terrific bad guy in the guise of the mysterious `Carlos', not to mention a whole bunch of other intriguing characters who pop up throughout the story. I refer to the likes of the unnamed `man with the gold spectacles', Johann, and my personal favourite, Rene the fashion designer.

Although set in the early eighties - near enough - this never detracts from the enjoyment. If anything, the lack of modern technology available to the principal characters only adds to the suspense. It's brilliantly refreshing to read something like this where mobile phones and the like don't yet exist.

Of all the books I've ever read, and I've read a LOT, this is my second favourite of all time. It's just a fantastic example of how to write a suspenseful thriller. Even if the film versions weren't to your liking, you might want to give this a try.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go Jason Bourne!, 27 Aug 2010
This review is from: The Bourne Identity (Paperback)
This book is great,full of action and you can't put this book down. The book was very different to the film but I liked both of them. From the start to the end this book was very gripping as he is an amnesiac who is trying to find his identity. Loved this book and I can't wait to read the Bourne Supremacy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning storry at breakneck speed, 21 Nov 2002
By 
S. Van Der Made (BREDA, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Bourne Identity (Paperback)
I've read quite some spy novels but this novel is absolutly a leage on it's own. The story is one where every page keeps giving the reader new developments or a hint to keep you flipping pages until the end of the book.
Jason Bourne has no clue who he is as he drifted on a beach wounded almost fataly.A doctor works on his healing process and he slowly starts reagaining some small clues about who he was. Some clues he gets are a bank account, his ability to dis and reasemble weapons. After a few months he is ready to leave and goes to Marsielle. From this point in the book and onwards the story build and builds until the end. I won't give you more hints on the contents but the revalations and speed of the story are astonishing. An absolute must for the spy novel fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The bourne identity, 17 Feb 2013
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Preceded the film it was more exciting than the book a lot more action happened in film good read though
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 22 Oct 2012
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Fast delivery, good quality and well packaged. Got to love the original Trilogy! IHave to say Amazon is the best if you want hard copies of your books!
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The Bourne Identity
The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum (Paperback - 6 May 2004)
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