Matt Damon is bringing Robert Ludlum’s priemier thriller novel to the
big screen this summer (2002). Twenty years after its first edition, the book
has lost none of its edge or appeal. Full of contradictions and twists the plot
barrels along at full speed from the first paragraph.
The Bourne Identity opens with a man being shot and tossed overboard
in a raging storm. From there he’s dropped off at the feet of a drunken
doctor that heals his body and discovers how much is missing from his mind.
A case of amnesia keeps Bourne from knowing anything before he woke up in the
doctor’s office. Strange facts about him begin to surface and send him
to Zürich to find answers.
Falling down one rabbit hole after another, the book’s mystery man finds
himself being chased over the European continent by the usual cast of deadly
figures. Along the way, he develops a relationship with the woman he was forcing
to cover his escape. The two of them try to unravel the meanings behind his
nightmares, which leads to more questions and more danger. Pursing who Bourne
really is and why he behaves like a trained assassin finally land him back at
the place he was created. The whole time he is pursued by Carlos, the killer
he is trying to trap.
A true page-turner that refuses to let you put it down, The Bourne Identity
shows why Ludlum was one of the best spy/thriller authors ever published. He
takes all the trademark clichés of the genre and puts them together in
a way that makes them seem almost natural. His writing will never win critical
acclaim, but it has won him fans in over forty countries. It’s a fun read
and one I recommend.
Ed. Note: You can also read a review of the movie, starring Matt Damon, here