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The Bourne Ultimatum (Jason Bourne #3)

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  47,610 Ratings  ·  721 Reviews
The world's two deadliest spies in the ultimate showdown. At a small-town carnival two men, each mysteriously summoned by telegram, witness a bizarre killing. The telegrams are signed Jason Bourne. Only they know Bourne's true identity and understand the telegram is really a message from Bourne's mortal enemy, Carlos, known also as the Jackal, the world's deadliest and mos ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 725 pages
Published May 6th 2004 by Orion (first published 1990)
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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) Read a few of the many reviews readers have posted under the title. That's what GR is here for.
Stuart Wilton Yes I'd say so. If you jump in on this one you'll probably struggle to understand a lot of the references to his 'split personalities' and past events…moreYes I'd say so. If you jump in on this one you'll probably struggle to understand a lot of the references to his 'split personalities' and past events that play a big role in Ultimatum.
The books are very long though, it's quite a commitment. You might prefer to listen to the audio book read by Scott Brick. I had no intention of reading them again so I listened to it at work. Very high quality recording and Brick has an excellent reading voice. Would definitely recommend :)(less)
Forrest Gump by Winston GroomThe Devil Wears Prada by Lauren WeisbergerJurassic Park by Michael CrichtonJumanji by Chris Van AllsburgMary Poppins by P.L. Travers
I Only Watched the Movie!
70th out of 971 books — 5,660 voters
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréThe Hunt for Red October by Tom ClancyThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
Best Spy Novels
15th out of 865 books — 1,578 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kevin Michael
Apr 04, 2008 Kevin Michael rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: No one I know
After three grueling months I finally finished reading this book. You may ask yourself: "If it was so grueling, why did he finish it at all?" Good question! After reading the first two books in the Bourne trilogy, I felt compelled to finally see the final confrontation between Jason Bourne and Carlos the Jackal. Now I will admit that The Bourne Ultimatum was not nearly as boring and convoluted as its predecessor, The Bourne Supremacy. However, I'm fairly certain that Robert Ludlum took a class o ...more
Aug 31, 2007 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What can I say? It was intense - a little too intense for me. By about the middle of the book, I wanted to shoot Carlos myself just so that the insanity would end. The plot in this book seems even more complex than in the other two and is impossible to comprehend. Nevertheless, I cared about Jason Bourne enough as a character to stick out the whole grueling story with him, but I felt almost as beat up and emotionally raw as he did by the time it was over. Overall, not a pleasant reading experien ...more
Aug 13, 2016 Sivy rated it it was amazing
I love the book more than the movie
Sep 16, 2012 Tony rated it it was ok
To be honest I was disappointed with this one. I felt like finishing it - and the original trilogy - was an obligation after only a few pages.

The dialogue is ridiculous - nobody (and while I'm not familiar with American government institutions and their employees I'm pretty sure this covers them too) speaks in such a manner. Every conversation is overly convoluted and then - as if for the sake of an uneducated audience - explained again as part of the same dialogue. Not only that but the way in
Asghar Abbas
Mar 01, 2016 Asghar Abbas rated it really liked it

Best of the trilogy .
Jan 14, 2013 Matt rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
As the Ludlum portion of the Bourne series comes to an end with this book, I must say that this is surely a very thick (in all its senses) book, filled with great nuances. Completing the original trilogy at a time when spy games were all about actual deception and sleight of hand (rather than technology and the information highway) makes these books stand out for me. That said, Ludlum is, as he is accused of being, overly verbose in some areas and really could have watered down the description a ...more
Sean Randall
Oct 14, 2013 Sean Randall rated it it was amazing
My rating is perhaps a little unusual for me,as it's not really based on literary merit. Indeed, I found myself, upon this reread, a little shocked at how often Bourne makes mistakes and is mentioned to be getting old. Still, it's one of the first adult novels I really read and got into, and for that, it has a special place in my heart. William Dufris's narration of this work so enthralled me at the time that I played the tapes several times over - no small thing considering they ran for over tw ...more
May 15, 2016 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The gripping finale to the Bourne saga, well the Ludlum originals anyway. Seeing as this book clearly lays out that Bourne is now in his 50s, I really don't see how the Lustbader sequels can continue the story - Bourne out with his zimmer frame?

The Bourne Ultimatium is a good clean up of the Bourne vs. Carlos storyline from the first book. You know they have to meet up, you know they have to fight and you know Bourne has to win. Somehow. I just wish Ludlum could have utilised slightly fewer repe
Mike (the Paladin)
The third (and last by Ludlum) entry in the story of "Jason Bourne". If your only exposure to Bourne are the Matt Damon movies, then you don't really have an idea of the story. This (as these cases usually do) ruined any enjoyment of the movie for me. I always wonder why bother to "buy" an authors title and then write a screen play that doesn't even resemble the novel?

Oh well, nothing I can do.

My suggestion? Get the first book and read all three. They may not be the best Ludlum ever wrote, but
Nov 07, 2007 Diane rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: No one
Well, I finished the series, just to finish it. It took me nearly 2 1/2 weeks to finish this book. I was motivated simply to finish it, not because I was interested, really. I was disappointed, once again, in the language, too thick of a plot, violence, and sexual innuendos. My husband bought me the first and third books of the series for my Birthday, before I'd read either of them. Now that I'm done, I'm donating them to the library. I know I'll never read these again.
Chris Lopez
Nov 28, 2012 Chris Lopez rated it it was amazing
The Bourne series is a great set of books to read in order starting with the Bourne Identity. Robert Ludlum does a great job of using military terms and using names of places and intelligence offices to make you think that this stuff is really happening. He may have a lot going on at one time, but if you follow along and read carefully, you should be able to keep up with the challenging writing. I tended to lose track of what was happening a few times but i still enjoyed reading it.

Jason Bourne
Lisa Lap
Jan 22, 2008 Lisa Lap rated it liked it
Shelves: mysterythrillers
Finally. Okay, so the book was good but I have to say it really could have been wrapped up in about 250 pages instead of the 663 it took. So many misses that were just frustrating. All the integral plot points tied up in the end and it definitely didn't leave any questionable loose ends. While I'm glad I read the books as they are SO different from the movies, I'm also glad that I'm done with the series.
Sep 11, 2007 Dana rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Idiots? Masochists?
Maybe it's not that bad, but Lord, it sure ain't good.
Lasse Carlsson
Oct 14, 2016 Lasse Carlsson rated it it was amazing
I am quite the fan of the Bourne film series. Matt Damon's incredible performance as amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne really refined the vulnerable yet brutal everyman action hero that many action films have tried (and failed *cough* Quantum of Solace) to emulate since his debut. Both Damon and his directors understood what made the character of Bourne great. He is a sympathetic man that will turn into a monster during dangerous circumstances but always fight for the good cause, and in this book L ...more
Sridhar Babu
Oct 18, 2016 Sridhar Babu rated it really liked it
Robert Ludlum..
Jason Bourne ((aka)) David Webb, Jackal ((aka)) Carols ((aka)) Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, Marie, John St Jacques, Alex Conklin, Morris Panov ((Mo)), Peter Holland, Henry Sykes, Krupkin Dimitri, Santos and others...
Washington, Vienna (Georgia ) and Boston, ((USA)), Montserrat Islands ((Caribbean)) , Paris ((France)),
Moscow and Novgorod ((Russia))..


Sep 07, 2016 VBergen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
The plot is good, there is continuous action.
Some memorable phrases:

- Jason: You want compassion, go to a church and appeal to that God of yours who pisses on this planet! He's either got one hell of warped sense of humor or he's a sadist.

-Alex Conklin: I lost my faith, and now after years of proclaiming my spiritual independence, I wonder if I'm missing something.
- Jason: Like what?
- Alex: I don't know. Things I can't control, maybe.
- Jason: You mean you don't have the comfort of an excuse, a m
Tim Dudek
Jul 29, 2010 Tim Dudek rated it liked it
A few years ago, having watched Bourne movies, I picked the Bourne Identity up from the library. It had almost no relation to the movie, but I enjoyed it in its own merit. Jason Bourne tries to deal with his amnesia while being hunted by and hunting a notorious assassin, Carlos the Jackal.
When I saw The Bourne Ultimatum at a used book sale for twenty-five cents, I picked it up. Ten years later, Jason Bourne at fifty is once again pitted against Carlos the Jackal in one final battle to the death
Oct 10, 2012 Joe rated it really liked it
The third and final story of the trilogy takes place 5 years after the crazy saga in Hong Kong and 13 years after Bourne's first confrontation with Carlos The Jackal at Treadstone Seventy One.

In this final installment a message is sent cryptically supposedly from Bourne to Conklin and Panov to meet at a carnival, but the message ends up being from The Jackal, who has found Bourne and nowhere is safe. Bourne is forced to send his family to stay at Monserrat with Marie's brother Johnny. As we have
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
I remember reading the first Bourne story back in the 70s when it came out in paperback, and it was OK. Perhaps because I had measles and a high fever...but it kinda made sense.

I listened to this one on audio book, and seriously, by the time I got done with I was like, "Kill him! Kill him, already!" Jason Bourne is kind of like Indiana Jones; no matter how many holes, cuts, or bruises he has, he just keeps jumping, climbing, and doing impossible feats of derring-do. He never eats, he never sleep
Feb 19, 2009 Slacker rated it it was ok
Of the three books so far, this one is the worst.

First off, it has nothing to do with the movie. So forget that. Second it has more twists and turns than a plate of spaghetti. And it is as improbable as any. The story takes place 13 years after the first book. Jason is 50, and is doing things and tasks that he couldn't have done when he was 37. The story is obviously the last book in the series, and you can tell by the way that it is constructed that it was meant to be the last. So I am a bit c
Jan 07, 2009 BoekenTrol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all people who love thrillers / espionage
Shelves: books-i-own
How the author did it, I don't know, but he caught me with his story and the 'adventures' of David Webb / Jason Bourne. This last book in the trilogy I find good.
It shows the dilemma of the person David, that influences the person Jason, no matter how hard the latter is fighting it.
It shows a battle of a man, in his 50's, that is going 'to war' again with his oldest enemy Carlos, to protect himself and his family. He goes all around the globe again, finding old friends / allies to help him with
Bobby Luke
This wasn't as good as the first two books. I understand that Bourne and Carlos are so good at what they do that it is hard for one or the other to get the upper hand and finish the job, but how many times can your antagonist and protagonist clash without any progress or resolution? There was also a lot of stuff that felt mostly like a distraction, and not integral to the plot.

This story just got too big for it's own good. It really felt very different from the first two books in the series. Thi
Deon Mixon
Jul 01, 2016 Deon Mixon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I struggle to declare this final installment of Ludlum's masterful trilogy the best of them, but I will not hesitate to conclude that it was the most hilarious! Yup, the comedy was a plus towards the intertwining journeys of Jason's many foes and friends. It made the entire adventure less agonizing and more welcoming to plow through. This final arc of the famous chameleon was definitely a ride to wait for. With powerful storytelling, despite the overdrawn formula of intense detail, fulfilling ac ...more
Jun 21, 2011 Danimau rated it really liked it
Now you're talking! Ludlum steps it up a notch in this fast-paced novel. Wicked sick action and plot. Sexy spies and evil baddies.

Yes, the world is in danger. Yes our hero keeps living through untold bullet wounds and injuries. Yes, it's slightly predictable. No, you will not be able to peel your face away from this trilogy-ender. So different from the movie, but kind-of the same pacing and action.

I like this one much better than the second book.
Check it out(from your library, assuming those ha
Sep 09, 2010 Pat rated it really liked it
Nice conclusion to the Bourne Trilogy. Takes place on US, Caribbean, and Paris soil. The books have so much more depth in terms of character development, personality, and plot complexity than the movies even suggest. However, these are 300+ page books, and you just can't replicate that in a <2 hr movie.

Nonetheless, I really enjoyed reading this series, and I am a huge fan of the franchise it inspired, both in terms of films, but also music. The soundtracks to these films are excellent pieces
Vikas Khair
Jul 17, 2015 Vikas Khair rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Wow what a Rollercoaster of a book. In this last part of the original Bourne Trilogy Jason again has to fight off The Jackal and a new foe all new Medusa, fighting two enemies and racing around the world in the search of finality and safety of his family, Bourne must come across all odds and despite his age has to win. It was a great read once again albeit a little slow in the beginning and a long book at 725 pages though I have read bigger books and intend to read more books but a big book is a ...more
Jun 20, 2014 Denis rated it it was amazing
Great finish of Bourne Trilogy. And it is the best thriller book that I ever read and probably will read in foreseeable future.

The movies with Matt Damon are pretty good but the Ludlum's books are far better, with greater scope of events, more complex and believable story, more insight into characters and their actions and motivations and intense action scenes. If you liked the movies - read the books, you'll like them even more.
Dave Hornor
Every once in awhile I read a book like this. And then I wonder why I do.

Plot summary:


for i=1 to 39 {
{Jackal tries to kill Bourne. Fails.}
{Bourne tries to kill Jackal. Fails.}
{Bourne succeeds at killing Jackal.}

{Hornor kicks himself for reading such a stupid book.}

Rebekah Agee
Mar 10, 2016 Rebekah Agee rated it it was amazing
This book series is one of my favorites and so different from the films. In this Jason has to come out of retirement to face an old foe. It is so action packed, has plot twists and intrigue, but without being so convoluted you don't know what's going on. The Bourne Series is just the best!
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Title 9 72 May 15, 2013 08:00PM  
CrazyBookWormies: The Bourne Ultimatum by Robert Ludlum 2 8 Oct 15, 2012 12:37AM  
  • The Bourne Betrayal (Jason Bourne, #5)
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Robert Ludlum was the author of twenty-seven novels, each one a New York Times bestseller. There are more than 210 million of his books in print, and they have been translated into thirty-two languages. He is the author of The Scarlatti Inheritance, The Chancellor Manuscript, and the Jason Bourne series--The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum--among others. Mr. Ludlum ...more
More about Robert Ludlum...

Other Books in the Series

Jason Bourne (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • The Bourne Identity (Jason Bourne, #1)
  • The Bourne Supremacy (Jason Bourne, #2)
  • The Bourne Legacy (Jason Bourne, #4)
  • The Bourne Betrayal (Jason Bourne, #5)
  • The Bourne Sanction (Jason Bourne, #6)
  • The Bourne Deception (Jason Bourne, #7)
  • The Bourne Objective (Jason Bourne, #8)
  • The Bourne Dominion (Jason Bourne, #9)
  • The Bourne Imperative (Jason Bourne, #10)
  • The Bourne Retribution (Jason Bourne, #11)

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