He was dragged from the sea, his body riddled with bullets. There are a few clues: a frame of microfilm surgically implanted beneath the skin of his hip; evidence that plastic surgery has altered his face; strange things he says in his delirium, which could be code words. And a number on the film negative that leads to a bank account in Zurich, four million dollars, and a name for the amnesiac: Jason Bourne. Now he is running for his life.
A man with an unknown past and an uncertain future, the target of assassins and at the heart of a deadly puzzle. He's fighting for survival and no one can help him - except the one woman who once wanted to escape him....
©1980 Robert Ludlum (P)2008 Random House Audio
Many years ago I read this and the other Bourne books, I have to say that whilst set in the 70s the books have not lost any of their appeal. The narrator does a good job, not excellent but good hence I've given 4 rather than 5 stars.
The books are VERY different to the films and in my opinion far superior. Bourne is a dark genius and the balance between action and suspense is perfect. The 2nd and 3rd books open up even more of the character as his memory comes back together.
I'd recommend this to anyone who is after a top rate thriller!!
After watching the film I thought I might like the book, after listening to it, I like the book a lot more, in fact it leaves it in the dust. Not the best reading, but not that bad either. Don't think I could play all the characters. I will now get the others in the series.
I love the Bourne character and the stories but I cannot abide Scott Bricks narration.
This may be just a personal choice but I also did not like his style when I listened to Blade Runner. Anyway, make up your own mind and listen to the extract before you purchase! Sorry, Scott
This my first Ludlum book, having seen all the films thought I'd give them ago. Firstly it's big, 3 down loads and obviously the films are completely different. But, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Got a bit muddled with all the characters till I got going, aside from that it was exciting, fast and gripping. Going to get the next one in the series.
As is the case with most books / films the Bourne book series is a thousand times better than the films. Far more invovled with a completely differnt plot. I have read them once now listening to them on Audible.
Not having read the books, my first impression of the audio book was that it started very differently from the film and this theme continued throughout the book.
The narration was clear and easy to understand (I have had books that were poorly narrated), the book was enjoyable but I was left with the impression that if I had read the first book before the file came out, I probably would have never watched the films.
That said, this is a very good start to a very good series and I will definitely collect the rest of the Audio books and the printed books.
I like this series and hope that the future books are as good or better as the plots continue to pile up.
I can't fault the story - Ludlum is Ludlum, you know what you're getting - but I simply could not grow to appreciate the narrator. His melodramatic, overblown style would already have lost him a star or two, but the way he murders those accents (and there's a LOT of accented dialogue in this story)... It's simply impossible to suspend disbelief when the voice you're hearing is a hammy camped up parody of a generic European accent.
I can usually multi-task when I listen to an audiobook, but I had to give this one my full attention.
A man is found adrift with a near-fatal head wound. Desperate to find his true identity he travels the world chased by various shadowy men and women, never knowing who to trust.
I got pretty lost with the story as so many people were introduced and the plot line was quite intricate.
The Bourne Identity.
Reading (or rather listening to) the original version of the Bourne Identy is a must for any true Bourne fan. The movie trilogy from the last decade, are only loosely based on the original novel, as they have updated the history to present time. The 1988 TV series starring Ridchard Chamberlain is much closer to the original book. That said i love them all.
One of the things that make the Bourne Identity so fascinating is Robert Ludlums insight to to history, and that his fictional novels could be true. The only character that is authentic in some aspects is Carlos (the Jackal), but even the even the secretive Black ops program named MEDUSA in this novel, has a true historical counterpart called OPERATION PHOENIX, lead by the then you CIA operative William Colby (who later became head of the CIA). The entire training of Jason Bourne is base on the infamous CIA program named MKULTA.
critic of critics
I couldn't listen to these whilst driving because although the story is well written and the plot is well thought out, the reader was sending me to sleep, not safe when driving.I notice the next two are read by a different reader so I hope these are better I bought the first three all at the same time. I will let you know
"Histrionic performance ruined this book for me!"
I've read The Bourne Identity many times. It's a great thriller - full of excitement, well-paced and well-constructed. It's a little old-fashioned nowadays, I guess, but I was really excited when I saw it was available from Audible and bought it straightaway.
What a disappointment!!! The reader, Scott Brick, who is billed as an outstanding performer, gave an over-the-top histrionic performance which completely ruined this talking book for me!
"And he LOOKED over the BOAT'S RAILING and he SAW ...". Enough of that - you get the picture. Every noun and every verb was declaimed in a tone of almost complete hysteria.
I was driving the car down a country lane while I listened to the start of the book and I had to pull off the road after about 20 minutes and stop the performance. I just couldn't stand any more!
I'll never listen to The Bourne Identity now, sadly -- what a total waste of an excellent book. And why on earth did the reader feel the need to do this?? I'll be watching out for books read by Scott Brick in future -- to make sure I avoid them ...
"Spoilt by the movie"
My interest in the BOURNE stories was created by viewing the movies. I have only hear this one book so far. I could not gain the interest in it that I have had in other Audible books. I will try again with another BOURNE story and try again.
Obtain a new reader. Don't watch the movie first.
The story is involved, this is the way it is meant to be but needs a person with the ability of the author to make the story real in your mind. I didn't find this with this reader.
The movie spoilt this plus the reader. I will leave it for a while till the movies forgotten then try another one.
"Such a pity - but mostly excellent"
Huh? What did he say?
Unfortunately Mr Scott Bri has the tendency to use a soft voice with some parts so if you are listening in a noisy environment, like in a moving vehicle, you tend to lose the las par of some wo. (And possibly some sentences too?)
The book is exceptional. The story much better than the story in the movie but I see it as a bonus (similar stories in the same vein).
I thoroughly enjoyed the story and look forward to the next in the series (Supremacy) BUT I am going to opt for the abridged version narrated by Jeff Harding, even though it is 20 hours shorter. From the sample it sounds acceptable.
The performance of the narrator is mostly top notch but I hate it when people do not finish their words or sentences. If a word is worth saying then say it, dont sa i.
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