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I finished The Bourne Supremacy a couple days ago. 600 pages in… - Speak Friend and Enter
Grammar and Lord of the Rings
I finished The Bourne Supremacy a couple days ago. 600 pages in nine days. I believe it was better than the first book, actually. I'll talk about it in a minute, but first I want to compare the first book to the movie that was made, based on it.

The Bourne Identity, the book, is infinitely more complicated and entertaining than the movie. The story is just awesome, and I guess the people that wrote the screenplay realized they couldn't do it justice and just grabbed a few parts from the book, along with the main character with amnesia, and ran with it.

I'll lj-cut now so I don't reveal anything you don't want to know, about the books, or about the movie. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!!! (Yes, I will be talking about the endings and such)

In the movie, the character has no memory of what or who he was before he was shot and thrown into the water. He has microfilm implanted in his hip, I believe, and he uses that to go to a bank to find guns, money, and passports. People are chasing after him, but he doesn't know why, and he subsequently kills a whole bunch of them with skills he can't explain. I think thats about the main points of the story. Hooks up with a girl who stays with him, then they get busy. The man behind the operation to find him is the adversary, apparently. Jason Bourne, what he believes his name is from a passport, is a stray from some government project to create badass spy dudes.

This is way, WAY different from the book. In the movie, Bourne is an assassin, paid to kill particular people for this government's interests. The one he can't do is the one that gets him injured. In the book, Bourne is a phony assassin. There is a major backstory to it. He was military, stationed in Vietnam after the war, married with children. His family was killed by stray aircraft, and he snapped and was recruited by this super-secret clandestine op called Medusa. Medusa was conceived of and engineered by this very small group of powerful people, including CIA, NSC and the President's top aide. It was a group of mostly criminals, many of them rather psychotic, who would carry out some particulary crazy missions during the war. The people involved had no names, they were known by greek letters - Bourne was Delta. Anyway, he was pretty ruthless and a loose cannon during this time. When their time was over, he was again recruited to carry out a long-term mission to draw out the world's deadliest assassin - Carlos the Jackal. Throughout most of the book, he is referred to as just "Carlos". He spends three years in Asia and Europe operating under the assumed name of Jason Bourne - who was actually a Medusa member who double-crossed his fellow Medusans and was executed by our main character for it. The hype is that Bourne is just as skilled as an assassin, but doesn't charge as much, and his legend grows quickly. The truth is that the men behind Medusa, who used the name Treadstone Seventy-One, assigned credit for many kills to Bourne, when in reality he almost never was responsible. It was entirely a setup to draw out the Jackal, and capture him.

So anyway, when Bourne loses his memory, the people at Treadstone think he's turned, and set out to have him eliminated. Only they underestimate him, and he outsmarts them and avoids all their attempts to have him killed. Towards the beginning, he takes this woman, Marie, hostage. She stays with him for the rest of the book, initially because he rescued her from a man trying to rape her, but then because she is convinced he isn't a killer while he is still troubled by the apparent evidence.

Anyway, it climaxes when Bourne is framed for a mass killing at the base of operations for Treadstone, and is ordered to be taken out. However, he knows that the Jackal is after him and is trying to set him up. There is a showdown at the base building in New York, where Carlos escapes, wounded, and Bourne is taken into custody. We then find out that his name is David Webb. The book ends with him beginning therapy to restore his memory.

The Bourne Supremacy, the sequel, picks up right there. The story, however, is totally different and not at all related to the events of the first book. Webb/Bourne and his now-wife, Marie, are living in Maine under government protection. It is a year after the events of the first book. New characters are introduce, an Undersecretary of State named McAllister, and an ambassador-at-large named Havilland. McAllister comes to the Webbs with some story about David being in danger for past actions in the Orient. Then, suddenly, his wife is kidnapped and he is sent on a wild goose chase.

A man has killed in Asia, and has used the name of Jason Bourne. There is an impostor posing as the original. Hence "Supremacy". Webb is told that to see his wife again, he must track the impostor and bring him in. It turns out that this is not the main issue, however. There is a madman in China who dreams of a coup to retake the power of the country under the old regime, and he will stop at nothing to achieve it. Its interesting because while Webb tracks the impostor, he has to think of what he would do in any given situation, since this impostor was trained to be like him, studied everything about him. We find out that he was trained by none other than Echo, another Medusan who Webb fought alongside many times in the past, and who he ran into in the first book, going by the name d'Anjou (he's French). The two of them track the impostor together.

Its all very complex, but at the end, Echo is killed by the madman, Webb finds the impostor and the two of them mount an assault on the base of operations in China, after Webb thinks his wife has been killed. You see, throughout this chain of events, Jason Bourne has taken control, and consequently Delta. The mind of David Webb has been pushed to the shadows in order to successfully carry out the task put in front of him. At the end, when his wife shows up, he doesn't recognize her, after the mental torment he has gone through, once again being betrayed by the government that created him. The impostor is killed in the assault, and David Webb regains his mind from Delta. However, he still has to finish one more thing. The madman's actions could plunge the entire Far East into war, and it must be averted. Webb is sent to kill the man, which he does.

The allies this time are Alexandar Conklin, CIA man who tried to have Webb killed twice in the first book, and whose subsequent guilt over trying to eliminate the man who was crying out for help drove him to drinking. He cleans up his act when he finds out what the government is doing to the Webbs, and helps avert total disaster. Also, there is Mo Panov, the psychologist who helped David restory parts of his memory.

Whew. I think that's it. Now I have to read The Bourne Ultimatum. I don't know what its about.

Any questions?
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