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House of Cards (House of Cards Trilogy Book 1) by [Dobbs, Michael]
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House of Cards (House of Cards Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Length: 412 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

‘This blood-and-thunder tale, lifelike and thoroughly cynical, certainly carries the ring of authenticity… a great triumph.’
Independent

‘The exciting thriller that has Westminster buzzing. Here is a political thriller writer with a marvellous inside track knowledge of government. House of Cards is fast-moving, revelatory and brilliant.’
Daily Express

From the Back Cover

When Francis Urquhart decides to fight for the ultimate political job – Prime Minister – he issues no challenge to the present incumbent. Instead, using the ammunition of political secrets he's acquired over the years as Chief Whip, he begins a silent, deadly campaign to eliminate every other candidate in any way he can – including murder. Mattie Storin, a young woman journalist, is the only one to sense Urquhart's terrifying self-interest and intent – but to take him on she must range herself against the most powerful men in the country.

A superb political thriller by Michael Dobbs, once advisor to such Conservative luminaries as Margaret Thatcher, Cecil Parkinson and Norman Tebbit, told with all the authority and excitement of inside knowledge.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 862 KB
  • Print Length: 412 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (14 Feb. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B3VE1GE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,282 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author - Michael Dobbs - was a somewhat disgruntled Thatcher's former chief of staff when he embarked on writing this book revolving about late 1980s British politics. This makes him a particularly good source on many of the backroom dealings and the culture of politics of the then Tory party (not sure it would have been that fundamentally different with the other parties, though).

The book revolves around two protagonists - Francis Urquhart, the party's chief whip and Mattie Storin, an ambitious and very capable young political reporter looking for a career breakthrough - and follows the machinations of the former during his attempt to emerge from the shadows right into the lime light of 10, Downing Street.

Urquhart is sinister, cynical and thoroughly ruthless, villanous and unprincipled in a way we increasingly tend to see politicians these days. As chief whip he also has all the instruments at his disposal to achieve his ultimate goal. Mattie, on the other hand is much more youthfull, in some ways still lightly naive (but in other surprisingly not) and is also one real obstacle to Urquhart's success.

The story, while largely linear, follows a good number of characters and thereby offers a somewhat multifaceted view of events unfolding. I would certainly term it gripping, even if the events are far from breathtaking. It has more to do with the author's writing style than with the happenings themselves, and his first hand experience of the British politics adds a good dose of realism to the story.

This is not to say that some events, particualrly in the second half of the book are not a result of a significant artistic licence, although one does at times wonder about there being many more skeletons in the closets than commonly known.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
US citizens’ trust in Congress (House of Representatives + Senate) has reached an all-time low. But the 2013 and 2014 series produced and broadcast by Netflix entitled “House of Cards” dealing with US politicians has won many prizes and is a great popular success. Was it because it confirmed or surpassed viewers’ worst fears and prejudices about politicians?
This review is about the book that inspired the Netflix series.
First published in the UK 1989 as a satire on Britain’s Conservative Party’s internal power politics and an anatomy of some of its parliament’s most sacred institutions and traditions. It is about the search for more power by MPs worrying about re-election. And about the strain on prime ministers to always have to outwit, dominate an unruly parliament at its weekly PM Question Time. This testosterone-laden arena guarantees plenty of intrigue and gossip, sucked up eagerly and disseminated with a vengeance by Britain’s gossipy newspapers.
This book charts Francis Urquhart’s climb to ultimate power. Being the Chief Whip, basically an enforcer of party discipline, with a staff of his own and based two doors away from No. 10 Downing Street, gave him a unique insight into the lives of his 330+ fellow MPs. With great finesse, he engineers a campaign to topple the PM, then eliminates one by one other contenders, always acting as an elderly statesman, manipulating in a sly and non-attributable way.
What makes this book a thriller is: will he succeed or will he be stopped? The author, a former member of Margaret Thatcher’s inner circle, was well placed to write this book. In 1990 the BBC serialized his book in four episodes, with a stunning performance by Ian Richardson as Francis Urquhart.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This became one of the classic political thrillers and spawned one of the most successful television dramas of the 1990s. Indeed, the television series was so successful that it in turn spawned a new, American version quarter of a century on.

At an unspecified point in the 1990s a post-Thatcher Conservative government has just secured re-election, though with a significantly reduced majority. In the immediate aftermath of the election victory, senior members of the party convene to put the finishing touches to their high level plans for the forthcoming term. Francis Urquhart, the party's insanely ambitious Chief Whip hopes for advancement. He is to be disappointed, however, as Prime Minister Henry Collingridge is reluctant to tamper with his Cabinet. This disappointment proves to be the final straw for Urquhart who, at the age of sixty-two, sees his chances of scaling to the highest reaches of the political world receding fast. He is, however, not a man to cross lightly. As the party's Chief Whip he knows all the vulnerabilities of his fellow MPs, and he has the evidence of all manner of their peccadilloes: financial malfeasance, sexual indiscretions and plenty more besides. He also has a finely tuned Machiavellian mind, and the combination proves lethal. He embarks upon a masterful scheme to advance his fortunes, and his front bench colleagues find themselves beset by all sorts of woes.

Michael Dobbs had been a member of Margaret Thatcher's inner circle, and had subsequently served as Deputy Chairman of the Conservative party, so he has ample insight into the seedier wheeling and dealing that accompany high politics. The book is gripping, and Urquhart is an appealing protagonist.
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