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House of Cards (Francis Urquhart #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  4,375 Ratings  ·  433 Reviews
An alternate cover for this isbn can be found here.

The bestselling political thriller that introduced the scheming Francis Urguhart - the most memorable politician of the last decade.

Francis Urquhart is Chief Whip. He has his hands on every secret in politics - and is willing to betray them all to become Prime Minister.

Mattie Storin is a tenacious young political correspo
Mass Market Paperback, 383 pages
Published 1993 by HarperCollins Fontana (first published 1989)
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E You can safely read this book - the American tv show is only very loosely based on the British House of Cards series, and this book is only the first…moreYou can safely read this book - the American tv show is only very loosely based on the British House of Cards series, and this book is only the first one in a trilogy (so you wouldn't encounter even vague spoilers for season 3 until you read the third one in this trilogy). (less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Charity The author altered the original ending after Andrew Davies changed it for the BBC miniseries starring Ian Richardson; all new editions have an ending…moreThe author altered the original ending after Andrew Davies changed it for the BBC miniseries starring Ian Richardson; all new editions have an ending where he survives.(less)

Community Reviews

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Lewis Weinstein
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction-general
This is a political thriller of the first rank. Even after having seen House of Cards on TV (the American version) this book was still a fascinating read. I could hear Kevin Spacey's brilliantly evil voice in many of the written lines. The use of the press to twist and distort political events and perceptions is well portrayed and utterly frightening, especially as we see the Koch brothers and Fox News seeking to do the same thing in America now. People are often ill-informed and naive, in the b ...more
Scarlet Cameo
Jul 23, 2016 rated it liked it
"Por su propia naturaleza, la ambición necesita víctimas"

Este libro fue concebido con una premisa simple: como deshacerse de un primer ministro. Si bien esto puede realizarse de muchas maneras,y muchas veces ni siquiera que alguien alevosamente mueva los hilos, aquí esto es tejido en pro de satisfacer la ambición y vengar el resentimiento de un miembro del partido, A.K.A. nuestro protagonista, Frank Underwood Urquhart.

"La política requiere sacrificios. El sacrificio de los demás, por supuesto
Jane Jago
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's a good read, but maybe not a great read. If we were allowed half stars it'd be three and a half. More than three for the intriguing concept. But.

I think it may even be one of those rare occasions when the TV adaptation has something the book lacks. I think it's down to Francis Urquhart himself. Ian Richardson made him so believable and so intensely bad....

I'm undecided whether or not to do books two and three.
Todella viihdyttävä poliittinen valtapeli, jossa ei keinoja kaihdeta päämäärien saavuttamiseksi.

Sanon nyt suoraan, että jos ei ole lainkaan kiinnostunut politiikasta (tai lähinnä siitä suljettujen ovien takaisesta, yleisöltä salassa pidetystä touhusta) niin tämä kirja ei ole sinulle. Mutta jos haluat päästä sisään Britannian parlamenttiin ja päästä lukemaan asiantuntemuksella kirjoitettua tekstiä niin kyllä, lue tämä.

Jännää miten aloitettuani tämän kirjan en yhtään osannut nähdä Kevin Spaceytä F
Mary ♥
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.8/5 stars

Politics require sacrifice. The sacrifice of others, of course

This is gonna be an interesting review. And probably as complex as that book and my feelings while reading it. I wouldn't say political thrillers are my cup of tea. I was never really interested in politics and how a country should be handled but 1) I was in mood for something corrupted and 2) my brother (who by the way is into politics) asked me to read it and tell him my opinion. I still don't know how I feel about i
Apr 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
This opening book of the trilogy lays the groundwork for what looks to be a sensational British political series, centred on one Member of Parliament and his addiction to power, no matter the cost. The book opens after the latest general election, as cabinet posts are being mulled over, and certain people, sure to be getting something are left out in the dark. Cue the beginning of the end for those holding the reins of power. Any reader of this genre may see some of the Jeffrey Archer influences ...more

I've long been a fan of the original BBC series based on this book and have always meant to read it, so with my son nagging me to hurry up and watch the new US series I thought it was time to finally get around to reading the book that started it all.

Very glad I did. Well worth the read. Also makes me appreciate the full extent of what Andrew Davies so cleverly did with the original series. Love it!!

Am now eagerly awaiting the next two books in the trilogy :).
Jennifer Boyce
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley

I will start right out by saying that while I have seen advertisements for the show "House of Cards", I have never actually seen the show. This is an honest review of the book, not a comparison between the book and the show. Now that is out of the way, let's talk about the book.

I found this book to be extremely dull and uneventful. I definitely do not believe that this book should be classified as mystery/thriller, more like plain literary fiction.

The plot
Tom Marcinko
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
Basis for the BBC trilogy. I didn’t like it half as much. You don’t have the voice that the script, & Ian Richardson, gave to the evil PM. Lots of the better plot points were added in the script, too—like the reporter & the evil pol becoming lovers. Not to mention the ending. Still … an interesting look at how a work can change from one medium to another. I liked it enough to probably read the rest of the trilogy. [Although I'll note here, almost a year later, that I haven't bothered to ...more
Rebecca Huston
After sitting down and watching the adaptations of this novel on Netflix with Kevin Spacey in the lead role, I was hooked. I decided to read the original novels, and I was fascinated at how the character of Francis Urquhart came about. Set in the late 80's, FU is the Chief Whip for the majority party, and after the Prime Minister manages to hang onto his job, FU is expecting a sweet plum of a Cabinet position to fall into his lap. But he is passed over and FU vows a bloody revenge on the Prime M ...more
Ho deciso di leggere questo libro dopo essermi appassionato alla serie televisiva e aver scoperto che in origine le vicende non si svolgevano in America (e nel presente) quanto in Inghilterra, e ormai un bel po’ di anni fa.
Il cambio di location ovviamente imponeva un’enorme quantità di modifiche: il sistema elettorale, il ruolo aspirato, i finanziatori, le politiche… tutto diverso.

Ho scoperto così la storia di Francis Urquhart, chief whip dei conservatori.
Una storia per certi versi simile a quel
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Στις περισσότερες (αν όχι όλες) των περιπτώσεων, δε μπορώ να διαβάσω ένα βιβλίο αν έχω δει την ταινία ή τη σειρά που έχουν προέλθει από αυτό. Το ίδιο ισχύει και με το House of Cards το οποίο το ξεκίνησα ξέροντας μόνο ότι έχει να κάνει με πλεκτάνες μέσα στο Βρετανικό Κοινοβούλιο, και πράγματι έτσι είναι.

Εδώ να αναφερθεί ότι ο Michael Dobbs ήταν επί χρόνια βοηθός της Margaret Thatcher (φτου) αλλά και του διαδόχου της John Major. Μπορούμε, κρατώντας μια πισινή, να υποθέσουμε ότι πολλά από αυτά που
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Προσπάθησα πάρα πολύ να διαχωρίσω το βιβλίο από τη σειρά, την ίδια στιγμή που δεν έπρεπε να το κάνω, καθώς η σειρά δε βασίζεται απλώς στο βιβλίο αλλά γεννήθηκε από αυτό. Ωστόσο είχα συνηθίσει το αμερικάνικο πολιτικό σύστημα. Σε κάθε περίπτωση πρόκειται για ένα εξαιρετικά καλογραμμένο βιβλίο, μια απίστευτη ιστορία με επίκεντρο τον λατρεμένο Φράνσις.
Tanja Berg
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller, audio
This was a highly entertaining political thriller. I loved following the journalist Mattie as she tries to understand what is going on. I also enjoyed "chief whip" Francis Urquhart machinations to get to power. Irreverent and fun. Makes me wonder about real life politics!
Samra Muslim
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
One of the best political thrillers I have read ... The games, the characters and the intrigue - all just perfectly weaved to make it a fast and gripping read!!

Thoroughly enjoyed it
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Empecé a leer este libro, como seguro muchos otros, por la serie de Netflix. Increíble; increíble también la interpretación de Kevin Spacey, e increíbles también los IWC que con tanta elegancia porta el tío. Y hasta aquí las menciones a la serie.

Este libro no está basado en la política estadounidense sino en la política británica. Michael Dobbs lo escribió, de hecho, cuando dejó de ser jefe de gabinete de Margaret Thatcher; cabe pensar cómo trataría a sus compañeros la Dama de Hierro, para que e
Христо Блажев
Всичко е позволено в борбата за власт:

Романът е опростен като сюжет и поне за мен предвидим като край, но точно така и трябваше да завърши, всичко друго би било половинчато и безгръбначно. Хареса ми това затягане на напрежението, това изплитане на мрежата, това поставяне на капани, щракването им, оставянето на жертвите да прегризат сами крайниците си и примирени да се оттеглят от сцената на борбата. Разбира се, допадна ми силната критика към политическата
Jose Luis (Liantener)
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
Me entretuvo bastante, aunque no tanto, como la serie.
En efecto, fue la serie protagonizada por Kevin spacey (no he tenido el chance de ver la británica) la que me llevó a leer la novela que la inspiró. Y sí, el espiritú de FU (Frank Urquhart en la novela, Frank Underwood en la serie) es el mismo, aunque la personalidad de Spacey, y la modernización de la trama, hacen más formidable al personaje de la pantalla.
Para quienes no conocen la trama: El Primer Ministro es reelegido. El Whip de su parti
Apr 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I thought it was okay. I don't think I was totally enamored with it, but it was something nice to read and since I watched 4 seasons of the Netflix series, it was interesting to see parallels. I can definitely see the basis for some of the Netflix characters. All in all, not bad, it had the appropriate amount of backstabbing, runaround, and general politickiness (new word!) one would expect from an election year.

YOU might think:

- this book is rather tedious and dull
- without much description or characterization
- it doesn't flow well or have much emotion behind it
- it might have been better had it stuck with "FU"'s narrative voice from beginning to end
- the BBC series with Ian Richardson smirking and winking into the camera is far superior

But I couldn't possibly comment!
Libro scorrevole, ma che pecca di eccessiva logicità nella sequenza degli avvenimenti, mancando di quei colpi di scena inaspettati e- per che no- improbabili che l'avrebbero reso più eccitante e sicuramente indimenticabile- come dicono sia la serie tv.

(view spoiler).
Vicky Ziliaskopoulou
Ούτε αστέρι δεν θα βάλω αν μπορώ, μου είναι εντελώς ακατανόητο. Μέχρι εδώ που έφτασα μιλάει για τις εκλογές στην Αγγλία, για τον τρόπο που λειτουργεί η βουλή τους, για τις ατιμίες των πολιτικών κα ιτις σχέσεις τους με τους δημοσιογράφους.

Διαβασμένο: σελ 142/485
Oct 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Хареса ми.
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
N-am să descriu cartea prin adjective siropoase de genul "superbă", "minunată" etc deoarece scrierea se ridică mult deasupra acestora, în primul rând, iar în al doilea, acestor termeni nu le văd locul lângă o carte cu un nucleu central nemilos, crud, şocant: lupta pentru putere.
Inițial cartea pare o banală înşiruire de evenimente obişnuite de pe scena politică, însă pe măsură ce acțiunea îşi urmează cursul, lucrurile se complică, situația devine presantă şi întâmplări tot mai terifiante se deru
Alexander Krastev
„Къща от карти“ – кофата с лед на твоето политическо ежедневие -

С уникално задоволство четох всичките близо 400 страници на дебютния роман на Майкъл Добс от 1989 г. Ако нямате идея кой е той, това е шефът на администрацията на Маргарет Тачър в последния й мандат на Даунинг Стрийт. Световноизвестен обаче го прави точно този роман – бърз бестселър в добрата стара Великобритания, успешна екранизация на ВВС и 20 години по-късно мегахит на Netflix, прибиращ вс
Feb 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, politics
To revisit an old favourite and not be impressed like you remember being 20 years ago isn't unusual. To read the afterword and be informed by the author that he "updated" the text to include "more colourful characters" makes me suspicious. I must read the original text again to be sure!
Despite it all such a great story, despite the tautness off the thread and what an introduction to the irrepressible FU - the Teflon Whip

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is dated, and feels so as you read it, the whole lack of social media and the British approach to the news and politics. Yet.... we know that American journalists show deference too in order to maintain communication. Regardless, it is enjoyable, and a wonderful reflection of how much more closely the English keep to their storylines when they turn them into mini-series.
Ilona Zielkowska
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really engaging political intrique.
House of Cards was a solid enough story, but I never felt in a hurry to pick it back up. There were bursts of action followed by slow plodding story throughout. Since it is about politics, I am sure the author intended readers to dislike his characters. He was successful! I had a problem liking or connecting to any of them. Probably a good thing, since they were all conniving and deceitful.

Urquhart, the main political player in this story, had no line that he wouldn't cross. He is what makes th
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Play Book Tag: House of Cards by Michael Dobbs (5 out of 5 Stars) 5 15 Apr 25, 2017 02:33PM  
Goodreads Librari...: 2nd ebook (nook) version missing cover art 2 133 Jul 25, 2016 02:52PM  
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La Stamberga dei ...: House of Cards di Michael Dobbs 1 14 Apr 18, 2014 02:43AM  
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Michael Dobbs was born on the same day, in the same hour as Prince Charles in 1948.

He is the son of nurseryman Eric and his wife Eileen Dobbs and was educated at Hertford Grammar School and Christ Church, Oxford University. After graduating in 1971 he moved to the United States.

In the USA he attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, which he
More about Michael Dobbs...

Other Books in the Series

Francis Urquhart (3 books)
  • To Play the King (Francis Urquhart #2)
  • The Final Cut (Francis Urquhart #3)

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“Politics requires sacrifice. The sacrifice of others, of course.” 29 likes
“His deepest need was that people should like him. An admirable trait that; in a spaniel. Or a whore.” 26 likes
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