Monday, November 5, 2012

Review: The Bourne Identity (Jason Bourne #1) by Robert Ludlum

Overall Impression: 1/2

Source: Library

Publication Date: 1980

Short Synopsis (Goodreads)Who is Jason Bourne? Is he an assassin, a terrorist, a thief? Why has he got four million dollars in a Swiss bank account? Why has someone tried to murder him?...

Jason Bourne does not know the answer to any of these questions. Suffering from amnesia, he does not even know that he is Jason Bourne. What manner of man is he? What are his secrets? Who has he killed?

My Review: A friend and I have a mini  book club together and this was her pick. I enjoyed the movies immensely, but might not have picked this up otherwise on my own. 

After maybe the first page this differs from the movie and the difference grows ever wider from there. At first, this was a huge distraction for me. I liked the Bourne that Matt Damon had presented and how the story was going things were pretty skewed. And Marie! Try a complete 180 difference. In the book she's a red-headed Canadian economist in Europe for a conference when she runs into Bourne.

I don't want to give plot points away, but let me just reiterate that it was very distracting for me how different things were (though I did like this Marie better, and she actually is a great help to Jason, not just a tag along) but then the story grabbed me and took me for an awesome ride! In the end I like the book a lot better than the movie, and the only conceivable reason that I can see why they would change things (drastically, only the sketch of things is the same) is because it might have been too complicated to present in 2 hours in film.

As it is, this book is over 500 pages long. It took me a little longer than usual to finish it because I've been pretty busy, but it's also kind of exhausting. I can't imagine what it must be like to not really know who you are, to have all of these illegal and dangerous talents, and to have people trying very hard to kill you. As I said before, I didn't like the Jason in this book very much at the beginning, but after a bit you see the good, if somewhat still confused side of him, and the story became much more enjoyable and real for me. 

This book was originally published in 1980, and you can tell how some of the technology references were a bit dated. They still sounded complicated, though, and it was impressive how they were able to manipulate the system, so it didn't matter all that much.

Also, there's a bad guy that Jason's after and that's the main driver (other than getting his memory back) to the plot and I was all set for it to tie up at the end....but it doesn't. It sets things up in such a way that I'm satisfied (much more so than in the really) but now I have to read the rest of the series to find out what happens. 

Apparently there are only three Bourne books that were written by Robert Ludlum and the rest were by someone else using his ideas (that's the impression I've gotten). My goal is in the next little while to read the original trilogy, but I just may stop there. 

This was a great thriller, much better than the movie once you get past the beginning. All the same, I liked having seen the movie first (though not too recently) because it gave me the cool action scenes that I wouldn't have been able to create in my head (yeah...not that coordinated). Recommended for those who like action, intrigue, and a bit of a love story.

1 comment:

  1. Vivian the Spirit says: Ooooh, I agree, I'd probably not pick up this book by myself either! I think it's great that you still gave it a shot, though! but nonetheless, heck! that's long!!! :o I don't think I could keep up something like that nowadays, haha! Great review, Scarlett!

    (p.s. Happy Movember! Your adorable mustaches are perfect for this month!!) POOF!


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