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First Among Equals by Jeffrey Archer

First Among Equals (1984)

by Jeffrey Archer

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1,322149,456 (3.43)27
In the 1960s, four ambitious new MPs take their seats at Westminster. Over three decades they share the turbulent passions of the race for power with their wives and families, men and women caught up in a dramatic game for the higest stakes of all. But only one man can gain the ultimate goal - the office of Prime Minister . . . 'We haven't had a better novel about Parliament since Anthony Trollope' SCOTSMAN 'Another example of the author's mastery of the pure art of storytelling ' DAILY TELEGRAPH.… (more)



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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
First Among Equals is a novel about english politics - it follows four men of roughly equal ages from varying backgrounds and varying parts of the United Kingdom as they pursue careers in politics, ultimately aiming for the top job in their respective parties.

Initially I found the first 50 pages were a bit lacklustre however once the story got going and the political machinations commenced I found it was quite an interesting tale. The scheming, conniving and affairs that took place within the men's rise in power were well structured in the novel and I liked how the events unfolded towards the end of the story and the structure of the ending itself was a nice touch.

If one enjoys novels about politics then First Among Equals is very much worth a look. ( )
  HenriMoreaux | Jan 18, 2020 |
Fantastic. Archer keepsproducing literature of the highest standard. Great the way he writes a fictional novel but with references to non-fiction. Cant wait to start my next Archer book ( )
  Tony2704 | Mar 6, 2015 |
A very light read, enjoyable in that you re-visit characters from the earlier books in the series, meet new ones, have villains & heroes, and throw in just a smidge of mystery. Fun but not too deep. ( )
  labdaddy4 | May 26, 2014 |
It's a very interesting insight into the British politic and parliament, especially for a non British citizen like me. It describes the political career of four men which are from different parts of Great Britain and also from different political parties. They are more or less equal in age but not in their social background. Everyone of them is following other ambitions to become one day Prime Minister or to be called for an important job within its party. There are few friendships and it looks like cheating is very common.
I enjoyed the reading very much and Jeffrey Archer's spelling style is as always fabulous. ( )
  Ameise1 | Oct 5, 2013 |
This novel covers the lives of four quite different men who begin their parliamentary careers together, up until the point at which one of them becomes Prime-minister. As Jeffrey Archer is intimately acquainted with the seedier side of politics, this novel does have some authenticity about it. It is difficult to believe that UK politics are described without some minor embellishment here, but it is not so overdone that it is not all quite believable. Of the four men, two start off as good, and two bad, one of each for Labour and the Conservatives, but there is some change to this throughout the novel, which covers around 30 years. Though the main characters are fictional, the other events are roughly based on what actually happened over this time in British politics. Archer is a long way from being a literary novelist, but this is not the sort of book that needs to be that well written to work, it has excitement and suspense, and I presume it will please fans of the genre. It also shows us what goes on in a world that few of us directly experience, and the goings on in the government that do affect us, however slightly, in the course of our lives. I enjoyed the book as I'm going through a phase of being interested in politics, but if I wasn't interested in this I would probably not have enjoyed it very much. ( )
  P_S_Patrick | Jul 24, 2012 |
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King Charles III made the final decision.
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'First Among Equals' is a 1984 novel that follows the careers and personal lives of four British politicians (Simon Kerslake, MP for Coventry Central; Charles Seymour, MP for Sussex Downs; Raymond Gould, MP for Leeds North; and Andrew Fraser, MP for Edinburgh Carlton) from 1964 to 1991, each vying to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Several situations in the novel are drawn from the author's own early political career in the British House of Commons, and the fictional characters interact with actual British politicians of the day

When published in the United States, the novel was rewritten to eliminate the character of Andrew Fraser. The Fraser character eventually departs the Labour Party to join the breakaway Social Democratic Party.

According to Archer, the change was made because the publisher did not believe the American audience would understand a multi-party political system. As a result, several plot elements revolving around Andrew Fraser were transferred to other characters, notably Simon Kerslake, who suffered through a change of heart in marriage and the loss of a child in the US edition, while these events happened to Andrew Fraser in the UK edition.

The ending of the novel differed in the US version as well, with both the winner of the ultimate election and the manner in which the contest was decided changing from one version to the next.
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