The Bourne Identity Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Bourne Identity

A bullet-riddled man is plucked unconscious from the Mediterranian. He cannot remember who he is but an English doctor finds a Swiss bank account number on his body. The man checks it out to find passports in the name of Bourne, a gun and a vast amount of money.
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His arrival triggers off a manhunt during which he kidnaps a Canadian economist to save his life. One of the hitmen who catch up with him decides to rape her before killing her but Bourne uses his extensive martial arts skills to get them clear.

From then on, she is his ally as he desperately seeks to find out what the whole deadly game is about and who he is. His brilliant desperate improvisation and ingenious investigation sees off the enemies one by one.
The review of this Book prepared by Andrei Kayaka

A man is washed up on the beach. He has no memory of his past, nor his present, and his future doesn't look too friendly either. After being cured by a drunk doctor, known as Washburn, he embarks on a journey to discover his past. His first stop is the Gemini shaft bank in Zurich. There he discovers he has millions of dollars in his account. Where did this money come from? Why is he so rich?

The search for the answer takes him over Europe to figure out his identity. After many firefights, chases and discussions, he finally finds the truth.

He was hired by the CIA to kill a man by the name of Jason Bourne in the jungles of Vietnam. His mission is successful, and the CIA make that his codename for their next mission, which is to seek out a killer named Carlos the Jackal and eliminate him. He must do this however, with a fake identity and as an assassin who is supposedly challenging Carlos. This obviously is a way to bring Carlos to him, for his fake reputation will be bait to lure the Jackal.

But things don't go too smoothly when Bourne is shot in the head and loses his memory. The CIA think he has turned therefore they send an agent of their own, Alexander Conklin to eliminate the new Jason Bourne. After a huge misunderstanding, Bourne is chased by assassins, and his own government, and also at the same time falls in love.
The review of this Book prepared by Walid Khalid

Whos is Jason Bourne? This man has 4 million dollars stashed in his account in a highly secure swiss bank, but what he lacks, is his memory.Though he recovers well physically, he fails to regain his memory and he finds that he is top on the list of the most wanted men by the CIA, the same agency which he once worked for in order to lure and capture the most notorious assasin -Illch Ramirez Sanchez a.k.a Carlos the Jackal. To add to his woes, his arch rival, Carlos is also hunting him.
The review of this Book prepared by Kailash Shankar

A man by the name of Jason Bourne, who has amnesia must find out who he is. All he has are instincts of a professional killer and he knows he has to find and kill an internationaly known assasin.
This book is very detailed and inteligent if not a pleasing end.

The review of this Book prepared by G.Z.

A classic page-turner. That is the best way to describe the newest creation from the brilliant mind of Robert Ludlum. The Bourne Identity, the first of a planned trio, takes place in various exotic locales such as Port Noir, off the coast of France, Geneva, Paris, and many places in China. With picture-perfect descriptions of the locations, the reader can taste the salt air of the sea; hear the busy rues of Paris, and the feel the strict, snub-nosed efficiency of the Swiss city of Geneva.   

As with many of his other novels, Ludlum immediately captures the reader's attention within the first few pages. As the words leap off the page, they scream, "Read me! Read me!" And you will. You will. This reader was so engrossed in the twisting, turning plot lines that he stayed up until 4 A.M. just to see what would happen next.

Yes, I do realize that I am giving this book extraordinary praise, but after reading it, you will certainly realize and agree that I am correct.

(Continued on page D11)

SUNDAY, MARCH 26, 1980

(Continued from page D7)

As the book begins, an unknown man is shot in the head, and dumped off the side of a boat in the middle of the Mediterranean. Found by fisherman two days later, alive, but barely, he ends up in the care of a drunken, disgraced doctor from England. For three weeks the man lays there, comatose, while the doctor nurses him back to health. Once the amnesic man is able to speak, the two of them attempt to figure out who and what he is.

A chameleon, that's what he is. Evidence that plastic surgery has altered his face to “soften” his features, making him able to blend in with a crowd, and completely change his appearance with contact lenses, hair dye, or a bit of facial hair. French, English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese: in all of which he is completely fluent. A thin strip of microfilm, implanted beneath the flesh of his hip, leads him to a bank in Zurich armed with no name, no memory, just a bank account number and an address. By the time he leaves Zurich, he has four million dollars, a name, Jason Bourne, and hit squads attempting to end his life. Why, he does not know.

Slowly, tantalizingly, remnants of his dark past are revealed. Carlos the Jackal AKA Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the world's most dangerous professional assassin, is trying to kill him. Bizarre memories of a secretive black ops unit from the Vietnam War known only as Medusa begin to resurface, bringing out hidden emotions, feelings, and most importantly to Jason, names. Names are what he needs, for they can help him re-discover his forgotten past.

As memories of Medusa flood back to Jason, he is confronted with a new realization. Jason Bourne was the key part of a botched operation by the CIA to trap Carlos. He was a deep cover agent posing as a for-hire assassin. The plan was to lure Carlos out by giving him some competition, making him take larger risks to make kills, hopefully leading to his exposure and capture. The plan is botched when…you'll have to read the book, can't reveal too much!

As memories trigger more forgotten memories, he is confronted with a seemingly impenetrable, invincible enemy. Carlos. As Jason attempts to steel himself for a final showdown, important people out of his past reappear. Alexander Conklin, a friend, a former field agent for the CIA, now retired, enters Jason's life trying to convince him of their partnership in the past. Now Jason must decide whether to trust this supposed friend from his murky past, or to kill him, like he has done to so many others, and keep his eyes on the prize so to speak, Carlos.

As the intricate, tangled web of intrigue, espionage, and suspense begin to unfold, the reader is taken on a journey of Bourne's self-discovery and inner struggle, entering upon a world of back-stabbing, double-crossing, and betrayal.

Read on, my fellow readers, for you shant be disappointed.

The review of this Book prepared by A.J. Mandel

The main Character(Jason Bourne) is found half dead and can not remember anything about who he is or why someone has tried to kill him, and who they are before they try again.

With the help of stranger he kidnapped...Bourne most find out who he is and why one of the most famous assassins in the worls wants him dead.

This book is amazingly written, with great characters. With it's non-stop suspence this book will leave you guessing untill the last page.

First book of a trilogy, it sets up the next two books wonderfully. After reading "The Boure Indentity" you'll find it hard to teun away from Robert Ludlum's work!!!
The review of this Book prepared by Jen

A man is wash up on a beach with gunshot wounds without an identity and very little clues. These clues lead him on a track in which he finds out he is an international Killer named Jason Bourne. But events and other clues leaves him in doubt.
The review of this Book prepared by Daniel Gorman

Chapter Analysis of The Bourne Identity

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   1960's-1970's Spying/Terrorism Thriller    -   Yes Cloak & Dagger Plotlets:    -   preventing/finding assassin Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Amnesia story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   killer Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   France    -   Eastern Europe    -   Switzerland Misc setting    -   fort/military installation

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references    -   descript. of breasts    -   rape (yeech!) A lot of techno jargon?    -   Yes Unusual forms of death    -   perforation--bullets Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Robert Ludlum Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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