Summer Reading Project #3: The Bourne Supremacy

Here’s my list so far:

The Great Gatsby (done)
The Bourne Identity (done)
The Bourne Supremacy (done)
The Bourne Ultimatum
Les Misérables

I’ll repeat myself just a bit here – the Bourne books should be treated as completely different than the Bourne movies. Other than a couple of the same names – they are on completely different story lines.

Supremacy finds Bourne and Marie living the ‘dream’ life of him being a college prof, working out his past with some therapist, and in the meantime the entire Far East is heading towards war centered around Hong Kong returning to China in 1999. So the U.S. government kidnapps Bourne’s wife under the disguise of a Chinese mob boss so that Bourne will get involved in the removal of the chief conspirator.

It’s a great story, full of action and intrigue. The mind games that Bourne has to deal with and endure are pretty intense. I thought this one was better than Identity although Bourne still comes across more as a victim than he does in the movies.

I think most of these kinds of books are written just for the sheer entertainment but it is interesting to see how all the main characters understand and define morality. “The ends justifies the means” vs. “The means is a way to the ends” kind of moralities pit against each other throughout the book. If you did the wrong thing for the right reasons – is that right? If you did the right thing for the wrong reasons – is that wrong?

I’m fairly certain Ludlum’s point was not to write a case study on ethics, but it’s all there in the story and the author (and main character) never seem to land on a concrete answer – which is fine. Let the reader wrestle with it….or not and enjoy the spy novel.

I was asked lately – why do I read fiction and stuff like this as a pastor. Because it’s story. And people love stories and the more stories I read – hopefully, that will make me a better storyteller of the greatest story ever – Jesus’ story. Stories inspire and connect us together, stories allow me to process and understand more complicated principles. Stories I remember and can pass on.

So I read this stuff partly because – it’s fun and entertaining. Partly because it’s enlightening and helpful.


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