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First Among Equals

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  12,112 Ratings  ·  272 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, 466 pages
Published 1993 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1983)
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Maggie
Feb 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Luisina
The ending was a huge disappointment. I have nothing else to say about this book.
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! ;)
Felicity
Mar 31, 2013 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
Gea
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'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
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this one on the second read. Always good to revisit Archer
Qi
Mar 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fellow political enthusiasts awake! This is the book for you! I think it's the best I read in my life
Rodwell Mkhwananzi
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Harsha
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first thing to be said about this book is the array of incredible characters - the ruthless and ambitious Charles Seymour, tenacious and gritty Simon Kerslake, lovable and heroic Andrew Fraser, brilliant Raymond Gould. The four characters start off as newly elected MPs to the House of Commons, and one thing that seems to be in common among them is their desire to become the Prime Minister. Throughout the novel, battles are fought, governments rise and fall, along with the individual characte ...more
Christi Cartwright
For anyone looking for some (though not really detailed) insight into how the British parliamentary system works, this book is worth picking up. The pacing of the book is a quick cantor and the story line in snappy. Archer gives into some cliches and leans a bit too much on certain stereotypes that may be expected in a Briths book (the aristocrat, the working class boy that makes good, etc.) however, he often uses those stereotypes skillfully and almost (almost) fully justifies their existence. ...more
Sreedhar Pothukuchi
A masterly composition by Archer - 3 young men of the post 2nd world war generation, moving up their lives and careers as politicians in UK for around 4 decades. Fiction sits very comfortably around history and one gets a ring side view of the lives of these members of House of Commons who are as human and fragile as you and me.
There wouldn't be another like this novel and of course its author.
Bonnie Staughton
I wanted to give this book a higher star but I knew nothing about British Government and now I'm "swimming" in too much information. The different levels of Government confuse me and Jeffrey Archer gives you every detail. The personal lives of the 4 gentleman--all hoping to one day become Prime Minister--were enjoyable reading but they flip from one to the other so fast that I was confused as to exactly who I was reading about. Like my 2 star rating indicates--It was OKAY.
Kartik Subramanian
Another brilliant tale by the master story teller Jeffrey Archer. Taking us into the lives of 4 enterprising men as they seek to attain the highest office in British politics, the book is filled with election and campaign anecdotes and has some beautiful moments of love and humor and of course politics. Does get a bit tedious at times but nothing that makes one put the book down.
Jenn
Mar 06, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Akanksha
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A writer such as Archer, who can weave a thrilling and racing story spanning across 5 decades; no less than 5 stars for the author and the book.
Also, may rekindle your interest in real politics and legislature
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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
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