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Robert Ludlum
736 Pages
Publisher: Orion; Film Tie-in Edition
(2 Aug 2007)
ISBN: 075287943X
Price: S$15.95




Although based on Robert Ludlum’s novel of the same name, the movie version of “The Bourne Ultimatum” and the book version are entirely different entities. With perhaps the exception of a character named Jason Bourne.

Published way back in 1990 after “The Bourne Identity” and “The Bourne Supremacy”, “The Bourne Ultimatum” marks the closing chapter of Bourne’s intriguing espionage career.

While Bourne is still searching for his real identity in the third installment of the box-office hit series, that Bourne in the book version is already in his fifties, married with a wife, Maria and two kids in tow. Using a false façade, Bourne is a scholarly-mannered gentleman, David Webb. But an attack at a carnival in the beginning of the book reveals that his past is catching up with him. His nemesis, Carlos the Jackal is still alive and wants him dead.

There’s no lack of heroic men and women, political agendas within the government organizations, military forces and corrupted individuals, which definitely makes reading “The Bourne Ultimatum” not merely a walk in the park. And the dozen odd characters be it just pedestrians can be a bit tedious to follow at times.

However, there are only a handful characters surrounding Bourne that truly deserves your attention namely Marie, Conklin (Jason’s best friend), Dr Morris (Jason’s psychiatrist), Peter Holland (Director of CIA) and of course the Jackal.

Clocking in at 700 plus pages, Ludlum’s attention to details is meticulous. Locations (from Paris to Moscow), mind-bogging conspiracies and technical warcraft are believably conceived. Compare to the reel version, it has no lack of action sets either. However, I doubt Paul Greengrass’s shaky camera movements is inspired by it.

“The Bourne Ultimatum” or should I say “The Bourne Trilogy” should be given a mini-series treatment. The book created a larger Bourne’s universe but gets too tedious, sagging at certain junctures. I got to admit I prefer the screen version.

On a side note, a writer by the name of Eric Van Lustbader has taken over the writing duties of Bourne after Ludlum’s passing in 2001. In other words, you still get to bond with Bourne.


You seriously need to be either a Bourne fan or a literary lover of Ludlum’s works to appreciate “The Bourne Ultimatum”.

Review by Linus Tee


. The Bourne Ultimatum (Movie)



"The Bourne Ultimatum"
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