The Bourne Identity Book and Film Comparison

Topics: Robert Ludlum, Jason Bourne, The Bourne Identity Pages: 7 (2492 words) Published: December 17, 2013
English Lit. and Composition
16 December 2013
Book and Film Comparison
The Bourne Identity
Robert Ludlum
Richard Marek Publishers; First Edition edition (1980)
The setting of the novel takes place largely in Europe. The story opens in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of France. The story moves throughout France largely in Paris. Zurich, Switzerland is also a major setting. New York City and Washington, D.C. also play lesser but important roles. The story ends in the upper west side of Manhattan in New York City. Other parts of the world are alluded to as well, especially Southeast Asia. Point of view/ person:

The point of view is written in the first person, however, the point of view changes. The story is revealed through the view of the different characters. Their thoughts, feelings and inner dialogue are revealed through italicized words. Bourne also has flashbacks to a time before the story takes place. These memories are also indicated with italicized text. Main character: Jason Bourne

Bourne is the protagonist of the novel/movie. He goes by many names but Bourne is the main name he uses in the story. Also known as the patient, Jean-Pierre, George P. Washburn, Delta, Cain and the Chameleon. His real name is David Webb. The story revolves around the fact that he does not know who he is. After a brutal fight on a ship in the Mediterranean Sea he is shot in the head and his body is found lying on the beach of Ile de Port Noir. He is nursed back to health be an island doctor and spends the story trying to find out who he is. He follows leads and at times, he becomes to suspect that he is a professional killer. He falls in love with Marie St. Jacques supports and gives him confidence. Plot Summary:

A bullet-strewn body is pulled out of the Mediterranean Sea. Against all odds, the man is alive and a small island doctor slowly nurses him back to health. However, as he recovers he has no memory of his name or his own history. The man spends the story trying to discover his identity. He has a piece of film embedded in his hip with an account for a Zurich bank. He follows the clue that takes him to Switzerland and the story quickly takes off. In Zurich, he learns his name is Jason Bourne and he works for a mysterious organization called Treadstone Seventy-One. His account has millions of dollars but when he withdraws it, it alerts men who try to kill him. The story quickly escalates as an international terrorist named Carlos and the CIA try to find him and kill him. Favorite Quote:

"Nothing makes a man more nationalistic than to think his country's owned by foreigners." (Chapter 10, p. 148.)

1988 TV MOVIE:

The Bourne Identity
A 1988 television adaptation of Robert Ludlum's thriller.
Directed by: Roger Young.
Starring: Richard Chamberlain, Jaclyn Smith, Anthony Quayle, Donald Moffat. If you want a REALLY GOOD video representation of the first book, you should rent/buy the TV mini-series that came out in 1988; readily available on It's very faithful to the book and while it is more of a drama than the recent movie, there is a good deal of action in it. 

The Bourne Identity
Directed By:  Doug Liman
Written By:  Tony Gilroy, William Blake Herron,  David Self,  W. Blake Herron Universal Pictures 
The best-selling suspense novel by late author Robert Ludlum made its way to the screen for a second time in 2002, following a 1988 made-for-TV movie. Matt Damon starring as Jason Bourne, a barely alive amnesiac with a pair of bullet wounds in his back, pulled from the Mediterranean by Italian fishermen. Bourne's only clue to his own identity is a bank account number etched on a capsule implanted in his body. He quickly finds the Zurich bank where money, a gun, and a few identification documents await, but after he's pursued by security goons at the American consulate, Bourne realizes he can trust no one and offers a German...
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