Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Bourne Sanction

A Christmas disappointment.  Or as my father would say, "A face dropper".

I've been a big fan of Robert Ludlum's books for many years, especially his Bourne series, so I was psyched when I received The Bourne Sanction this past Christmas.  Unfortunately, it's not written by Ludlum, even though his name is featured most prominently on the cover.  This book, along with two other Bourne novels, was written by Eric Van Lustbader, which must be Dutch for ridiculous.

I should have learned my lesson when I read the first James Bond book written by someone other than Ian Fleming.  I had the same feeling while reading this book.  The names are right, and the places are right, but it's just not the same character.  (I mean, c'mon, James Bond driving a Saab?)  This Bourne doesn't have the same edge, the same steel in his spine.  He's sensitive.  'Nuff said.  I appreciate the author trying to create more depth in Bourne, and in his main antagonist Arkadin, but in my opinion he fails miserably.  Van Lustbader needed to stick with the formula that worked for Ludlum. 

The plot was too convoluted too, and frankly just unbelievable.  That's fine if you're going for a book that's meant to be over-the-top, but I don't think that's the case here.  I truly think that Van Lustbader was trying to write a book about something that could happen.  Once again, I think he fails.

I really wish franchises like this would be left alone.  Now I'm going to have to go back and read the original Bournes just to cleanse my mind and not think of Jason Bourne in Eric Van Lustbader's terms.

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