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The Bourne Legacy (Jason Bourne) Paperback – April 28, 2009

3.1 out of 5 stars 254 customer reviews
Book 4 of 12 in the Jason Bourne Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Brick seems completely comfortable sitting in the narrator's seat of Lustbader's (Black Heart, etc.) substantial espionage thriller, which brings Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne back for a fourth outing. Bourne's peaceful life as a family man and teacher of Eastern studies at Georgetown University is brutally interrupted by a sudden sniper attack and the double murder of his two best friends. Framed for the killings, Bourne is forced back into the violent world he had hoped never to revisit. What follows is a roller coaster ride of intrigue and betrayal that will take Bourne halfway around the world in an effort to clear his name. Along the way, he uncovers a deadly plot against an upcoming summit on terrorism. Brick handles the large cast and international settings with ease, keeping his foreign accents on the light side. Even when the writing strays toward the melodramatic, Brick maintains his straightforward reading style. While some transitions happen so quickly that listeners may be confused as to where they are and who is speaking, Brick knows how to keep the action moving and the characters grounded and real.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Three of Robert Ludlum's novels featured the fictional character Jason Bourne. Now comes a Bourne novel not by Ludlum but by Van Lustbader, the author of 20 novels that had nothing to do with Bourne. The publisher assures readers that the individuals who control Ludlum's estate have given their permission to create this new novel. Here and now, Bourne, described as "an international assassin of deadly repute," has retired from the CIA and is a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University. He has been framed for the murder of two associates and becomes the target of an assassin. The novel begins in Chechnya and continues in such diverse places as Nairobi, Crete, Washington, D.C., and Budapest. The many-paged narrative provides ample room for lots of action, including a body found in a refrigerator, "shared joy" between lovers, fistfights, gun battles, torture, and deceit. The Bourne Legacy reads much like Ludlum, which, of course, is exactly the point. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Jason Bourne (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks; Reprint edition (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312365284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312365288
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (254 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Having read many of Ludlum's novels over the years, and having watched his style deteriorate somewhat as time passed, I had hopes that this new iteration of a Ludlum character would bring with it crisp, incisive writing.

It has not done so. Here are several examples of the sorts of sloppy mistakes that steal the joy of reading this book.

1 - a van Lustbader-invented assassin loads his sniper rifle with "the smallest caliber round it will take." What? Firearms by design and definition require a specific and single caliber of ammunition. Does this guy know nothing? And why in hell would he want the smallest caliber, if indeed there were such a thing? He never explains this weird concept.

2 - He has first-response cops showing up at a crime scene complete with tracking dogs. What? That's something that would be called in later at the discretion of the on-scene commander, rather than something that police officers routinely travel with.

3 - He has the Bourne character checking in with a motel clerk who is watching television. Bourne goes to his room, turns on his own TV, and finds himself featured as a wanted man on all channels. Yet he eats, showers, shaves and rests, never even apparently thinking that the check-in clerk, watching television, might have recognized him and might at that minute be calling out the mountes after him.

Just sloppy work for which there is no excuse. I doubt that even Ludlum himself would have written such drivel. Sorry, but it's very disappointing. Books are way too expensive these days to contain such second-rate crap.

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I purchased this book while on a layover between flights with high hopes. After having read the entire Bourne trilogy I longed for more, like many true afficionados of a memorable character. The only reason I didn't put this book down midway was that it was a choice between soap-operatic plot "twists" or the overpriced airline skymall catalog.

In the original storyline Jason Bourne is a tortured hero, being pushed and pulled by circumstances beyond his control and understanding due to his total lack of memory. He is discovering amazing and frightening skills that he didn't know that he had. Underlying this is a deep fear of what he is becoming along with a horror and guilt of what or who he may have been. His humanity and inner conflict make the character of Jason Bourne believeable. The secondary characters are equally well-developed and three dimensional. The action appeals to genre readers, but it is the character depth and development that causes this series to transcend the genre and appeal to a wider audience.

This is in sharp contrast to Lustbader's creation. It opens up with the "Jason Bourne personality" reasserting himself without thought to the cost or consequence of his actions, leaving his dearest possessions (his family) behind without a twitch. He has become a two-dimensional caricature of the original. Supporting characters that gave a continuity to the story are conveniently dismissed, probably due to the difficulty in making them believable. I mean, Lustbader couldn't even accomplish this with the main character, what would have happened to the supporting cast? He totally ignores age or skill limitations which Ludlum would have included, and relies on a plot cobbled together from recycled action-drama cliches.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a fan of both Robert Ludlum and Eric Lustbader. Having said that, both do have one thing in common: they are either really "on" or really "off". In the case of The Bourne Legacy, Eric Lustbader I am sorrowful to say, is "off". It may have been that he was attempting to copy Ludlum's "workman" style of writing and in so doing lost his own voice. Whatever the case, THe Bourne Legacy did not do it for me.

In the original Bourne trilogy, Jason Bourne is a powerful and in control figure even in the face of insurmountable odds. Though the character is confused about his past and how it connects to his present and future, he still decides strongly and takes action. In Legacy, Lustbader draws him as a bumbling, two dimensional character barely able to hold his own and disconnected from his feelings, while occasionally catapulting his abilities to superhuman levels. This left me unable to suspend my disbelief and find a "place" for Jason Bourne in my psyche. Bourne seems plastic to me in this book as do the other characters and I never really empathyze enough with them to care about them.

I suspect that Lustbader works best in his own worlds and should possibly stay away from "playing" in another writers sandbox.

Whatever the case, I am sad to say that I had a really hard time finishing this novel. It left me empty and dissappointed. I will of course give Eric Van Lustbader another read as some of his books have been brilliant, but I will avoid any more of his Bourne novels and re-read the old Ludlum classics.
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Format: Hardcover
Robert Ludlum was often credited with being the creator of the modern day action/adventure/international conspiracy genre that provides a riveting reading experience and at the same time reinforces the cynicism so prevalent regarding our powerful political institutions. The sales of his novels certainly reached unparalleled heights, with each successive book further embellishing his reputation and delighting his legions of devoted readers. As difficult as it usually is to identify the most memorable character among the many created by a writer as prolific as Ludlum, the adventures and experiences of Jason Bourne in THE BOURNE IDENTITY almost undeniably created a character who universally captivated Ludlum's fans and whose presence seemed to demand that Ludlum return to create a series that would further enlighten his readers about both Bourne's future and his past. Thus, over the next several years THE BOURNE SUPREMACY and THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM formed a powerful trilogy which has led to the character coming to life on film, with the timing of the release of this book roughly coinciding with the movie sequel starring Matt Damon.
Ludlum's fans know that Jason Bourne was the identity created and embellished by the CIA for a legendary undercover CIA operative whose real name was David Webb. Unfortunately, a deep cover operation in which Bourne/Webb was engaged went perilously wrong, and Webb has struggled for years to recover his lost memories and return his life to a semblance of normalcy. He has officially retired from the life of clandestine ops, has a wife and family and is a professor at Georgetown University. However, his deep friendship with his former CIA controller (Alex Conklin, who plays a key role in this story) allows him to maintain contact with his previous world.
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