Saturday, October 17, 2009

Book 42: The Bourne Supremacy by Robert Ludlum

Title: The Bourne Supremacy by Robert Ludlum  

Pages: 646

How it was obtained: Susan and I bought it after we read the Bourne Identity.

Time spent on the "to read" shelf: 4-5 years.

Days spent reading it: Umm, I first started reading this book 4-5 years ago (was it really that long ago?!?). Then a combination of boredom and school work kicked in, and I put it down. I later picked it up again and read to about the 200 page mark. Was mildly interested, but ended up quitting again. This time I picked it up and skimmed the first 200 pages (that I had already read, twice) and knew I had to power through this time or I would never be able to read it again—I was tired of the opening scene. 3 days was all it took me to finish it this time through.

Why I read it: I read this book to get through the Bourne trilogy. I really liked the Bourne Identity. A few others tell me the third book in the trilogy (The Bourne Ultimatum) is well worth it. So that's the goal.

Brief review: To start with, this book is absolutely nothing like the movie. Where the differences in the Bourne Identity were huge, at least the basic plot and characters were the same. That is not the case with the Bourne Supremacy. So if you liked the movie, I'm glad to hear it. The book is an entirely different experience.

I enjoy an intrigue novel occasionally. This book just bothered me. For starters, it is freaking slow. The reason I had to read the first few hundred pages multiple times is because I got bored over and over again. It does get better in the last 200 pages, but so much of this book was unnecessarily complicated (in my opinion). The reader never has a clear picture of what the heck is happening. I had no idea what was going on during most of the book. There are all of these subtle conversations, and I'm not that subtle. Just tell me what's going on, and get on with the story. The truth is, I cannot even give you a brief synopsis of the plot because it is so convoluted. So some key words that you can put all together and make your own book with: assassins, black ops, China, economics, identity theft, the Canadian Embassy, Charlie-Delta-Cain-Carlos-Jason Bourne. There you go, clear as if you had read it yourself.

Other elements annoyed me about this book as well. The pacing, the confusing as heck plot, the random government officials (their conversations are the worst!), the schizophrenic main character, it all contributed to a book that I would not slug through again. I would definitely skip this experience if I could. But since I'm such a stubborn person, I knew that if I did not finish the book this time through, I would never pick it up again. And I don't like to quit much. So I finished it. It wasn't pretty, but it got done.

So my recommendation, if you are looking for a good spy novel, skip this one. Some enthusiasts will of course read this book no matter what. Heck, I did. But really, it was not worth the trouble. But I do feel great having actually completed it! That was probably the best part of the day. I am hoping the Bourne Ultimatum was worth slugging through this book first.

Favorite quote: "This thing is filled with lousy ducks!" screamed the commando, staring around at the banks of wooden cages on all sides, the odor overpowering, sickening. A particular fowl, in its infinite wisdom, chose the moment to squirt a stream of excrement into the assassin's face.

Stars: 2 out of 5.

Final Word: Slooooooooooooooooooow.

1 comment:

Rob said...

You had me laughing! :) It was worth you slogging through the book so I could laugh at your review.