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First Among Equals [Paperback]

Jeffrey Archer
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Mar 2009
A classic of commercial fiction now reissued with a new cover look

Product details

  • Paperback: 466 pages
  • Publisher: Pan (6 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330418998
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330418997
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 11.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 215,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeffrey Archer's writing career has spanned over 30 years. His first novel, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, was an immediate bestseller in 1975. He went on to publish a string of international market-leading bestsellers including Kane & Abel, A Matter of Honour, First Among Equals and most recently A Prisoner of Birth and Paths of Glory, both of which were number one bestsellers in the UK, Australia, Canada and India. His volumes of short stories, such at Quiver Full of Arrows, Twelve Red Herrings and Cat O'Nine Tales have made him arguably the bestselling short story writer in the English language. Now published in 97 countries and more than 33 languages, Jeffrey Archer remains firmly established as one of the biggest authors of his generation with continuing global international sales surpassing 135 million copies. He is married with two children and lives in London and Granchester.

Product Description


'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

Book Description

Playing for the highest stakes of all . . . 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 highest 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

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Primus Inter Pares 30 Jan 2000
This was one of the first books on British Politics I read whilst I was doing GCSE Politics and I think I passed because I enjoyed this novel so much I read it again and again.
Not only are the main characters totally believable and credible, they are seemlessly blended into British Political history from 1964. Their careers are affected by Wilson, Heath, Callaghan and Thatcher who appear as larger than life characters.
The mysteries and ancient conventions of British Politics are also intermingled into the storyline - any student of Politics wanting to understand the role of the whips will have an excellent introduction with this book.
Regardless of what you think of the author, he doesn't let his politics interfere in what is a first class story. A smashing read.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great political tale... 27 Dec 2003
There is the theoretical idea in Westminster Parliamentary systems that all Cabinet ministers are equals, and that the Prime Minister is simply First among Equals, rather than the nearly all-powerful figure most have become (similarly, the Pope as Bishop of Rome is theoretically merely the first among equals of bishops -- see how that works?).
In fact, the office of the Prime Minister is a powerful position, one that drives many people to do strange and bizarre things in aid of attaining the office. Like the characters in the novel, Jeffrey Archer (now Lord Archer, most recently guest of Her Majesty's prison system) had Prime Ministerial ambitions, too. Unlike many of the characters in this novel, Archer 'settled' for less than the Premeirship earlier in his career, discovering writing as a lucrative and creative outlet, and one that allows him to work out his personal and professional angst in a very unique manner. Much in this novel reflects Archer's own struggles.
The novel is very accurate and true to form in the mechanics and atmosphere of the House of Commons and House of Lords. Having been a Member of Parliament, Archer knew the environment from the inside, and drew realistic scenarios and created realistic characters of such degree that I have required this novel as a text when I've taught British politics.
The major cast of characters -- Seymour, Kerslake, Fraser and Gould -- fit composites of many back-benchers I knew when I worked in Parliament. Unlike the majority of back-benchers, these are men of ambition and ability (alas, somewhat rare combinations in politics in any nation). Each has an eye on the brass ring of No. 10 Downing Street, and each has, at the outset of political careers, an equal chance at success.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars jef's novels 19 May 2012
By mickeyf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
stunning novel.True to life.Didn't know that I wasn't reading a documentry until later on.
Rivited to it to the end.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Feel Good Book 22 Oct 2004
This story by Jefferey Archer is typical of his style.The main characters are all highly driven,ambitious and hardworking.The tale revolves around four MP's who are elected into the british parliament,in the 60's.Each of them is a stereotype;an academic,a scotsman,a viscount's son and another lawyer.Its thoroughly balanced,interms of what the characters deserve;Jefferey Archer establishes an intricate web of give and take with exact equivalence.So this is definitely not a classic.After reading the book one doesnt feel more experienced.However,this book has some strong points.The description of the British political system is credible(though three of the four characters are hardly political),and the pace of the story ensures that you keep turning the pages.The major political stepping stones of the characters are well distributed (but too smooth).On the whole,its a good one-time read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing!! 28 Feb 2014
By reen
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
gripping from the first page to the last! A must read! Archer weaves a web than gets you totally hooked
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Political Biography 13 Mar 2003
By A Customer
This is one of Archer's finest novels. It plots the lives of four young men and their pursuit of the top job in British politics. As an ex-MP himself, Archer gives a great insight into the British political system. This is a roller coaster ride for all for four men with a brilliant twist to finish.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Full of fascinating facts 2 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First read this many years ago and loved it just as much this time. I love the insight it gives into British politics despite the characters being fictional.
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4.0 out of 5 stars a very good read 15 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I always find this author very easy reading, I like a book you can just pick up and follow easily.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Jeffrey Archer's books are always brilliant and well worth reading. Full of twists and turns especially if you can get them on a good deal
Published 2 months ago by catgirl
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite a Clifton Chronicle
Choose this after reading the Clifton Chronicles which I loved, this was good just not as good. Few too many characters to keeo track of. Still worth a read though
Published 2 months ago by vicky n
5.0 out of 5 stars First Among Equals
A very clever narrative of the British political system, together with a strong story line. A little slow to start, but then you won't be able to put it down
Published 3 months ago by Mrs Patricia A Kennett
3.0 out of 5 stars Political machinations
An insiders story of parliamentary shinanagons. I was not convinced by the cardboard characters whose careers were weaved together throughout the years leading to Mrs Thatcher. Read more
Published 4 months ago by C.Hague
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a good read
Must have been one of his early books. I did finish it but found it very juvenile in its storyline.
Published 5 months ago by mizee
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
Found the book enjoyable with 4 different characters, which of course one had to be a bounder, as well as learning more about the workings of Parliament
Published 7 months ago by Dave
3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of his best
I am an avid Archer fan but while I found the subject fascinating, as it was an era of politics that I have lived through and Prime Ministers from Wilson to Thatcher were... Read more
Published 7 months ago by susan Stokes
4.0 out of 5 stars The Lid off Westminster
This book makes you feel that you are part of the in-fughting that apparently goes on in Westminster. Skilfully written with plenty of "human" interest as well. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Michael Starck
5.0 out of 5 stars A great writer
I chose another of Jeffrey Archers books as I have always enjoyed his books. I was't disappointed this was a great read
Published 8 months ago by John Russell
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Jeffrey Archer makes his books so good that it is almost impossible to put them down, thank goodness for the tablet readers.
Published 14 months ago by Dizzy Mansfield
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