The Bourne Identity


Author: Robert Ludlum

Title: The Bourne Identity

Genre: Adventure

Publication Date: 1980

Number of Pages: 535

Geographical Setting: Europe and America

Time Period: 1975

Series: The Bourne Trilogy

Plot Summary:  An unconscious man is pulled from the Mediterranean Sea.  His skull is split open, his body is riddled with bullets, and he appears near death.  Nursed to health again by a drunken surgeon, he wakes to find his memory gone.  Aided only by a piece of microfilm imbedded in his leg, and a handful of memory fragments, he travels to Europe under a false name in hopes of discovering his identity.  Yet the more he learns, the less he understands.  He is pursued by mystery assassins, shot at in public places, and called by strangers Jason Bourne, Cain, and Delta.  Who is he really?  What is his true name?  Most importantly, what is his connection to the notorious assassin known only as Carlos?  The more Jason uncovers the more certain he becomes that his past will kill him.  In the maelstrom of confused memories and conspiracy theories only Marie St. Jacques, a brilliant doctor of economics might be able to help Bourne untangle his memory and discover the truth.

Subject Headings:  Amnesia, Assassins, Internal intrigue, Spies

Appeal:  fast-paced, dramatic, engaging, series (characters), well-developed, action-oriented, cinematic, explicitly violent, flashbacks, investigative, plot-centered, plot twists, contemporary, political, chilling, dangerous, darker, gritty, hard-edged, paranoid, psychological, suspenseful, accessible, direct

3 terms that best describe this book:  Cinematic, Psychological, Suspenseful

Similar Works/Authors:

Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs, and Operations in the 9/11 World by William Arkin – This book examines and critiques the U.S.’s approach to intelligence and secrecy in the light of modern terrorism.

Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner – A somewhat critical history of the CIA, it highlights critical moments and some of the company’s greatest failings.

Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent by Fred Burton – This memoir delves deep into the inner workings of the U.S. counterterrorism department.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Remote Control by Andy McNab – The first book in another action packed series rife with assassins, spies, and excitement.

Transfer of Power by Mitch Rapp – The first book in yet another series about a CIA operative.  Politics, terrorists, and high stakes will keep the reader interested.

Eye of the Storm by Jack Higgins – The first book in the Sean Dillon series of thrillers, it focuses on political assassinations.

Name:  Bethany Bates

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