First Among Equals
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First Among Equals

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  7,137 ratings  ·  163 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 Press (first published 1984)
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Maggie
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
Maree
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
Aleeeeeza
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
Onlooker
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
Jayne Charles
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
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! ;)
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
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.
Deidre
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!
Stephanie
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.
Marton Mashby
I really loved this book ! it was the first book I head ever read by Jeffery Archer and I didnt know what to expect but now I can see why he has sold so many books !!

It is essentially about 4 men working their way through the political ranks in order to reach the top spot as PM and essentially this is what made me want to read it as I thought it would be interesting to learn the ins and outs of parliament. Quite quickly I became involved in the story line, routing for my favorites and determined...more
Qi
Fellow political enthusiasts awake! This is the book for you! I think it's the best I read in my life
Firoz
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
Carrie
Four may be pushing it, but the insight in to the UK political system and the requirement that the readers must figure out some things for themselves was enough for the push. I think this may be the first of this author I have read and will definitely give others of his books a try. I suppose I read the UK version as mine had four characters and will say again that I really enjoyed that not every little thing is spelled out step by step. The reader is expected to put a little effort into it and...more
Scooping it Up
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Lisa (Harmonybites)
Feb 10, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Political Junkies of an Anglophile Tilt
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 pr...more
Therese
$2.99

Charles Seymour, Simon Kerslake, Raymond Gould, and Andrew Fraser come from completely different backgrounds but they all have one goal in common -- to become prime minister of Great Britain after becoming members of parliament.

This puts fictional characters against real ones, and after doing a little searching, I found out that the US and UK versions are different. I guess I'm reading the UK, but I was thrown when it said Gary Hart won the election for president in 1988. I found out that t...more
Karen
This was nice long novel (as, I think, most of Archer's novels are) and I learned a great deal about the British Parliamentary system. If we think the USA's congressional system is comvoluted, I must say we don't hold a candle to the Houses of Commons and Lords--the frequency of formations of governments and calls for elections, the age-old rituals, etc. (I am not disparaging the system, I am just saying it's extremely convoluted--but it works, of course.) The four "heroes" aren't always heroic-...more
Felicity
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
Vismay
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
Siddhartha
Jun 13, 2013 Siddhartha rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: politics lovers
I must say I loved everything about the book... the characters, the plot, the writing style, the end what not. I read one of the JA's books once and went for the sequel too which I found boring and from my friends' reviews, I kept away from his writings.
I came through this novel when I am completely bored and turns out it is one of the very few books the library here has. I instantly took a liking to it with every chapter, it tempted me to go for more.
I don't know if brilliant is quite the wor...more
Pirhot
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
Sunglow
An interesting book to read... Mr. Archer made me hate and love all the 4 lead characters at some point or the other. When i picked up this book i thought it might be just another boring book on politics. But this book was not just politics but a complete package of emotions, drama, loyalties and politics. The author never let my interest level drop.

I have to admit i was surprised by Charles's decision. Even though i hated him in the beginning, and did feel he deserved what he got but eventuall...more
Pierre Vian
I have been reading 40 pages each day for the past 12 days. I was so involved with the novel that I felt as if Charles, Simon, Ray and Andrew had become my second family.
I could easly realte to the characters. I became part of their desires, ambitions, success, failures.
I could feel the happiness, sadness of Louise, Kate,Elizabeth, Joyce, Fiona, Dunkinn, Amanda.
I could appreciate the characters Ronnie, Reynolds.

The Novel effortless moves between the private and public lives of these Conservative...more
Marsha Stevenson
First Among equals

I have been a voracious reader of Jeffrey Archer books but I have to say that this is the first time I haven't really devoured a book rapidly. If you're not English or very familiar their form of government it's easy to get confused. There are so many ways of describing each of parties or factions, it was easy to get confused.
Prashanth Kanichar
this is my favourite book of archer.I liked it more than Kane and Abel.. in 1964 four ambitious m.p.s step into Britain parliment. their ambitious journey to the higher positions is the story.one of them becomes pm.but that's not important. the journey is very much absorbing. I like political thrillers.archer already proven as a master 'story teller'. what's more you want!?
Larren
Although I was intrigued with the characters and wanted to know what happened to each of them, I finally gave up after 7 chapters. Not being a political person, I found I was going 2 pages forward and 1 back all the time trying to remember/understand who was who and what their lives and politics involved. Skipped to the last chapters just to satisfy my curiosity about the outcome.
Megha Kn
the book goes in depth about the British politics and elections. It gives the reader a good understanding of the election process in England. Characters are realistically portrayed. Enjoyed every bit of the novel and couldn't wait to find out who becomes the ultimate winner in the race to PM. Overall a good book to read.

My favorite book of Mr. Archer, after Kane and Abel.
Nicola
I'm really glad I read this book as it gives great insight into British politics, packaged in an interesting storyline with interesting albeit not always very likable characters. Good and entertaining lesson in history and politics.
Jan
This was a great book - a political drama. Fictional, set from the 1960's to the 1990's in Britain, it follows 3 new members of Parliament as they claw their way up the political ladder until one of them becomes Prime Minister. You watch the political manipulations and their interesting personal lives along the way - which follows the true course of politics in Britain at the time. Weird to read of all the real political characters and the true situations along with these fictional people.
This...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
More about Jeffrey Archer...
Kane and Abel (Kane and Abel, #1) Only Time Will Tell (The Clifton Chronicles, #1) Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less The Prodigal Daughter (Kane & Abel, #2) A Prisoner of Birth

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