Review: The Bourne Ultimatum

Posted 26 July, 2007 by Li in Books / 0 Comments

The Bourne Ultimatum
By: Robert Ludlum

In keeping with the fact that the movie is coming out in a week, I finally got around to reading the book (I have this thing for making sure my book covers match; hence I couldn’t simply get the paperback edition, it had to be the one with the movie covers). From all the three original books about the assassin named Jason Bourne, this is by far the most exciting and the most intriguing. Simply put, I found it to be the best of the three. The stakes are higher this time around: Carlos is still out to get Jason Bourne, the man who rivals his title as the best of the best. This time Jason Bourne/David Webb must go out there and end the cat-and-mouse game one and for all, for the sake of his wife and his two children. This is constantly on his mind, no matter how hard the entity known as Jason Bourne tries to push David Webb and all his concerns down to his subconscious (again). And not only that, but Jason’s not exactly young and hale as before, which was much to my surprise…kind of; we’re used to seeing Matt Damon as Jason Bourne and in the books we forget that time has passed between major events. By this book, Bourne/Webb is actually fifty years old, and he’s constantly reminded about it throughout the book, which sort of adds to some level of comedy to it. But he’s still deadly and his trail to catch Carlos has him jumping throughout countries. This entire book is just a thrill-ride; Bourne is constantly hindered by the politics going on back in the US, especially when his friend and colleague Alex Conklin discovers there’s something fishy going on in the clandestine operations department and you don’t know who you could really trust. But there’s also some lighter moments to relieve you from the constant suspense, which is always welcome and in a way, I don’t remember it being there in the previous books. Also, at this point, we don’t see a lot of borderline-melodramatic exchanges that go on in Bourne/Webb’s head, which we saw a lot of in the past, particularly with The Bourne Supremacy. I suppose that has a lot to do with the fact that Webb acknowledges the need to have Bourne around to stop Carlos and he knows the divide between Bourne and Webb now. It’s a great read with a fantastic cast of secondary characters, a lot of intricate politiking and mind games, and the end is just insane. Definitely recommended, especially if you’re into this genre.

Rating: ★★★★★

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