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First Among Equals

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  11,578 Ratings  ·  254 Reviews
Charles Seymour, second-born son, will never be the earl like his father, but he did inherit his mother's strength-and the will to realize his destiny....Simon Kerslake's father sacrificed everything to make sure his son's dreams come true. Now it is Simon's chance to rise as high as those dreams allow....Ray Gould was born to the back streets but raised with pride-a quali ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published May 16th 2004 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 1983)
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Maggie
Feb 23, 2012 Maggie rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
Fortunately I love politics, as I worked in the Australian Federal and State political scene for a number of years, so this book grabbed me by the throat.

It is a great story and reveals how earlier actions by people in public life, no matter how covert, can rebound and have major consequences down the track – even 20 years later.

Archer also captures the fickleness of human nature, how ambition can undermine integrity and how personal jealousies can knock a good man down – no matter how good he i
...more
Michelle
Warning: Do not read this unless you are actually interested in politics!

First Among Equals is an epic saga which follows the lives (including scandals, wives and lies) of four British MP's. The book spans more than 20 years and would be nowhere near as good were it not for Archer's superb writing style.

Charles Seymoure is the ruthless second son of a wealthy Earl and will literally stop at nothing to make No.10 his home. Simon Kerslake is an ambitious "career Conservative" with a loving wife wh
...more
Anie  Bats
Apr 12, 2016 Anie Bats rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
It's another great book of Jeffrey Archer. Recommended for those who love politics and all those who want to keep themselves occupied till the last page. It also defines how the parliament works. As a reader, you come to know in depth about the British government system. Further, it shows in detail about the life of people in political stream. What are the pressures, highs, and lows in life that politician observes. How media affect their personal lives. After this book, I have become a fan of J ...more
Jayne Charles
Jul 24, 2011 Jayne Charles rated it really liked it
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
Clari Zimmermann
Mar 04, 2017 Clari Zimmermann rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Leseparatist
So, the full story. I first read this novel when I was about 15 or 16, and knew next to nothing about the British parliamentary system (thanks, Polish education). I'm sure a lot of the novel went over my head, and I have no idea how accurate the translation was, but I have to say what I remembered was mainly the scheming and how cool it made politics seem.

I decided on this re-read because I wanted to see how I'd feel about it now. And I started reading the book only to realise something was str
...more
Basha1971
Having been sure I'd read all of JAs books, I was surprised to find this one at a vacation house we rented on the Mediterannean. Well, they say to write what you know and Archer knows the British Parliament. I never would have cared to learn all the ins and outs but Jeffey makes learning fun! ;)
Gea
Aug 28, 2015 Gea rated it it was ok
Archer, Jeffrey “First Among Equals” Linden Press/Simon & Schuster; 1984

Being a fan of Mr. Archer I picked up this book at the annual Plano Book Sale along with some of his other books. However, this book was not only dull reading but it was lengthy and the characters vacillated between good and evil with the exception of Simon Kerslake. It was hard to follow the characters from one escapade to the next, one relationship to another. Both Charles Hampton and Raymond Gould round out the charac
...more
Sheetal Dash
Sep 18, 2014 Sheetal Dash rated it really liked it
'First Among Equals' is quite a different tale. Some of my friends told me that they found the initial part boring. Well, I didn't find that assessment to be true. This novel makes a very interesting reading, and like many other Archer novels, it picks up action as you reach 200-odd pages.
This is a tale of four aspiring gentlemen: Fraser, Gould, Kerslake and Seymour who enter the House of Commons in the 1960s, each aspiring to win the highest office - and to reach 10 Downing Street. But only one
...more
Aleeeeeza
Nov 28, 2010 Aleeeeeza rated it it was ok
It took me almost four months to finish this book. FOUR MONTHS! Even then, I skipped a couple of chapters near the end to finally finish it. Don't get me wrong. This book is actually pretty good. But politics? NOT my thing. So it was a mistake just to pick it up. Besides that, Archer's storytelling is top-notch, but the slow pace of this entire-career-of-four-different-men-documenting novel really grated on my nerves. I was skipping lots of pages at times, more interested in the personal lives o ...more
Firoz
Apr 25, 2014 Firoz rated it really liked it
Pick this book only if you are interested in politics and if you did pickup, You will find it boring in the start but keep reading, you will love the characters.
This one is quite different from the other archer's books that I have read. It gives inside information about how British parliament works.I liked all the four characters.It tells a lot about different personalities and how their decisions would shape their career.I find it hard to remember the characters in the start.It is lengthy but
...more
Onlooker
Jul 16, 2008 Onlooker rated it liked it
In this book, Archer gives the reader an insider's view of the parlimentary form of government. Four candiates each vying to become the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Canavasing votes, a coin toss, scrambling for coalitions to get the the required absolute majority, a minority party getting to play the king maker ..... like I said earlier, it shows most of the ins and outs of the parlimentary form of government. A well written political drama.

And a titbit, I read somewhere that different
...more
Deidre
Dec 08, 2009 Deidre rated it really liked it
Wonderful if you want to learn about, or like British parliament. I read the abridged version (they leave a character out for the Americans I guess)but I'm looking forward to reading this version with the 4th man in it!
Anirudh
I am sure many readers will find this very interesting. But personally I didn't like reading this. I didn't know anything about English Politics and didn't feel like doing much researching. One thing that annoyed me was the sudden change in POV. But its certainly good for those who like politics.
Matthew
Apr 07, 2010 Matthew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed most of Archer's books, finding them not only interesting but informative and entertaining. This is a clear exception. The book was tedious and boring with only momentary and fleeting episodes of interest or intrique. Overall, it was disappointing.
Jonathan Sandys
Aug 29, 2015 Jonathan Sandys rated it it was amazing
An amazing read...

Archer really captures the history of the time in his novel, and certainly keeps you guessing. It is a book for now, even though it is set from the sixties to the nineties. I highly recommend it!
Stephanie
Jan 21, 2009 Stephanie rated it it was ok
I had to read this for my European Politics course. It was a good novel, though nothing of substance. Though, it shows a lot about British parliament ins & outs.
Duncan
Apr 11, 2015 Duncan rated it really liked it
Loved this one on the second read. Always good to revisit Archer
Qi
Mar 28, 2012 Qi rated it it was amazing
Fellow political enthusiasts awake! This is the book for you! I think it's the best I read in my life
Rodwell Mkhwananzi
Sep 18, 2016 Rodwell Mkhwananzi rated it it was amazing
classic Jeffry Archer, politics at its best. The character development was on point, looking forward to the next Archer book.
Sridhar Babu
Feb 09, 2010 Sridhar Babu rated it it was amazing
AUTHOR...
Jeffrey Archer..
CHARACTERS..
Charles Seymour and Simon Kerslake ( both Conservative members), Raymond Gould and Andrew Fraser(both Labour Party members) Fiona, Joyce, Lousie, Elizabeth and Margret Thatcher (Prime Minister UK) and others..
LOCATION..
House of commons (English Parliament LONDON),
GENRE...
Political Thriller...

ABOUT THE BOOK...
Four men from different family backgrounds, all of them strangers, embark a journey for the highest post in their life- Becoming the Prime Minister
...more
Jenn
Mar 06, 2017 Jenn rated it did not like it
Archer can be a dry author at times, but his characters are usually so full of life and realistic that it makes the dry portions of his books endearing. However, I feel in this one he missed the mark. I pushed through the book hoping it would get interesting, and then it was over before I ever became attached to any characters.
Rasika Karunathilaka
Feb 04, 2017 Rasika Karunathilaka rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
HowardRoko
Mar 23, 2017 HowardRoko rated it it was ok
Archer is one of my favorite living writers. I don't care what anyone says about him :)
This was not one of my favorite books by him. Or maybe I'm thinking he's getting repetitive. It depends in which order you read his 'brother-themed' books
Sandip K B
Nov 27, 2016 Sandip K B rated it it was amazing
The finest of Archer
Cathy Biggers
Mar 21, 2017 Cathy Biggers rated it it was amazing
Another Archer political fiction thriller with twists and turns aplenty. I laughed, cried, and rejoiced at the ending. Definite read for Archer fans!
Vismay
Aug 07, 2012 Vismay rated it really liked it
It happened for a first time indeed that I read a book again that I had left half way through in my tumultuous teens.

‘First Among Equals’ by Jeffrey Archer is not an easy book to read, at least for me. Revolving solely around British politics, I found it a wee bit hard to comprehend and know the exact difference between the Conservative (They are also known as Tories, they sometimes can act like snobs!!) and the Labour party (They are the socialists and support the trade unionists!!), though of
...more
Clark
Mar 10, 2017 Clark rated it liked it
I rated this book only 3-Stars, not because it was poorly written, but because I really didn't enjoy reading it very much. The book was basically a documentary on the British political system and the plot, such as it was, was,secondary. I don't have much interest in the intricacies of British politics, hence the low rating.
Pirhot
Jun 11, 2008 Pirhot rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Sistem pemerintahan parlementer di Inggris menjadi sedikit lebih jelas dibandingkan dalam studi komparatif ketatanegaraan. Karena Archer menjelaskannya secara terperinci, bagaimana seorang anggota Parlemen terpilih, bagaimana seorang pemimpin partai terpilih, apa yang disebut dengan "bangku belakang", pemerintahan yang jatuh-bangun bahkan hanya dalam beberapa bulan, sistem dua partai besar, dan lainnya.

Tentunya akan sedikit kebingungan untuk mengikuti cerita dari Archer. Meski tidak menggunakan
...more
Felicity
Mar 31, 2013 Felicity rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a story about four very driven characters competing in the British political environment from 1964 - 1991, all aspiring to be Prime Minister one day:

Charles Seymour (Viscount)- an Eton/Oxford graduate born to money and banking - obviously a Tory (Conservative) but also an aristocratic, arrogant snob. Doesn't have much luck with wives, nor the board of his family business.

Simon Kerslake - another Conservative, but also a devoted family man who makes some risky investment choices in his pe
...more
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Jeffrey Howard Archer, Baron Archer of Weston-super-Mare (born 15 April 1940) is an English author and former politician.

He was a Member of Parliament and deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, and became a life peer in 1992. His political career, having suffered several controversies, ended after a conviction for perverting the course of justice and his subsequent imprisonment. He is married
...more
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