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am 21. April 1999
This is the book that proves that Robert Ludlum is the master of the spy genre. Always interested in plot lines that throw unsuspecting characters into the path of intrigue & danger, Ludlum takes the concept to new heights in this novel. Not only does the character not know what is going on, he doesn't even know who he is! What he does know is that he's a dead man if he doesn't figure it all out pretty soon. The first paragraph of this novel may be the most exciting opening lines of any story ever written, and Ludlum's pacing and style were never better. I often get bored with spy novels (LeCarre wears me out) because the characters are slow and stupid. Ludlum's protagonist (Jason Bourne) is tough, smart, and clever, but very realistic. He does not make stupid mistakes (as any believable spy would not), but when hit or shot, he suffers as much as any of us would. If you fancy yourself a lover of spy mysteries, you must read this book! It is the only such book I have ever truly found to be a "page-turner". (The first time I read it, I couldn't put it down until 4AM)
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am 4. September 2012
Full of action and thrill, confirmed by all the reviews here.
What’s bothering me ist the fact that a real person of contemporary history, Carlos, the most wanted terrorist in his time, ist part oft he fiction. He is described as a vain killer who doesn’t tolerate a competitor trying to throw him of the throne, like Jason Bourne was allegedly supposed to do. Carlos is/was a politically motivated terrorist and not a contract assassin as depicted by Ludlum. Fiction in a novel, of course, but keep it to fictitious characters. That’s why I prefer the movie over the book.
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am 21. März 2005
Selten habe ich ein Buch dermaßen atemlos gelesen wie dieses. Selten habe ich auch unter derartigem Schlafmangel gelitten! "The Bourne Identity" ist eine rasante Bobfahrt durch einen undurchschaubaren Eiskanal, bei der hinter jeder Kurve eine neue Überraschung lauert und bei der man sich bis zum Ende (oder jedenfalls ganz kurz davor) ständig fragt: Wer zum Henker IST Jason Bourne? Glücklicherweise hat das Buch bis auf den Titel nichts mit dem gleichnamigen Film gemein, den ich ebenso glücklicherweise erst danach gesehen habe. Schwere Enttäuschung, kann ich dazu nur sagen. Aber ein intelligentes Buch, das neben Action eben auch und ganz grundlegend auf Psychologie setzt, ist eben nicht verfilmbar.
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am 1. Oktober 1999
The Bible is a living book which inspires and transforms whovever reads it meticulously, likewise the Bourne Identity is an enigma with all branch of knowledge. I read it fourteen times i watched the movie 20 times and yet they aren't monotonous. Every single day i read it i recognize new meaning. Many reviewers are forgetting the extarordinary talents of Dr George p Washburn. In fact he is the main figure ressurrecting David Webb created by the monk David Abbot. As i said this is a book of all branch of knowledge another figure is Dr Mo Panov the psychiatrist. This book Ludlum might have wriitten it in a coma under special guidance by angels. I have never read a book which all the chapters are gripping and engrossing. Ludlums stylistic is far beyond unique. Cain the international assasin hunted by unseen men and armies is so elusive regardless of his amnesiac condition. Actually the book is even more thrilling by the fact this man has so much professionalism in him that he knows not thyself but instinct which is untaught ability commands him. The fact that he traces things thru images and small clues is appallling. The very words of Washburn proved true in the sense that he was not helpless he will find his way. There are many things that this book contains that it will ever reign supreme in the 21st century. I have read the other two series which are very good but far behind the Bourne Identity. You learn a lot from Banks hospitals to intelligence network oprerations. This book transforms one to a chameleon. It proves people wrong such personalities like Alexander Conklin. It makes people realize they are expendable such as General Villiers. The major thing is not the theme but the means of survival. Jason Bourne is beyond genius. The definition of genius is the abiulity to reduce the complexity to simplicity. What Bourne did was paving the labyrinth into a smooth road. I have been affected by the book in the fact i cannot read other Ludlum Books, the only book i managed to read twice was the matarese circle. All the rest i end up on the 20th page and i put it down. Ludlum should quit writing unless he will ressurrect again to his talents of 1980. I have many questions to the book and i wish i had his email because there are characters such as chernak i never completely understood his role of sending envelopes. And was he communicating with bourne before bourne became amnesiac. I would like ludlum to answer this question whether Bbourne was contacting with chernak prior his five bullets shot on that ship
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am 24. Juni 2000
This book, which I read when it first came out in 1980, used to be my automatic choice for best thriller/suspense novel ever. Although I have not thought about this for years, it is hard to think any other book of this type that may have equaled or surpassed this one. It is both a simple and complex story of a covert action gone wrong, where both the good guys and the bad guys are, for a long time, lost as to what is going on. It is also one of the greatest amnesia thrillers ever. The twists, travels, action, and surprises all follow quickly in a long and satisfyingly fast moving narrative. This book had such an impact on me that it caused me to automatically buy every new Ludlum book since in hardcover the moment it became available. Unfortunately, I have found Ludlum dissapointing after the very next book, "The Parsifal Mosaic". It seems to me that he, after becoming the top man in his field, became rather indulgent and conventional in the management of supporting characters and of plot resolutions. Yet I will still pre-order the new one coming in October! Incidentally, let me emphasize that "pre 'The Aquitaine Progression' Ludlum" is still unmatcheable in the thriller/suspense novel field.
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am 20. Februar 1999
The first book in a related series, The Bourne Identity recounts the world of organized crime and conspiracy, in which a man who has lost his memory is being hunted down by assassins for reasons unknown to him. Featuring and based on true excerpts from the New York Times, TBI is unrestrained violence, suspense and apprehension at Ludlum's best.
The opening scene depicts a struggle between two men on a boat, during which one is hurtled overboard by a bullet searing his skull and is presumed dead. An alcoholic village doctor miraculously manages to save the man's life, yet finds out the injury has erased his memory. The man eventually discovers formidable skills such as the expert knowledge of weaponry and martial arts embedded in him, and starts to seriously ponder his identity. When he reaches the closest city and suddenly becomes a target for numerous hit-men, he realizes that using these pernicious skills is his sole chance of survival.
Boasting a plot which doesn't pause for a minute, TBI will not cease to keep you on the edge of your seat up until its shuddering climax. Prepare for a hair-raising and bloodcurdling reading experience.
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am 31. Mai 2000
I picked up THE BOURNE IDENTITY because of speculation of it being made into a film, with top Hollywood names being banded about for the role of Jason Bourne. The story is summarized well above and in other reviews, so I'll only give comment. It was really a great thrill ride. There is geniune suspense through out the book, leaving you feeling what Bourne does as he discovers more and more of what he has forgotten, or thinks he has, about himself. This will make a good film. But, then we get to the ending, which was built up to extremely well but left me feeling robbed and cheated. Not good for any story. Without any revealtion I'll just say this book is one of three featuring Bourne. I haven't read any farther yet but plan to, with some reluctance though. The ending just did not support itself; the level of suspense you feel wants a proper ending right then. But don't let this stop you from picking up THE BOURNE IDENTITY. Just prepare yourself for a little longer journey.
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am 10. Februar 1997
The concept was great--a man with no identity but with tantalizing clues to a dangerous past. I loved the story line but felt that the book should have been condensed. The main character was too introspective and whining. It seemed out of character with his supposedly "tough-guy" past and experiences. I skipped paragraph after paragraph of his monotonous reflecting and self-berating. I do not recommend recommend this book
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am 5. August 1997
After hearing about this book for all these years, I figured what the heck, and I got a used copy to read on a long flight. I wasn't really expecting much. I thought it would be like a John Grisham novel. BOY, WAS I WRONG. Not only is the action and characterization amazing, but the information you pick up is absolutely fascinating. I kept looking for an excuse to put this long book down, but I couldn't find one. I'd read a chapter and I'd learn how Swiss bank accounts work. I'd say, "That was cool, but I bet the next chapter won't have anything as neat as that." Then I'd read the next chapter, and I'd learn how to *really* impersonate someone, and I'd say, "That was cool, but I bet the next chapter won't have anything as neat as that." But it did. And so on and so on. You find out about so many really interesting things. It's a novel and an education
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am 3. September 1997
I only dock it down to an 8 because it can be hard to follow at times. This is by no means a "light read" - this is what you read if you want to spend some free time being the James Bond From Hell, In Hell. Actually, Bourne is better than Bond - more believable. Far more. And more complex. You will get sucked in, you will have trouble putting this book down, and you will learn how to do some of the shadier things in life - like hide in plain sight.

If you get stuck somewhere in the book, don't worry - just take a deep breath (you've probably been holding your breath, waiting for what happens next), and re-read the paragraph or page that lost you.

Once you've finished the book, give it some time to sink in, then read it again - you'll find something new you missed last time.
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