Has anyone read the Bourne series?

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DeltaOne
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Has anyone read the Bourne series?

Postby DeltaOne » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:59 pm UTC

I had to put down The Bourne Identity in May last year due to finals and forgot about it until October. When I picked it up again I just started tearing through it and I'm loving the whole series. Nobody else I've asked even knew that they were books before they were movies. Has anyone else read any of them? I'm just interested in knowing if I'm a minority on the forums, too.

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Jumble
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Re: Has anyone read the Bourne series?

Postby Jumble » Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:53 pm UTC

Well, I've read them. I'm a bit ambivalent about them, to be honest. I really liked the films (although I'm in two minds about the plan to squeeze yet another movie out of the franchise). I'd read the books before I saw the films (at least the ones really by Ludlum - not the rip-offs), so I was surprised that I enjoyed the films more than the books. I usually find that goes the other way, and if the book existed first it tends to be better than the film (see below for notable exception). Of course, tie-in books of movies are a different question (for your own sanity DON'T read the book of Serenity - I paid 10p in a jumble sale and I wanted my money back).

Now I think about it I think I found the characterisation in the books grated on me by book three. Everyone was a either good guy or bad guy. The hoods might as well have been wearing black stetsons so that Bourne could shoot them more easily. I liked the shades of grey in the films, although I thought they could have developed that further. That said, the books weren't bad (and I'm vaguely thinking about re-reading them), they just didn't paint a character for Bourne that I actually believed. I also thought that by 'Ultimatum' Ludlum was starting to dip below the sanity event horizon.

On a similar theme, for all of their faults Ludlum's books were, IMHP, Shakespeare compared the anything by Tom Clancy. I really enjoyed the films so tried a couple of books, and they are total arse-gravy. The bit where Ryan saves the Prince & Princess of Wales, then provides Charles with marriage-guidance counselling was one of the many low-points. So my advice would be avoid Clancy, enjoy Ludlum, then go back to the films.
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Re: Has anyone read the Bourne series?

Postby TheAmazingRando » Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:18 am UTC

I read Identity and Supremacy back when I was 14 or so. Loved them at the time, but looking back I can't see much appeal. Even then, it bothered me that Marie was characterized almost solely as the hapless victim Bourne needs to protect. For what it is, though, it isn't bad. I saw the movies later and they changed the plots around a lot, but I don't think they were any worse.

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Re: Has anyone read the Bourne series?

Postby JayDee » Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:20 am UTC

DeltaOne wrote:Has anyone else read any of them? I'm just interested in knowing if I'm a minority on the forums, too.
I have. If you search the forums you will find that at least a few other forumites have, too. They've come up in the movie adaptions thread or book series threads or somewhere.

I was given the Bourne Identity a while back, having had seen the first two of the Matt Damon movies. Loved it. The movies go off and do their own thing, and are great entertainment, but with the Bourne Identity I think the book is much better. The movie seems like an adaptation of half the book. Not the first half, but the top half, the book being more intricate.

I eventually read the two Ludlum penned sequels, and a bunch more of his thrillers. They are very formulaic books, but I don't see that as a problem. Even if the twists and betrayals and double agents are fairly easy to guess, they still make for fun reading. I'd rather read an action scene written by Robert Ludlum that watch one filmed in the style of the recent Bourne adaptions any day. That said, The Bourne Identity is the only book of his I've reread, and the only one I'm likely to.

TheAmazingRando wrote:Even then, it bothered me that Marie was characterized almost solely as the hapless victim Bourne needs to protect.
Really? From memory the recent movie turned Marie into that, but in the book she was certainly more than a damsel in distress. Yes, he rescues her. But she isn't a weak character. She talks sense into him, and her know-how and connections are put to important use.

The second and third novels I've only read the once, but from memory Marie doesn't get demoted to victim in those either. Doesn't she give Bourne's former employers the run around at the espionage game in the Bourne Supremacy?
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TheAmazingRando
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Re: Has anyone read the Bourne series?

Postby TheAmazingRando » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:09 am UTC

JayDee wrote:Really? From memory the recent movie turned Marie into that, but in the book she was certainly more than a damsel in distress. Yes, he rescues her. But she isn't a weak character. She talks sense into him, and her know-how and connections are put to important use.

The second and third novels I've only read the once, but from memory Marie doesn't get demoted to victim in those either. Doesn't she give Bourne's former employers the run around at the espionage game in the Bourne Supremacy?
Eh, I could be wrong, I don't really remember the plot points of the novels, that was just the impression I got at the time.

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feedme
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Re: Has anyone read the Bourne series?

Postby feedme » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:41 am UTC

I tried reading them one summer after Identity came out in theaters. I don't know if it was because I was distracted at the beach or not, but I just found the whole way the book was....worded(?) to be hard to follow through and stay on point. If memory serves correct I recall that it had loads of details involving his surroundings and traveling.

Maybe if I'd read up until something started happening, my view would be different.

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Re: Has anyone read the Bourne series?

Postby Joeldi » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:30 am UTC

I read Identity a while back, and after about the first third, I had absolutely no idea what was actually going on. I don't think I'm good at thrillers.
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DeltaOne
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Re: Has anyone read the Bourne series?

Postby DeltaOne » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:22 pm UTC

Joeldi wrote:I don't think I'm good at thrillers.

No, you're probably fine with thrillers, it's just that this is a really long book and it gets super boring for spans of 50-100 pages about twice throughout.


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