Like many of his ilk, Ludlum tends to be disregarded amongst the literati, as producing puerile rubbish. However as Ludlum once said
I don't believe that that my first name is Leo, or that my last name is Tolstoy. I'm a storyteller.Ludlum is definitely a storyteller. Although in recent years there have been a few misses, his latest book The Prometheus Deception is back on target, and is probably his best work since the Bourne Ultimatum.
His publishers have announced that The Prometheus Deception will not be the last Ludlum book as he was working on several titles at the time of his death.
It looks like the publishers/ Estate of Ludlum are cashing in on the popularity of Jason Bourne with another book set to be released later this year (2008). I have to say that I am disappointed with this. The original Bourne Trilogy, went far enough, there was very little for Bourne to do, or for us to learn. The later Bourne stories have been rather disappointing. I just hope the new book will not be about his son. Any bets?
Well I think my comments have turned out be prophetic, quality of the Bourne books is dropping.
It is amazing that the estate of Robert Ludlum continue to cash in on his name some 14 years after his death. In many ways it seems a shame to pin his name so prominently on the novels when some are definitely below par. After a two year gap, the Covert 1 series has been reawakened. I have mixed feelings on this, and will wait to see what the new stories are like. Some of the previous novels were definitely bordering on the edge of reality.
To some up, if Ludlum, Clancy and Cussler are such bad authors why do they sell so many books? The answer, because in general they are ways for people to escape the humdrum way of life that many lead. How many school children have often played secret agent at school or in the local park. Ludlums books, were always pure escapist works, not meant to necessarily make a social comment or political point although some certainly are against the corporate world, but are there to entertain, and bring the reader back for more. How would the main character whether Jason Bourne or Nick Bryson escape that deadly situation save the world, and on occasion the girl as well without some erstwhile help? This is something overlooked with Ludlums books, occasionally beside the strong hero, you also have the strong willed woman to help the hero out, and get him through the death and destruction.
Ludlum would never win the Booker prize in the UK, because it is unpretentious escapist reading, and apart from Trevayne I would certainly prefer reading a Ludlum to the right on politically correct tosh that usually wins this sort of prize.
So how will Ludlum be remembered? Well in my view as the first of his genre. The spy thriller turned into a super heated race to save the world. Having sold over 200 million (yes million) books, he can't have been wrong.