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!!
"Nothing like the film"
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.
"Trickier than the film"
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 - History in Veils"
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.
"Much better than the Film"
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.
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
"Bourne series Book 1 (not what I expected)"
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.
"Can't get past the accents"
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.
Although the story as a whole is good, I really found this hard to follow along with. Perhaps tainted by seeing the films first and may be expectations I set were too high for this novel, that I have wanted to read for some time. By the end I was wishing it to finish, rather than anticipating the conclusion.
"A great story but a dreadful narrator"
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
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