I recently finished The Bourne Legacy, a book I was incredibly reluctant to read. I first read The Bourne Identity in junior high school, and I have vivid memories of reading The Bourne Ultimatum while traveling in France as a high school student. Ludlum’s gift for complex plots, attention to detail, respect for his characters and deep understanding of conflicting loyalties absolutely enthralled me. I’ve read each book in the series a number of times.
I’d never ready any of Eric van Lustbader’s novels, so I had no idea what to expect. What I was afraid of, though — that Ludlum would turn into the grey haired equivalent of Tupac, to be forever exploited by his family — was completely unfounded. The book is superb.
A casual reader would not pick up on the fact that the book is not Ludlum’s — the style and pacing are familiar. But rather than mimic Ludlum, van Lustbader manages to make the story his own, a trick that cannot be easy to do. In the espionage/thriller genre, the Bourne trilogy is legendary. And he manages to take you on a ride every bit as good as Ludlum’s work. I couldn’t read it fast enough, and was disappointed to finish it.
In other book news, I got my copy of Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail, the book-length treatment of the seminal Wired article from a couple years back. I’m giving a presentation at a conference in a few weeks on media strategy, and I can already tell this book will be the foundation upon which a number of points I make will stand. This month’s issue has an excerpt about the changing nature of the music business which is fascinating; if the rest of the book is as good as these two articles, it’ll be an immediate favorite of mine for business strategy books.