Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Chancellor Manuscript” as Want to Read:
The Chancellor Manuscript
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Chancellor Manuscript

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  4,941 Ratings  ·  107 Reviews
Did J. Edgar Hoover die a natural death - or was he murdered? A top-notch thriller from the No.1 bestselling author
Published March 18th 2004 by Orion Publishing Group (first published 1977)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Chancellor Manuscript, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Rejin Cherian @ Dev Madevan : The Bourne series is purely fictional while some of the events in the Chancellor Manuscript are real-life events. You can Google…more@ Dev Madevan : The Bourne series is purely fictional while some of the events in the Chancellor Manuscript are real-life events. You can Google further about it, if interested.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Rory Pratt
Sep 03, 2010 Rory Pratt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My grandmother gave me a bag of Ludlum books when I was in the hospital after a motorcycle accident when I was 19. I read this book first and was completely blown away. I didn't know reading could be like that. It started me reading. After I read all of Ludlum's books I looked for other authors to read. I will always be grateful to my grandmother.
May 16, 2015 Efka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
Ludlum'as yra žinomas kaip vienas geriausių, nuosekliausių spy-fiction ir konspiracijos teorijos stiliaus žanro autorių, kurio daugelis knygų tapo superhitais ir/ar buvo ekranizuotos, neiškiriant ir populiariosios Borno trilogijos. Šita knyga, nors ir ne itin panaši į Borną (į kino versiją, kuri nuo knygos skiriasi ohoho kaip) išlaiko tuos pačius bruožus - nedidelį tempą, gan lakoniškus dialogus, mažai sąmonės srauto bei aplinkos aprašymų, keletas įtemptų veiksmo scenų. Žodžiu, visai neblogas ko ...more
Sailen Dutta
Mar 04, 2012 Sailen Dutta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourites. The real attraction isn't the question if J.Edgar died a natural death or he was murdered, although that is the premise of the book. No, for me that real attraction was the revelation in the last page. Who's to say that similar kinds of events didn't happen with Ludlum himself? A writer used as a 'blind' by a shadowy organisation to fulfil its own purposes, not caring whether the writer lives or dies at the end. Ludlum definitely models Peter Chancellor on himself. The ques ...more
For the most part, this novel was a slow read and not one of Ludlum's best. The end does pick up. There are a couple of twists and surprises, but maybe there are just too many layers of deception in this story. I feel this novel is proof that Ludlum had an inside source in the intelligence world. I have thought this before concerning some of his other works. Robert Ludlum, like Peter Chancellor, is being fed information from those in the know. That much is obvious and Ludlum has made that clear. ...more
Sep 24, 2016 Laure rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ludlum's books are always a great ride and this one is not an exception. I love how the plot tightens up as you reach the finale: incredibly tight!
It makes me want to read the bourne series again.
Having just read this book, I feel as if I've just been let off a maddening, yet thrilling merry-go-round. Ludlum has written a thriller with the premise that J. Edgar Hoover, the infamous Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), did not die a natural death in 1972, but had been murdered.

One of the principal characters is Peter Chancellor, a man in his 30s, who had failed in his defense of a Ph.D thesis into which he had devoted 2 years of his life. (It was a highly controversial
Apr 05, 2014 Dipanjan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: facebook-reviews
This was my 2nd reading of this book. I had first read it when I was in school, somewhere in the 90s. All I remembered was I smuggle-read this book in school to race through it. The Chancellor Manuscript is a typical Robert Ludlum signature book. Unlike his other books, this one is set COMPLETELY in the USA and the pandemonium of crisis eats away at the heart of the US administration. This book is unique because there is a constant conflict AND merger of fiction and reality. It's like a plot wit ...more
Nov 07, 2012 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book by Ludlum that I've read. I enjoyed the Bourne Trilogy films so read a few of the books from later in the Bourne series. These were by van Lustbader and although entertaining seemed to lack depth with the characters. This book has more depth to it than Lustbader's did, with a far more satisfying sense of resolution (helped no doubt by the fact that it isn't part of a series). Ludlum writes well, mixing good pace of storyline with development of characters and intrigue - a ...more
Dec 12, 2013 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
THE CHANCELLOR MANUSCRIPT is a top-notch thriller with perhaps the most convoluted story line I've ever seen. Only an incredibly masterful writer would even attempt something like this, let alone be able to pull it off. Which Ludlum does, for the most part. Definitely not recommended unless you want to give your brain a workout. This is one book I would suggest reading through as quickly as possible so as not to lose track of the plot.
Aug 07, 2009 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
This is my favorite Ludlum book of all time. I devoured it. It has a bit of historical fiction in it but stays the espionage course as well. I would rate it "R" if it were a movie due to language and some scene description but it's a great read if you like spy novels. Ludlum is a master storyteller.
Julius Gewarges
Feb 21, 2011 Julius Gewarges rated it it was amazing
not better than the previous books I read which were total monsters, but nonetheless amazing. this is a Mystery Spy thriller that, with no surprise, contains many twists and turns. This book doesn't just contain one simple plot, but much much more...Alot more.
lLori Rubin
Dec 31, 2015 lLori Rubin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best Ludlum novel ever, and very timely story line with what is going on in today's world. A must read for lovers of the thriller genre.
Jan 05, 2008 Elissa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first and last Ludlum book I read. I found it tedious. Too many details and not enough suspense for what is supposed to be a suspense/action novel.
This is a non-stop thriller by a master at the top of his form. Great story, characters and plot.
Luke Allen
May 14, 2017 Luke Allen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is very poorly written. Ludlum' prose is overly dramatic and downright cheesy, with an irritating need to punctuate the drama with excessive use of exclamation marks! Why such a high score then? Because it's astonishingly well plotted. The central conspiracy has some genuinely surprising revelations and in its latter third the level of escalation is really quite thrilling. Sure, it's silly, but I gladly ate it up.
Paul Lyons
Jul 08, 2015 Paul Lyons rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christian, Kelanth, Scala
Il manoscritto, in originale "The Chancellor Manuscript" è un romanzo di spionaggio scritto da Robert Ludlum e pubblicato nel 1977. Si tratta di un romanzo sui presunti file segreti di J. Edgar Hoover e come sono scomparsi dopo la sua morte, e come, eventualmente, potrebbero essere utilizzati per ricattare persone di potere per eseguire gli ordini di coloro che possedevano tali segreti. E' anche ipotizzato che Hoover stesso potrebbe essere stato assassinato perché sapeva troppo di molte persone ...more
Michael Laflamme
Ludlum has done better. I have struggled thrilling 50% and I have no desire to finish it.
Ivy Pittman
Feb 27, 2017 Ivy Pittman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My reading of this is quite ironic. It seems to parallel what is going on in the new US administration, Lies and secrets. The inventors and keepers of the lies and deception are being killed one by one. This was one hell of a story. Fiction, my foot. This is real time.
Simon Taylor
Jun 11, 2015 Simon Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Chancellor Manuscript, author Ludlum writes a conspiracy about an author who writes a conspiracy who experiences the same conspiracy as he is. Yeah.
Based on the real-life founding director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, and his well-documented abuses of power, Manuscripts suggests Hoover was assassinated in order for a well-meaning group to gain access to his vast files which he used to blackmail judges, senators, reporters and anybody else that stood in his way. Except half of those files fel
Feb 13, 2014 Ed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, favorites
One of Ludlum's earliest, and still my favorite of his novels, it is based on the premise that J. Edgar Hoover, longtime Director of the FBI, was murdered, rather than having died of natural causes. Neal Holcroft, a graduate student, wants to write his doctoral thesis on the theory, which he has stumbled upon. His academic advisor, however, tells him the theory, as well as his evidence, is weak and flawed, and will never be accepted by college officials as a serious work. He recommends that Holc ...more
I generally like Ludlum's particular brand of action and intrigue, and The Chancellor Manuscript definitely worked when it played to those strengths. An outrageous conspiracy leads an amateur into real-life spy games; Ludlum has written it before and after this novel.

Where this book felt a little flat to me was its metatexual theme. Books about writers writing are always tough for me to read, and this novel is supposedly the book that the main character wrote after the events in the story ended
Tim Healy
Jan 11, 2017 Tim Healy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So...why the five stars, you ask? This book holds up remarkably well. I've re-read some of Ludlum's books and discovered that the feel very dated. The Bourne Identity is one such. This one, while very definitely rooted in the Nixon administration, although the occupant of the White House is never identified, holds up because the reader knows that historical context. But it also holds up because an understanding of 70's America is never necessary to the story. In the end, this is just a story abo ...more
Denise Dougherty
Apr 07, 2013 Denise Dougherty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommended
In the 1970s, my dad and I were hot for Robert Ludlum and anxiously awaited each new book. Ludlum got me started on the international thriller genre and I've been hooked since then. The Chancellor Manuscript, however, was the first to offer (for me) a surprise twist at the ending chapters. I still recall my audible gasp when the culprit was uncovered ... Robbie - you fooled me I said to myself. He was never able to do that again, unfortunately and I gradually lost interest as the stories became ...more
Shashank Pedamallu
Mar 17, 2013 Shashank Pedamallu rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NONE
The brief outline of the story and the author contains certain words like 'conspiracy' and 'sophisticated plotting' that made me read this book. But if some one calls assassination of a person who blackmails people by possessing a collection of files containing classified information for example a famous journalist being a lesbian as one, you've got to be kidding me.

The first few pages involves description of a covert group with code names and personal names which
Sep 05, 2015 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookshelf, read-2015
A young man has a thesis that will turn the world upside down if it is true. The secret society protecting the world can't let that happen. They place, one of their own, to quietly suggest to the young man that make a few changes and share this with the world as a fiction novel. The young man's life is changed and saved. Four years later the young man is needed as a foil to find J Edgar Hoover's missing files.

If you enjoy conspiracy theories of a grand scale and action this is a great read. Ther
Jeff Steward
I was a big reader of Robert Ludlum when I was in high school and college. This is the first one I have read in years. I wasn't disappointed, but nor was I fully satisfied either. It has the typical Ludlum style of twists and action. There is a unique approach to the protagonist's history and involvement that I suspect must have made Ludlum smile. My main issue with the book is the physical prowess of the main character. It doesn't fit. If you are a RL fan go ahead and read. If you're new to Lud ...more
Feb 11, 2009 Huma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: robert-ludlum
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 28, 2011 Suby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book Robert Ludlum appears somewhat confused on how to end the book. I would never have settled for the Black Judge to be the totally racist but would have preferred it to be his son who is championing the cause of the blacks. In trying to confuse the reader the author himself got confused, I would say. The book somehow laks the trade mark insight that all Ludlum novels bear.
I am not saying that the book is not readable. It is. The narrative is racy and the characters are well interwove
Greg Daly
May 09, 2014 Greg Daly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By the time you finish The Chancellor Manuscript one is definitely left wondering if it is based in reality. Like most of Ludlum’s work it is a real page-turner, and almost impossible to put down. The reader must distinguish between the fiction of the protagonist and the reality of the events encompassing him, leading to a fascinating thriller. "The Chancellor Manuscript" turns out to be a satisfying thriller within a thriller.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Orion Team. : THE CONSPIRACY THEORY 5 12 Jun 06, 2015 01:58PM  
  • The Ares Decision (Covert-One, #8)
  • The Bourne Betrayal (Jason Bourne, #5)
  • Floodgate
  • The Venetian Affair
  • The Loo Sanction (Jonathan Hemlock, #2)
  • The Fist of God
  • The Janson Command (Paul Janson, #2)
  • Solo
  • The Power (Tweed & Co., #11)
Robert Ludlum was the author of twenty-seven novels, each one a New York Times bestseller. There are more than 210 million of his books in print, and they have been translated into thirty-two languages. He is the author of The Scarlatti Inheritance, The Chancellor Manuscript, and the Jason Bourne series--The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum--among others. Mr. Ludlum ...more
More about Robert Ludlum...

Share This Book