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The Bourne Identity (Panther Book) Paperback – 1 Dec 1997

4.2 out of 5 stars 356 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; (Reissue) edition (1 Dec. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586049347
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586049341
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.9 x 11 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (356 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,837,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Probably the best modern spy thriller I have ever read. I love Ludlum's stuff because he challenges you from the first page." -- Pete Waterman (DAILY EXPRESS) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

He has no past. And he may not have a future...The first in the Jason Bourne series from internationally bestselling author Robert Ludlum: 'the world's most read writer' GQ --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: 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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By A Customer on 23 Feb. 2006
Format: 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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Format: VHS Tape
A man presumed dead is discovered near the coast of France by a group of fishermen. He is suffering from amnesia and, having discovered the number to a Swiss bank account embedded into his hip, travels to Zurich in the hopes of discovering his true identity. His life is further complicated upon arriving in Switzerland, where he discovers a safety deposit box containing passports - each of which his and yet each of which for a different country of citizenship – along with a linguistic ability he didn’t know he had, and an exceptional knowledge of martial arts.
And so Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) embarks on a pan-European trip, in the search for his true identity, whilst at the same time avoiding those he had previously worked for, picking up German-born Marie (Franke Potenta) along the way, who of course complicates his life even more.
The Bourne Identity is a more unconventional action film than you will have seen up to now, but what it lacks in audacity it makes up for in ingenuity. Director Doug Liman (Swingers, Go) once again shows his ability to make films that quite simply look pretty damn cool – the pace of the film is great fun for the audience to watch – and he manages to extract some great performances from his cast.
Matt Damon is, admittedly, a somewhat unlikely action hero, but he manages to pull the role of Bourne off with a great deal of panache. The fighting scenes are interestingly conceived, and the lack of formulaic action sequences is a breath of fresh air. Potenta, Cooper and Owen, all of whom match Damon in terms of enthusiasm and energy, also seem to be enjoying the ride.
It’s not the most intellectual film you’ll ever see, by any stretch of the imagination – but at the end of the day, it’s got action, romance and a bit of a laugh…and it’s definitely worth your time.
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