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The Chancellor Manuscript
 
by
Robert Ludlum
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The Chancellor Manuscript

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  3,472 ratings  ·  66 reviews
DID J. EDGAR DIE A NATURAL DEATH? . . . OR WAS HE MURDERED?

Inver Brass—a group of high-minded and high-placed intellectuals who see a monstrous threat to the country in Hoover's unethical use of his scandal-ridden private files. They decide to do away with him—quietly, efficiently, with no hint of impropriety. Until best-selling thriller writer Peter Chancellor stumbles on...more
Audio Cassette, Abridged, 0 pages
Published August 1st 1988 by Random House Audio (first published March 1977)
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Rory Pratt
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.
Sailen Dutta
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
Joe
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
Ed
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
John
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.
Mary
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
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.
Elissa
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.
Dipanjan
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
KOMET
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...more
Greg Daly
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.
Shashank Pedamallu
STORY/PLOT - 1/5
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.

NARRATION - 2/5
The first few pages involves description of a covert group with code names and personal names which...more
Denise Dougherty
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
Jim B
Read by Michael Moriarity.
The abridgement gives the basics of the plot but sucked the life out of a suspense thriller.
Suby
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...more
Huma
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tom
J E Hoover murder conspiracy
Ward
A little bit too convoluted of a plot for my tastes but still wrapped up to a satisfactory degree. It was probably a little more relevant at its time of publication. A little bit dated too in terms of some of the technology referenced as well as a bit (uncharacteristically?) sensational. All in all still as satisfying as any other Robert Ludlum story- he was consistent and did his research well!
Paul
I'm a big fan of Robert Ludlum. This was a typical Ludlum thriller. He twists fantasy and reality and has the reader guessing what is fact and what is fiction the whole way. The Chancellor Manuscript was very good. The only thing that kept it from 5 stars was that I didn't connect all that well with the lead character, Peter Chancellor. Otherwise all the Ludlum strengths were on display.
Pete
The story really has nothing to do with Hoover per se but never the less there is some first rate story telling here with plenty of excitement throughout. The novel really takes off once it is revealed that the conspirators themselves have been compromised. The reader will undoubtedly find himself racing to the finish line to discover who the mole was.
Lawrence
I am amazed how Ludlum manages to tie all the ends together without resorting to some of the "out of thin air" stunts that frustrated me when I would read Sherlock Holmes. All the clues are there, and when the action starts, it doesn't stop. I would not call this a "light" read, but a worthy effort for a suspense fan.
Jake
Another good 70s-era read from Robert Ludlum. This one loses steam a little in the end but is still one of his better efforts. I don't want to give away much of the plot, but reading this was like reading many of the conspiracy thrillers that came out around the time of Watergate when trust in the government was low.
Jyv
I struggled with this overlong and confusing book. I persevered only because I had nothing else to read (apart from the cumbersome 'Breath of snow and ashes'). The ending, when it finally came, was a bit of an anticlimax - not that I actually cared what happened. I was relieved it was finally over.
Stephen
Personally for me, I didn't find this all that compelling compared to the other Ludlum I have read. I think it might especially be lost on anyone too young to remember J.Edgar Hoover, whose death plays a prominent role in setting up the entire story.
Slarson6
Not Ludlum's best work, but still a compelling "conspiracy" plot. Government "spooks", J. Edgar Hoover's death and his secret files, misdirections, red herrings, with shots fired and explosions. All good reasons to read this book.
David
Nov 13, 2013 David rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: thrillers, favorites
While many debate how good this one was,it is my favorite. It was pure fun, and it showed me a little of how a writer might think and work, but overall and well put together thriller that moved inexorably forward to a great ending.
Valerie Patterson
This book goes on my "Will read over and over again" shelf! It's one of the few fiction books I've read that left me wondering if it could very well be non-fiction! Excellent writing! Superb plot! A must read!
Popebrak
I didn't realize when I started reading this that this week marks the 40th anniversary of the death of J. Edgar Hoover. Which is kinda funny. . . cause the book starts off with a bunch of guys assassinating Hoover.
Beverly
This was the first Robert Ludlum (Bourne Identity) that I read. His early books are great suspense novels. I enjoyed the first couple of Bourne Identity books but the later ones have a lot of violence.
Tony Totev
My first Ludlum book! I clearly state that it brought my readings to a new level. Definitely I could tell just by this one book that Robert is one of the greatest story-tellers ever! Don't miss it :)
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5293
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...
The Bourne Identity (Jason Bourne, #1) The Bourne Supremacy (Jason Bourne, #2) The Bourne Ultimatum (Jason Bourne, #3) The Matarese Circle (Matarese #1) The Icarus Agenda

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