Books that Are Actually Better on Film

The Bourne Retribution - Eric Van Lustbader


I just finished Eric Van Lustbader’s The Bourne Retribution (in audio format) and have his latest in the Bourne series ready to read on my Kindle.  (P.S. Isn’t that just one of the coolest names ever? Van Lustbader…it rolls off your lounge, oh never mind, you are no fun,)However, there have been a few books that I have either read of listened to lately that break the usual rule of “All books are better than movies”.  For 95% of books that is a tired and true  motto, but when it comes to high action fiction, in place that you have never been (and let’s face it, will probably never be) the movies can do it much more justice to the setting and the action.

Do not get me wrong, I love a few action series out there even though I consider myself far from a hardcore action fan in both books and movies. Let’s see, anything with Bourne in the title, I will read and/or see. No matter how embarrassing it is, I can’t pass on any of the screen versions of Dan Brown’s work….ah the locations are so beautiful.  There is also another series that I am starting feel fits in this category too and that is the Cotton Malone one by Steve Berry.  There are 14 books in that series and after a total overfill of reading and listening to them lately, they are all starting to blend together because I don’t get to see the great action or especially the exotic locations.

Let’s take The Bourne Retribution as an example.  Here’s the blurb. (okay wait, the blurb is long so I am going to truncate it a bit)

Bourne’s increasingly desperate search for Ouyang takes him from Tel Aviv to Shanghai, Mexico City, and, ultimately, a village on China’s coast where a clever trap has been laid for him. Bourne finds himself pursued on all sides and unsure whom he can trust. As he moves closer to Ouyang, closer to avenging the woman he loved, he also moves ever closer to his own death . . .

I have never been to most of these places so when an action sequence “shows” Bourne sliding down Shanghai tile roof tiles from building to building that are  so built so close together that he can practically step from one to another…I have no  frame of reference. Here on the central coast of California, in some areas it can be miles before you have another house and even in my slightly more populated area, there is still a pretty good distance between them and the difference in architectural styles, ages  and sizes make the whole roof to roof thing pretty much impossible.

I really didn’t enjoy this book as much because I just couldn’t picture it and it isn’t like I have a lack of imagination, it’s just when the main focus of a book is action and I can’t see it in my mind, I tend to nod off or skip pages.

Now I know that publishers and authors alike will hate me for it, but if ya’ll keep writing books like these, I am going to take a pass and wait for the movie.  Don’t hate the player, hate the game.  However, I do have one more Bourne book that I committed to read/mention and I will do so now.

Van Lustbader came out with #12 in the Bourne series called the Bourne Ascendency last month.


This time Bourne’s X-Treadstone boss is being held captive and it sounds great, but I may wait for the movie. It just does the work better justice. Or maybe it’s just that I like to see Matt Damon in action even though he is a bit short for me, not to mention married.

As for Steve Berry’s Cotton Malone series, I don’t think that they have been made into movies yet, but they should.

It might be a good time to mention to any movie makers out there that if a title has Die Hard in the title or Bruce Willis in the billing, I am all over that like white on rice as well and buying it when it comes out. Serious Willis Weakness Syndrome going one here, need a 12 step group.

Since I mentioned a few books here, I will break from tradition and just leave you a link for the Eric Van Lustbader Author Page

Sort of Like Gwen's Signature

Both of these books in the Bourne Series were provided by the publisher for honest reviews. I think we can all agree that I did that.