SpeculativeFiction


The Bourne Ultimatum


The Bourne Ultimatum is the third book in Ludlum's Jason Bourne series. It's five years after the events in Hong Kong, and 13 years after Paris. Bourne has aged (he's now 50) and settled into life with his wife and children. But when Carlos the Jackal uncovers his real identity, the final confrontation is upon them both.

Neither one of the pair are operating at their best. Bourne struggles to retain his deadly persona, while the onset of age has driven the Jackal into obsession. They circle each other, desperately pressing for advantage, setting and springing trap after convoluted trap.

Although there is as much action in this novel as in the prior two, the emphasis has changed. Bourne is hobbled by his age and wounds sustained early in the narrative to a far greater degree than in The Bourne Supremacy; enough so that the complaints become tiresome. This is supposed to be a novel about deadly assassins, not old men. Yet the core is still present, and the power of the narrative is sufficient. The chase takes us across the globe as the battle evolves -- a battle based on wits more than guns.

I rate this novel as the worst of the three, primarily because the age and wounds of Jason Bourne are an ever-present and distracting factor. Yet it is by no means bad, and provides a credible finish to the series.

This entry was published Sat Sep 04 19:13:51 CDT 2004 by Matthew and last updated 2013-08-15 14:18:10.0.

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