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The Tenth Chamber

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  4,111 ratings  ·  329 reviews
Abbey of Ruac, rural France: A medieval script is discovered hidden behind an antique bookcase. Badly damaged, it is sent to Paris for restoration, and there literary historian Hugo Pineau begins to read the startling fourteenth-century text. Within its pages lies a fanciful tale of a painted cave and the secrets it contains - and a rudimentary map showing its position clo ...more
Paperback, 410 pages
Published March 18th 2010 by Arrow (first published 2010)
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3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,111 ratings  ·  329 reviews

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Jul 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
I think I got a bit obsessed with Glenn Cooper this fortnight, after reading his first two earlier books about the Vectis Library.

So in The Tenth Chamber, we are taken to remote caves in rural France where a great new discovery is made of early cave paintings. As a team descend to uncover its secrets the somone is not happy about them being made public.

The beginning was interesting and I enjoyed learning a little about the Lascax paintings Auriganacian period, 32,000 years ago. Somewhere in the
A.M. Dean
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of thrills with an historical bent
I walked into Glenn Cooper's The Tenth Chamber a bit unknowing, not having read his other works, and I'll admit I was leery. Ancient cave art? Modern-set historical fiction that involves . . . St Bernard of Clairvaux, with Abelard and Heloise?

But something compelled me to pick up the book despite my worries, and I'm profoundly happy I did. It turns out, The Tenth Chamber is one of the most enjoyable reads I've had this summer, commanding my attention for a solid 24 hours as I simply couldn't put
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, thriller
One of those Dan Brown cash-ins you seem to see everywhere around.

This one started off strongly but soon deteriorated. Cooper builds up the mystery surrounding the ancient cave very strongly, then adds in some Ten Little Indians-style murders which ratchet up the tension no end. Unfortunately, about halfway through the book that plot comes to an end, and then the author seems at a loss what to write about.

Annoyingly, he chooses to incorporate two other elements of history relevant to the contemp
Nerine Dorman
Aug 08, 2011 rated it liked it
While this isn't the most earth-shattering read to land on my desk, Glenn Cooper nonetheless delivers an entertaining novel. Mixing historical periods (with a less raunchy nod to Jean M Auel's Earth's Children) Cooper presents us with Luc Simard, a dashing cad of an archaeologist. When a mysterious illuminated manuscript is discovered, Simard is discovers a cave that rivals the splendors of Lascaux. While the story is well told, I felt at times that the many disparate arcs that were combined ver ...more
Jan 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In The Tenth Chamber, a heavily-damaged fourteenth century script is found behind a bookcase in an abbey. The map inside points at a cave with primitive, but astounding, paintings on its walls. The book is sent to Paris for restoration and that's where Hugo Pineau, a literary historian, first sees the book. He enlists the help of archaeologist, Luc Simard, to find the cave and decipher its secrets. Soon after the team assembles at the cave and the work begins, it's apparent that this discovery i ...more
This was an ambitious story that turned silly rather quickly. I say it was ambitious because it was a story depicting three different time periods that connected "the secret".

The people guarding this secret claimed to be doing so out of patriotism for France, that they were protecting her treasures. What treasure could be more important than the discovery of a cave with pre-historic paintings? What could require such fervent protection in the name of patriotism? It wasn't worth finding out.

I thi
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Finished this book, but I am not sure what it was about. Is it a story of the discovery and preservation of prehistoric art in a French cave? Is it a story about French resistance ambushing a German train loaded with stolen WWII currency and artifacts? Is it a story about man's search for eternal life? Actually, it touches on all of these, and the end result is a high body count, a shadowy French intelligence agency, and a lot of questions.
Rusty Dalferes
Feb 03, 2014 rated it liked it
This was an enjoyable book, at least plot-wise. I would recommend it to anyone who likes thrillers, mysteries, or historical fiction (especially fiction that bounces among multiple different time periods in history).

But I'll start with the mechanics. I can't say I'm a great fan of the writing, and only part of that is attributable to the fact that it comes from a British publisher. There's an almost pathological aversion to commas which can't merely be explained by differences in English usage
Paige Turner
Oct 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
In an abbey in rural France a medieval script is discovered hidden behind an antique bookcase. Badly damaged, it is sent to Paris for restoration, and there literary historian Hugo Pineau begins to read the startling fourteenth-century text. Within the pages lies a fanciful tale of a painted cave and the secrets it contains, including a rudimentary map showing its position close to the abbey. Intrigued, Hugo enlists the help of archaeologist Luc Simard and the two men go exploring.

The men discov
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael Moore
Dec 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Not
This is a poor example of jumping on the band wagon. Join Clan of the Cave Bears with the Second World War Nazi sack of treasures, a 'lost cave' and a mysterious government interest. I read the first two chapters, worked out what the result would be and lo and behold..jump to the last couple and I was right. Generic and boring apart from the detail of he scientific angle...I really expected better. Two stars is generous.
Patrick Carroll
Feb 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
Please, no more Dan Brown knock offs, I must learn not to buy anything that has religious or southern France in the jacket cover. If you like DB buy and read this, you'll never tell the difference but clearly the publishers felt "there's always room for one more, let's mine that seam".
Mar 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
Didn't like it. I thought it dragged along... I had trouble finishing it.
Oct 07, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Brown. You know with little kids, how when they are doing finger paints, they have a bright, joyful, multicolored masterpiece, and then they decide they need to add just one more shade and they get instead a brown, muddy mess.
Among the threads pulled into this book are:
(view spoiler)
Feb 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Quite a mixed bag of a book this. Whilst the novel goes back and forth between the time periods the story needs to cover, the chronological order is: Pre-History. Medieval Middle Ages. Second World War. Modern day. Quite a spread and unusually (from my point of view anyway) all set in France. Though all the better for that, I say.

It is however, a bit of a mixed success. The story hangs around a series of interlocking cave chambers that are discovered in modern times, with cave paintings that are
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hard to describe but overall a good book

This "thriller" is a little different than most. There weren't any edge of your seat moments but somehow you want to keep reading to find out where the story was going. At first, it appears that the book was about the art in the cave, then the age/time period of the cave, then about medieval monks who had also discovered the cave during the period of the Templar knights, then about the tea that was brewed from plants depicted in the cave. Many other review
Karla Eaton
Aug 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Fun book - what a page turner. I really enjoyed how the author wove three narratives from three completely different eras - modern day, 1100s France and 30000 years ago with cave men into a cohesive story with a compelling intrigue which connects all of the stories at once.
I liked also the realistic elements of what life was like for early man and the plausible explanation for the plants and bones and drawings in the cave.
One of the more compelling and serious aspects of the novel is the questi
Hazel Stanton
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
The overwhelming feel I had from this book was disappointment and relief at finishing it. Previously I had very much enjoyed the Library of the Dead and Book of souls and was therefore looking forward to the author’s next offering. Unfortunately I found the story plodding and ponderous and rather formulaic with very little intrigue or excitement. I felt no connection or empathy for the characters which seemed to be very two dimensional, the exception being perhaps the prehistoric tribes. I had s ...more
Dean Kutzler
Apr 19, 2015 rated it liked it
This book had a great idea, but the delivery fell a little flat. As some other reviewers had said, too many characters to keep track of and I also found it disconcerting Me. Cooper would switch scenes with no breaks. It kept jarring me from the story and backtracking. And again, too much backstory right before another information dump.

I hate to give a negative review--rarely do I--so let meet assure you, this was a great story with some very good ideas and definitely worth the read. I, for one,
Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Ok, I'm officially a fan. Cooper mixes St. Bernard, the story of Abelard and Eloise, a touch of the templars, prehistory, and archaeology into a fascinating read. The story follows a spectacular discovery in France, the dig, and the repercussions of discovering things that might want to be left to history. One fun tidbit is that Cooper left the possibility open for a sequel, however The Tenth Chamber will be hard to beat.
the tenth chamber 2 stars....

I was excited by the first chapter or two. I wanted to dig in and get lost in this book but, as soon as I realized the sexual nature of the pictograph and what was probably coming in the words ahead. Skimming forward I read more of the same and I was done. Just not my kind of read.
Ruth Downie
Mar 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Set in France, this is a good adventure yarn that combines a lot of familiar elements (aged monks, ancient texts to be deciphered, bold archaeologists and a Big Secret) but all done with style. The plot ranges from the very, very ancient past (convincingly re-imagined) to the present day, and the fact that the author's trained as an archaeologist adds credibility. Great fun.
Deborah Cater
This is a beach-book, something that does not overly tax the mind, which is what I wanted when I bought it.
I liked the change between times in order to give the background. I didn't enjoy the over-use of " a..." - metaphors do not need to become similes with such regularity.

In a nutshell - a pleasant enough read.
Aug 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
I really liked this, lots of action and plenty of murders to keep the twisted among us happy i.e me.
As for who the murderers are there are two groups of possible suspects both of who have reasons for wanting the tenth chamber kept secret and will do anything to stop the world finding out about it.
Kathy Floyd
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very exciting!

I love archeological books, and I really enjoyed this one because of the addition of the red tea. Of course, I have would have loved to have been able to have gone through that cave!
Annette Bennett
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book sucked me began with an interesting plot,but about mid way it become predictable.
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
This was a little disappointing. It started off good but lost me about 3/4 of the way through.
Heather Fineisen
Started out strong with a hidden ancient manuscript and secrets of ancient cave art. Then lost steam.
A Reader's Heaven
(I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.)

Abbey of Ruac, rural France – A medieval script is discovered hidden behind an antique bookcase. Badly damaged, it is sent to Paris for restoration, and there literary historian Hugo Pineau begins to read the startling fourteenth-century text. Within its pages lies a fanciful tale of a painted cave and the secrets it contains – and a rudimentary map showing its position close to the abbey. Intrigued, Hugo enli
Luc Simard, a handsome archaeology professor, is called by an old college friend to inspect a coded manuscript that was found hidden in a wall at a rural French monastery. This leads to the discovery of a cave set high within a nearby cliff, with magnificent paintings that not only pre-date those at Lascaux and Altamira, but include a far more advanced artistic style. Calling upon the appropriate government ministries, Luc secures the necessary approvals and funding to gather specialists (includ ...more
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Glenn Cooper is an internationally bestselling thriller writer.

Glenn was born in New York City and grew up in nearby White Plains. He attended White Plains High School before enrolling at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he graduated from Harvard with an honors degree in archaeology. He then attended Tufts University School of Medicine and did his post-doctoral training at the
“In the year 1112, Cîteaux Abbey was still all wood and no stone. It had been established fifteen years earlier but the abbot, Stephen Harding, a flinty Englishman, had not received new novices for some time. He was overjoyed by this influx of humanity and he welcomed Bernard and his entourage with open arms. That first cold night in the lay dormitory, Bernard blissfully lay awake, the crowded room resonating with the snores of exhausted men. In the days and weeks to come, the harder the travails the greater his pleasure and in the future he would tell all novices at his gate: ‘If you desire to live in this house, leave your body behind; only spirits can enter here.” 1 likes
“I’d like your opinion about this one, Monsieur Pineau.’ Hugo thirstily slurped at his tea before putting on another pair of latex gloves. He unwrapped the towel and inspected the elegant red-leather bindings. ‘Well, this is something special! What is it?” 0 likes
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