Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Bourne Ultimatum (Jason Bourne, #3)” as Want to Read:
The Bourne Ultimatum (Jason Bourne, #3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Bourne Ultimatum

(Jason Bourne #3)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  53,975 ratings  ·  868 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 February 25th 1990)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Bourne Ultimatum, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
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)
Dylan I'm not sure if you can just skip the second book. The books are extremely different from the movies, so I don't think you could fill in the gaps with…moreI'm not sure if you can just skip the second book. The books are extremely different from the movies, so I don't think you could fill in the gaps with the movie knowledge. However, if I remember correctly, the references to the second book in this one are not that important, but I would advise you to try and find some way of getting the 2nd book. (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!
1,087 books — 5,996 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 Day of the Jackal by Frederick ForsythThe Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
Best Spy Novels
1,031 books — 1,855 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  53,975 ratings  ·  868 reviews

Sort order
Kevin Michael
Sep 22, 2007 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
Michael Finocchiaro
The first few Bourne books were page turning, barn burners. This is probably the last one I read as I was getting Bourne burnout, but it was still a great read.
Aug 31, 2007 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
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
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love the book more than the movie
Vaiibhav Nigam
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
In this third of the Bourne Trilogy, there is the ultimate showdown between two spies. Both of these spies are given telegrams to go to a carnival in a small town. Each of them witness a terrible murder.
One of the men given a telegram in David Webb, a professor in the northeast USA. He is a husband and a father, and must now do what he wishes he'd never have to do again: become Jason Bourne, a known terrorist and assassin.
The other is Carlos, known as the Jackal, who is an international assassin
Apr 06, 2012 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
Sep 16, 2012 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
Daniel Ionson
Feb 28, 2018 added it
Shelves: fiction
Again, these books bear almost no resemblance to the movies (which I still like). But these books are far superior to the movies. Ludlum keeps the stress of the external and internal conflicts high throughout the books.

Book 3 (I think) did a better job with characterization than with 1-2, and it contained more humor than before.

Highly recommend.
هادی امینی
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: رمان
عالی بود! شاهکار!
وقتی تموم شد، نمیدونستم باید خوشحال باشم یا گریه کنم. وقتی دشمن قدیمی جیسون بورن (دیوید وب) کشته شد، احساساتم قاطی کرده بود.
یکی از بهترین پایانبندیهایی که تا حالا خوندم.

Asghar Abbas
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it

Best of the trilogy .
Sean Randall
Oct 14, 2013 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
Sep 15, 2011 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
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was a roller coaster. There are several places where you think the penultimate climax – the one where Bourne and The Jackal finally have it out – only to have the book continue further. There are plot twists and hopes dashed by disappointments along the way, but it is the ultimate Bourne book. (Although, unlike many other Ludlum fans, I don’t think the Bourne books are his best works, but that’s not to say I disliked any of the original Bourne trilogy.)

I could have done with a little l
Lasse Carlsson
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Aug 19, 2007 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.
Apr 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Very nice one
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This was boring, and yet filled with action. To be fair: it was an abridged audiobook.

Basically 2 spies trying to kill each other with lots of government aid. Almost zero character development. Honestly, I didn't care about any of the characters... it didn't matter who died really. Lacking everything a good Jack Reacher book would have.

Maybe there's a movie that's better.
Chris Lopez
Nov 28, 2012 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
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
Rishi Prakash
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All good things come to an end and so does the triology of Jason Bourne with this third book in the series. I read all of it at one go with no other book in between just to keep the flow and enjoy the feel of staying with the ultimate Bourne!

Over the course of the three books I have watched as Bourne slowly finds out more bits and pieces of his past, all the while his almost super human kick-butt skills become more and more sharp. This is why there cannot be any more book after the three as The
Jan 30, 2009 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
Lisa Lap
Jul 15, 2007 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 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Idiots? Masochists?
Maybe it's not that bad, but Lord, it sure ain't good.
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll start by saying that the book and the movie are different in all ways except for the title and the main character's name. That character is the scholar David Webb, or, as more people know him, Jason Bourne - the lethal government assassin - until he got amnesia. Now, thirteen years later, David is married with children, and Bourne's sworn enemy - the killer Carlos the Jackal - resurfaces, seeking a final confrontation. Now, David Webb must take on the identity of Jason Bourne to protect his ...more
Jun 09, 2014 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
Mason Christopher Smith
This quarter I read The Bourne Ultimatum by Robert Ludlum. It is an action packed book that continues the story of ex CIA agent Jason Bourne under the alias David Webb. Ludlow brings back an old enemy of Bourne named Carlos the Jackal who is attempting to discover the secret location of Bourne and get kill him. I was thoroughly impressed by the ability of the novel to incorporate such enticing action while being down to Earth in the representation of the emotions of each character.
Jason Bourne w
K.C For
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Since this isn't the first book in the series, the prior books set up an expectation for this ultimate finish that Ludlum does rather well.
Hopefully if you're here, by this point you've read the first two novels in the series, and either are determined to stick it through to the end or are on a dare, like I was.

Happily consistent language and humor makes a smooth transition from Supremacy to Ultimatum, and characters' personalities are intact and dialogue bounces between them well; probably th
Tim Dudek
Jun 14, 2010 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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Title 8 73 May 15, 2013 08:00PM  
CrazyBookWormies: The Bourne Ultimatum by Robert Ludlum 2 9 Oct 15, 2012 12:37AM  
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)
  • Against All Enemies (Max Moore, #1)
  • The Negotiator
  • The Ares Decision (Covert-One, #8)
  • The Bourne Ascendancy (Jason Bourne, #12)
  • State of Siege (Tom Clancy's Op-Center, #6)
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service (James Bond, #11)
  • Bio-Strike (Tom Clancy's Power Plays, #4)
  • Springboard (Tom Clancy's Net Force, #9)
  • The Fraternity Of The Stone (Mortalis, #2)
  • White Ninja (Nicholas Linnear, #3)
  • Under Siege (Jake Grafton #5)
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

Other books in the series

Jason Bourne (1 - 10 of 15 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)
“Well, let me tell you, gentlemen, the games of the devil are not restricted to those confined to hell. Others can play them.” 91 likes
“A man's weaknesses may intrude on his faith but they do not diminish it.” 25 likes
More quotes…