First Among Equals

First Among Equals

by Jeffrey Archer

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First Among Equals 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
CherryBlossom More than 1 year ago
The story is about three men who have invested their lives to become the Prime Minister of England. The author, Jeffrey Archer, became the youngest member of the House of Commons in 1969. His knowledge of the English system gives the reader a true incite into the workings of the Parliament. It was quite a study of history as well as a compelling tale. The men each have their women who help them confront their fears, obsessions, loves, hates, and political ambitions. Each of the three men possess their own strengths and weaknesses in their quest to become England's Prime Minister. The twists and turns of their lives comes to a complete turn around of events at the end. The plot was interesting but a little too detailed in the political arena for my taste. I skipped over some of this part. Otherwise the story line was good. I believe a reader interested in political systems would really enjoy this book. Cherry Blossom
Guest More than 1 year ago
Larry King has said of Jeffrey Archer, 'There isn't a better storyteller alive.' One would be hard pressed to find a better reader alive for this story of a fight for power. Martin Jarvis easily inhabits the personas of four men as they parry and jab for the right to live at No. 10 Downing Street. Listeners are introduced to this quartet gradually as the story unfolds over some thirty years. Charles, a man born to title and privilege; Simon, whose father imbues him with ambition; Ray, not of patrician birth but born with an iron will; and Andrew, a politician cum sports hero. Archer, a member of the House of Lords, well knows the terrain in which he sets his story, and Martin Jarvis well knows how to deliver it. - Gail Cooke
djbchoctaw More than 1 year ago
I was very disappointed in the quality control (proofing) of the NOOK version. For example, the surname Gould was frequently and confusingly referred as Could. The expletive "My God" was also less impressive as "My Cod". Definitely a book for those interested in the UK political scene and its machinations, but less interesting as a "good read". This is the least appealing of the Jeffrey Archer books I have read.
HistoryBuffMI More than 1 year ago
I've read most of Archer's novels, and enjoy his style, et al. However, in this case, I was mildly disappointed. It seemed he stretched the plot too much, thus losing the flow of the narrative. Also, his surprise ending was, to me, beyond credible. Sorry, Mr. Archer!
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this a completely absorbing read from the beginning. I'm not sure what a British reader would make of it, but as an American and admitted anglophile, I found it fascinating to get a look inside Britain's parliamentary system and politics by following four characters who aspire to be the "first among equals"--the Prime Minister. Archer himself was a member of parliament, so there's an authority and sympathy to his depiction of the wheeling and dealing and temptations of the office. The prologue gives us the background of the four men we'll be following. Blue blood Charles Seymour is the son of an Earl and a Tory, as is self-made man Simon Kerslake. The Scottish Andrew Fraser was born to politics--into a conservative family, but he winds up in the Labour Party. Raymond Gould from Yorkshire, another Labour Party MP, comes from a humble background--but has brilliance and ambition to burn. I definitely had my favorites from the beginning--I certainly found both Simon Kerslake on the Tory side and Andrew Fraser on the Labour side more likable than their rivals. Fraser's story at one point even came close to moving me to tears. Although Gould had his moments and gradually grew on me. And even Seymour turns out to have a redeeming quality and Kerslake and Fraser their flaws and temptations. Several lines in the book were really witty and striking, and I was amused by the political cartoons included in the edition I read. I found watching the four men's tightrope act at the heights of power as suspenseful as any action-laden thriller. I didn't much like Archer's Kane and Abel, but this book I enjoyed a lot. One thing some readers may find jarring. Though the book follows events until 1991, it was published in 1984, which makes for some goofs when Archer's crystal ball showed cracks. (For one, American President Gary Hart.) I have to admit though--I'm not just an anglophile but a political junkie--one who worked as a campaign staffer and political science was my college major. So I can imagine those less interested in politics might be less entranced.
jayne_charles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I rather liked this slightly soapy tale of political life. Because Archer has been there and done it, the story has a certain authenticity, though I'm sure it has been greatly simplified. I thought the characters were well drawn, avoiding too much stereotyping. The only thing I didn't particularly like was the ending, and the convenient personality transplant of one of the main characters
vanamala on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very accurate novel about English Prime Ministerial elections. The life journey of 4 candidates vying to become the Prime Minister. The election travails, accusations, hidden truths and the final run-up makes it a quality read.
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One of the slowest books I've ever read! You would have to know English Government to understand most of the book.
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I enjoyed learning about how British politics work. I was confused but still managed to understand most of the details.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the book well enough. It gave you some good insight into the workings of Parlement.
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