The Obscured Vixen

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Book-vs-Movie: The Bourne Identity

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 20, 2011

Book by Robert Ludlum – 4 of 5 stars. Published in 1980.
Movie 5 of 5 stars. Released in 2002.

Like most movies that are based on books, the book is extremely more detailed (and 608 pages!).

Both stories start the same way: Jason Bourne is floating in the ocean and picked up by a fishing boat.  He wakes up in the care of the crew and realizes he has amnesia.  Bourne has the info to a bank account in his hip and when the boat docks, it’s  the first place he goes.

Bourne is shown to a safe deposit box and dumps all the contents into his infamous red bag.  While at the bank, he realizes that people are coming after him.  How does he get away? Enter Marie.

This is where the movie and book begin to differ greatly.  In the movie, Marie is unemployed and struggling to make a living.  Bourne pays her to drive him away from the bank.

In the book, Marie is a French-Canadian government economist on a business trip in Zurich. Bourne takes her hostage and forces her to drive away from the bank.

From here on out, the plot stays the same, but the story line is different.  In the book, Bourne finds out about Treadstone and Blackbriar in the first story of the series.  We don’t hear about these in the first movie.  Also in the book, Marie uses her contacts and past education to help Jason.  She is more of an integral part of Jason taking out Treadstone than in the movie.

I definitely want to read The Bourne Supremacy, but will take a break before I do. The Bourne Identity was a long book with lots of details causing it to become slow at times.  However, for a book that was written 31 years ago, it is not that dated.  It is highly suspenseful, mysterious with a little love action thrown in.

If you enjoyed the movie, I would definitely recommend taking a stab at the book.


6 Responses to “Book-vs-Movie: The Bourne Identity”

  1. i have the hardest times when books become tv shows or movies… take for example vampire diaries hardly anything was the same and i totally gave up on the books sigh.
    I feel like if the book is good enough in the first place to be moved to the big screen why take big parts of it away

    • I agree 100% with The Vampire Diaries; I don’t read the books anymore. But I actually like the tv show better! (ducks to avoid getting hit)

      If there is a book/movie remake, I enjoy seeing the differences between both. Sometimes it’s very interesting.

  2. twimom227 said

    Thanks for the comparison. I’m with you… the book was really good, but so was the movie – it was just different.

  3. “Book-vs-Movie: The Bourne Identity The Obscured Vixen” was indeed a
    good article and thus I actually ended up
    being extremely pleased to read the blog post. Thank you,Sadie

  4. Cliff Morris said

    Other than a vague similarity in the story concept, a few familiar names and perhaps two or three phrases from the book that were used in the movie I saw very little of the book in the movie. This was a good thing because both were great stories that didn’t compete with one another.

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