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The Bourne Identity: Jason Bourne Series, Book 1

Narrated by: Scott Brick
Series: Jason Bourne Series, Book 1
Length: 22 hrs and 19 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (182 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

He was dragged from the sea, his body riddled with bullets. There are a few clues: a frame of microfilm surgically implanted beneath the skin of his hip; evidence that plastic surgery has altered his face; strange things he says in his delirium, which could be code words. And a number on the film negative that leads to a bank account in Zurich, four million dollars, and a name for the amnesiac: Jason Bourne. Now he is running for his life.

A man with an unknown past and an uncertain future, the target of assassins and at the heart of a deadly puzzle. He's fighting for survival and no one can help him - except the one woman who once wanted to escape him....

©1980 Robert Ludlum (P)2008 Random House Audio

What listeners say about The Bourne Identity: Jason Bourne Series, Book 1

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

complicated but enthralling

despite the fact i have actually seen the movie series before attempting the book it has been equaling gripping. given the complicated plot i may have to listen to it all again once i get through the series.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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it's hard to concentrate on the story

I found it hard to concentrate listing to the audio. The story was great better than the movie

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nothing like the movie

Struggled to finish. I liked it but it was so long and conveluted. I would like to hear all 3 I hope the other 2 are easier to follow.

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  • ben
  • 10-11-2017

a struggle

i found this book frustrating and slow. i was expecting a lot more action. i found the narrative frustrating as well.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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excellent book

Great to listen to. Loved the complexity of the story and the characters. A bit wordy in spots, especially the long political discussions. But overall excellent, a very enjoyable read. The movie really did justice to the book too.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story

Narrator puts a little too much into it, imho. Listen to the Brits read James Bond.
This is a bit dated (the worst thing a woman can be is a "whore!") but still a great story.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Paula
  • 07-05-2012

Histrionic performance ruined this book for me!

I've read The Bourne Identity many times. It's a great thriller - full of excitement, well-paced and well-constructed. It's a little old-fashioned nowadays, I guess, but I was really excited when I saw it was available from Audible and bought it straightaway.

What a disappointment!!! The reader, Scott Brick, who is billed as an outstanding performer, gave an over-the-top histrionic performance which completely ruined this talking book for me!

"And he LOOKED over the BOAT'S RAILING and he SAW ...". Enough of that - you get the picture. Every noun and every verb was declaimed in a tone of almost complete hysteria.

I was driving the car down a country lane while I listened to the start of the book and I had to pull off the road after about 20 minutes and stop the performance. I just couldn't stand any more!

I'll never listen to The Bourne Identity now, sadly -- what a total waste of an excellent book. And why on earth did the reader feel the need to do this?? I'll be watching out for books read by Scott Brick in future -- to make sure I avoid them ...

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Phillip
  • 22-04-2012

Such a pity - but mostly excellent

Huh? What did he say?
Unfortunately Mr Scott Bri has the tendency to use a soft voice with some parts so if you are listening in a noisy environment, like in a moving vehicle, you tend to lose the las par of some wo. (And possibly some sentences too?)

The book is exceptional. The story much better than the story in the movie but I see it as a bonus (similar stories in the same vein).
I thoroughly enjoyed the story and look forward to the next in the series (Supremacy) BUT I am going to opt for the abridged version narrated by Jeff Harding, even though it is 20 hours shorter. From the sample it sounds acceptable.

The performance of the narrator is mostly top notch but I hate it when people do not finish their words or sentences. If a word is worth saying then say it, dont sa i.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • RaEdHei
  • 09-12-2015

Scott Brick improvised by far too much!

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes. The book is great; a page turner. But this audio book is a bit annoying. Why? See below.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yep.

What three words best describe Scott Brick’s performance?

Improvisation, Dissident, Character.

Any additional comments?

Scott's performance isn't bad, but it's more an interpretation than reading the book. Certain passages got completely altered by Scott, which makes it hard to follow when listening to the audio book and reading the book at the same time. His characterization is believable, though. The story comes to live. But as I said it's not what Robert Ludlum wrote.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • mr kieran j murphy
  • 14-06-2020

a really good story

this was a really good story and I did not see how it would all fit together till the end really. definitely worth a listen. make sure you listen in order.

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  • Katarina
  • 10-05-2020

Disappointingly boring, movie far superior

I really love all of the Bourne movies so I thought I'd treat myself to the original, assuming that the book, as is usually the case, 'would be better'. It took me a while to realize it was in fact worse, far worse, than the movie - mostly because I automatically pictured Matt Damon, the movie score and its fast pacing while listening to this book, which for a while hid its actual lack of all of those things. But then I found myself taking longer and longer breaks in between listens, with a growing resistance to the idea of picking it up again. In the end, I couldn't even bring myself to finish it even though there were "only" about 4-5 hours left. So I skipped to the end and listened to the epilogue just to finally know what actually happened, and then was done with it. This was a very tedious listen and an extremely boring story. Only the introductory chapter has merit and promises everything the movie delivered. The rest of the book is way too long: it has people talking-talking-talking in very uninteresting meetings, there aren't a lot of action scenes, many (many!) phrases are repeated over and over and over (C is for Charlie...) and the love story isn't romantic at all but more of an absurdly ridiculous case of Stockholm syndrome. The main plot line revolves around a fashion house being the front of a terrorist organisation, so Bourne has to do some shopping and find out who are the actual terrorist liaisons by scaring some fashion store employees. I'm already yawning again just writing this review. I really don't get all of the high praise this story has gotten and I am very impressed with the movies' script writers, that they were able to write those stories based on such a bland original. All in all, these are many hours I regret to never get back. If you're looking for a thrilling action-packed Bourne story, skip this one. Do not recommend.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Daniel
  • 29-01-2020

I should have read it before the movies

I was looking for something "real" as I was coming off a fantasy binge and thought "why not Jason Bourne?" It seems to be a problem that I rate Matt Damon so highly as I could not forget the movie and it spoilt the book for me. So, if you have NOT seen the movies then definitely buy the book. Its high paced, believable action. Great story, fun twists and full of intrigue. If you HAVE seen the movies, move on little crickets, move on....

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  • Růpěrt
  • 11-07-2019

Superb book by R. Ludlum, superbly read!

Having much enjoyed the trilogy in theater, this opens the true history of the man known as Jason Bourne. Well read, as only Scott Brick can. A masterpiece of 3 by Robert Ludlum.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-06-2018

Not the movie

Very enjoyable book. The movie is not based on the book in any meaningful way.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 18-03-2017

This book has not aged well

Any additional comments?

I have read this book many times, although not in recent years, and it has always been one of my favorites. It just didn't work for me in audio format - Jason Bourne's frantic and repetitive thoughts and mantras came off very strange, which is of course a failing of the author.. But the narrator did not do Marie well at all - she sounded very stilted.

In short, I was disappointed.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mukuka Mwamba
  • 25-03-2015

A gripping story read by an excellent narrator.

If you could sum up The Bourne Identity: Jason Bourne Series, Book 1 in three words, what would they be?

Intriguing, Extreme and a Masterpiece.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jason Bourne. The story presents him as broken and yet extremely capable. One can't help wanting him to succeed in his journey to discover who he is.

Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?

Jason Bourne.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The Bourne Identity: The assassin who was not!

Any additional comments?

Carlos should have been given a more active role in the story. Bourne's episodes of "blinding" recollections that appeared ti incapacitate in quite frequently seemed rather extreme at times.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris
  • 10-12-2012

Can't get past the accents

I can't fault the story - Ludlum is Ludlum, you know what you're getting - but I simply could not grow to appreciate the narrator. His melodramatic, overblown style would already have lost him a star or two, but the way he murders those accents (and there's a LOT of accented dialogue in this story)... It's simply impossible to suspend disbelief when the voice you're hearing is a hammy camped up parody of a generic European accent.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Ross
  • 02-10-2012

A great story but a dreadful narrator

I love the Bourne character and the stories but I cannot abide Scott Bricks narration.



This may be just a personal choice but I also did not like his style when I listened to Blade Runner. Anyway, make up your own mind and listen to the extract before you purchase! Sorry, Scott

14 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • MJY
  • 02-02-2015

Great story, terrible narration.

I saw a few other comments similar to this but decided to purchase anyway, annoyed that I did. The narrating starts off fine, however when more characters are introduced (specifically anyone female or French) the reading is beyond comical and is actually annoying, the same generic and weird accent used for anyone who isn't American.

The story itself is very good and differs from the film, so I've actually bought the book as I want to finish it. Purchase at your own risk!!!

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • carolyn
  • 30-06-2013

I'm a Ludlum virgin

This my first Ludlum book, having seen all the films thought I'd give them ago. Firstly it's big, 3 down loads and obviously the films are completely different. But, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Got a bit muddled with all the characters till I got going, aside from that it was exciting, fast and gripping. Going to get the next one in the series.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ADAM
  • 03-01-2013

Much better than the Film

As is the case with most books / films the Bourne book series is a thousand times better than the films. Far more invovled with a completely differnt plot. I have read them once now listening to them on Audible.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr
  • 23-12-2012

Bourne series Book 1 (not what I expected)

Not having read the books, my first impression of the audio book was that it started very differently from the film and this theme continued throughout the book.

The narration was clear and easy to understand (I have had books that were poorly narrated), the book was enjoyable but I was left with the impression that if I had read the first book before the file came out, I probably would have never watched the films.

That said, this is a very good start to a very good series and I will definitely collect the rest of the Audio books and the printed books.

I like this series and hope that the future books are as good or better as the plots continue to pile up.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter
  • 19-04-2012

Great Narration

A newbie to audible, this was my first audio book for those long jams on the M25. I read this as a teenager and returning to it many years later after watching the films was fun. The writing itself may be a bit dated but the reading of it by Scott Brick was superb. He has just the right amount of accents for dialogue and intonation to identify the characters and keep you interested, without being too over the top.
Thoroughly recommend this. At 20-odd hours, plenty to get your teeth (or ears) into and exciting enough to keep you coming back on your next journey. Will be searching out more by this narrator.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • sarahmoose2000
  • 05-03-2012

Trickier than the film

I can usually multi-task when I listen to an audiobook, but I had to give this one my full attention.

A man is found adrift with a near-fatal head wound. Desperate to find his true identity he travels the world chased by various shadowy men and women, never knowing who to trust.

I got pretty lost with the story as so many people were introduced and the plot line was quite intricate.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nornia
  • 04-03-2012

Superb

Many years ago I read this and the other Bourne books, I have to say that whilst set in the 70s the books have not lost any of their appeal. The narrator does a good job, not excellent but good hence I've given 4 rather than 5 stars.

The books are VERY different to the films and in my opinion far superior. Bourne is a dark genius and the balance between action and suspense is perfect. The 2nd and 3rd books open up even more of the character as his memory comes back together.

I'd recommend this to anyone who is after a top rate thriller!!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Steven
  • 01-03-2012

Nothing like the film

After watching the film I thought I might like the book, after listening to it, I like the book a lot more, in fact it leaves it in the dust. Not the best reading, but not that bad either. Don't think I could play all the characters. I will now get the others in the series.

8 people found this helpful