2010年12月12日 星期日

"The Scorpio Illusion" by Robert Ludlum


Robert Ludlum wrote 25 novels in his lifetime, and this is saying a lot, considering that he didn't get one published until he was well over 40. A lot of his novels have also been adapted into films and televesion miniseries, the most famous examples being "The Bourne Identity," "The Bourne Ultimatum," and "The Bourne Supremacy."

Naturally, spy stories written so long before their film adapations - as is definitely the case with the Matt Damon films - bear only a superficial resemblence to the movies they inspired. When Ludlum wrote the first of the Bourne novels, he could only dream of gadgets that Matt Damon's Jason Bourne took for granted, and of course the political events that shaped the original novels were very, very different from those we can relate to today.

So if I were you, I wouldn't judge Robert Ludlum by the Bourne movies. If you do, you are probably going to be disappointed. Events unfold a lot more gradually in Ludlum's novels, and even though the novels are - when compared to other novels - quite face-paced, they demand a level of patience that big-budget Hollywood films would never expect from you or I.

"The Scorpio Illusion" has never been adapted for either film or television, but it's not a bad book. Every chapter ends with a new mystery, and even though some of the plot "twists" are a bit predictable, it's still a solid work of fiction. It's not Moby Dick, mind you, and comparing Ludlum to Tom Clancy is a lot like comparing apples to... well, apples, but it's worth a read.

The story concerns itself with a retired Commander of Naval Intelligence, and his hunt for a terrorist known as Bajaratt. The terrorist in question is attempting to murder the U.S. President, and is doing so with the assistance of a secret organization called "The Scorpios." Everyone is compromised, the hero never knows which way to turn, and the bodies pile up with increasing frequency.

Some of the chronology in the beginning seems a bit confused, some of the more interesting characters could have been used to greater effect, and I think painting the terrost as the quintessence of evil took something away from what might have been a better book. I think that if Ludlum had shown her in a more sympathetic light - and perhaps also cut down the number of characters - it would have made the book far better.

I would give this book 5 stars out of 10. I'm sure he wrote better.

沒有留言:

張貼留言