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Bourne again Bourne again
by Thanos Kalamidas
Issue 11
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Book
Robert Ludlum's the Bourne Legacy
Eric Van Lustbader
2004
As a principal I never read books that involve heroes from another writer. Somehow I'd much rather read the original. Robert Ludlum has been one of my favorites for a long time and I have to admit that I still read his books when I want a break.

First of all, during his life Robert Ludlum wrote a few books with others and he never involved any of his known heroes in those. Since 2000, and due to a film that had nothing to do with the book, the man was lucky to die and not see it, his books became a hit again and most of all the Bourne series that included The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, all of them brilliant and at the top of my favorite books list.

However, following the success of the film and the huge resale of the books, Mr. Van Lustbader decided to do something uniquely American, grab the bucks. And he did that? He took a wonderful hero from Mr. Ludlum's book, Jason Bourne, and gave him life again hoping that some kind of Hollywood producer will make a film out of it and some naïve fans of Lundlum books will buy it; I identify my self as the latter.

Robert Ludlum led us through a life full of adventure of a man who had gone though hell and came back over the course of three books. The best part is that Ludlum allowed us to empathize with the hero of the book during his personal loss and pain. The man lost a wife and two kids in a bomb and for three books, even though he's trying to build a new life, he still mourns and remembers them.

This is a very simple trick from Ludlum's part to show us the human side of his super hero; it led us to look in the inner part of our own soul. For three books we read about the pain the man felt carrying the dead bodies of a wife and two kids and bury them and then for years going nearly mad looking for the killer.

Van Lustbader didn't want to do something new or probably hasn't got the talent to do it otherwise he would write a new book, not try to ruin an old one. The dead son wasn't exactly dead but missing. The bad CIA couldn't waste more than an hour checking the small stream and they declared him dead.

The father was a trained killer, so guess what the son had to be? A trained killer, only in his case he became a killer because he was feeling abandoned by the bad father. To get worse, he makes it his life mission to kill his father. At the same time, the CIA, KGB or whatever they call themselves nowadays decides to kill daddy.

The new family, which was so active, especially the new wife who was so helpful in the three books, disappears now. She was the one to help Bourne find some of the missing parts for the three books, while in Lustbader's story they vanish somewhere 'safe' where nobody can reach them.

The book is full of stupid clichés, terrorists are behind the NGO, the Russian security man is called Boris, the director of the CIA is a bureaucrat and his biggest enemy is the NSA or the president. The bad evil terrorist woman gives up in the name of God or Allah as it is the fashion at the moment, in the end and just before she dies she hands them the lethal biological weapon. The international killers after all this fuss going only for a debriefing and the president of the USA fires his NSA in front the director of CIA just to satisfy his heated ego!!!

I did the mistake to buy the book and I definitely regret it, if you ever read a Robert Ludlum don't do the same. If the only thing you know about Bourne is the two films with Matt Damon then you are the type who very rarely picks a good book so you will probably like it.
  
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