The Bourne Identity

I found a good site here that lists all of these books, in order, with a brief synopsis of each one.  Robert Ludlum wrote the original trilogy, starting in 1975, but he died right around the time that the first movie was released (the Matt Damon movie.  There was an older one with Richard Chamberlain in 1988 that was a TV Mini Series)  After Ludlum died, Eric Van Lustbader picked up the series and has since written 7 additional novels, the latest one which was released just 2 months ago in July of 2012.

These books do not follow the movie at all, so if you are looking for more high adventures that follow Matt Damon’s Bourne, you will probably be disappointed.  However, the same premise is present in this first novel of the series.  Jason Bourne; a.k.a David Webb, is an ex-Vietnam Vet who loses his memory and is found in the Mediterranean Sea by a group of fishermen, and then spends the next several months of his life trying to remember who he was.

I won’t give away too many spoilers, but the book differs from the movie in many ways, but the most significant to me was the fact that Jason Bourne wasn’t a “bad-guy hitman” in the book like he is in the movie.  He believes for a while that he is, due to obvious reasons that present themselves in the story, but he finds out later in the book that he is actually an undercover agent of the U.S. Government and only impersonating a hitman.

If you like fast-paced espionage and mystery, you will like this read.  Like I stated, it isn’t the same as the movie, but it is still a great story.  In fact, in many ways, it is a better overall story than the movies were.  And I loved the movies too.  This book was a re-read for me, I read it a few years back, but I wanted to restart the series because I do plan to continue reading the rest of this series and I am anxious to see how Mr. Lustbader writes the Bourne character compared to Mr. Ludlum.

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