Plantaganet Palliser, Prime Minister of England - a man of power and prestige, with all the breeding and inherited wealth that goes with it - is appalled at the inexorable rise of Ferdinand Lopez. An exotic impostor, seemingly from nowhere, Lopez has society at his feet, while well-connected ladies vie with each other to exert influence on his behalf - even Palliser's own wife, Lady Glencora. But when the interloper makes a socially advantageous marriage, Palliser must decide whether to stand by his wife's support for Lopez in a by-election or leave him to face exposure as a fortune-hunting adventurer.
A novel of social, sexual and domestic politics, 'The Prime Minister' raises one of the most enduring questions in government - whether a morally scrupulous gentleman can make an effective leader.
©2004 Anthony Trollope (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
Until last week if you bought this you only got the first third of the book. It is now all present and correct.
To me it is one of the most interesting of the Palliser series, contrasting an upright man trying to lead the nation with the bounders taking over the world at, as Trollope saw it, a time of moral decay. There is an arch-cad, involved in double dealings and who gets into Parliament. Lady Glencora is drawn into shady dealings, scandal is whipped up by the gutter press and falls on the Prime Minister's head. It was written shortly after a massive financial crash which led to a Great Depression which lasted over 20 years.
Sound familiar? So it should. And because Trolllope is a great psychologist it is gripping stuff, which really makes me feel there is nothing new in the world, though I will admit that the ingenue (Emily) is dull.
Superbly read by Timothy West, as ever.
Dear Julie (in Sydney): I'm not surprised you find this book weak as there's only one volume there - 3 or 4 are missing. I've contacted Audible to investigate and make good. I've given 2 stars in anticipation, but hopefully to be increased to 5 as with the others so far in the series.
It is a real pleasure to listen to the leisurely narration of Timothy West of Trollope's Palliser series. The stories and manners depict another world, and the leisurely pace of the novels gives plenty of listening time for a long journey. Timothy West does justice to the characters and the narration perfectly.
It is amazing how relevant the sense of isolation and stress felt by the man at the top is still relevant for today's prime ministers and presidents. Trollope shows a real understanding of a dedicated and ambitious character who could be in parliament today.
I felt a great sympathy for Planty Pal, even though he is sometimes a distant and unsympathetic figure.
Not at all. Like a good wine it needs to be sipped and savoured at a reasonable pace.
I really enjoyed listening to the whole series in order. It is a pity there aren't more, but the span of time and characters is quite long, so perhaps I am just being greedy in not wanting a good thing to end.
I believe that John Major is a great fan of Trollope and he must have grimaced at times when reading The Prime Minister. What insights from the 19th century! Striving in a limited way to satisfy his party but still having the arrogance of the aristocracy, Plantagenet Palliser made almost every error in the political book.
No wonder Lady Glencora found him hard to love, with his stubborn rigidity and lack of humour. A complete trial of a husband but one she had tried to please by making their grand property attractive to his supporters. A mistake but well-intentioned. She meddles, he frets, and they continue doggedly in their mismatched marriage.
I loved it.
I am working my way through the complete Palliser series, of which this is the fifth of six. Timothy West is a total revelation, each character beautifully and consistently voiced throughout the entire series. I find Trollope's characters engaging and the stories brilliantly told. Sometimes the political stuff can get a bit tedious but this is a small criticism when the series is giving me so much joy.
This is a weakish book in Trollope's great Palliser series, beautifully read by Timothy West.
I am pleased I listened to follow the story through, not a waste of time at all, and anything with this narrator is worth hearing, but the other volumes in the series are so much better books.
"Before Downton Abbey there was The Prime Minister"
Trollope's fifth of the Palliser Novels surely must have served as inspiration for Downton Abbey. The truly noble sensibilities of the Prime Minister (The Duke of Omnium) and of his bright and charming, but not always appropriately sedate wife, Lady Glencora, remind the reader of the main characters in Downton Abbey.
Timothy West makes all the characters, the ones you love and the ones you hate, real. This is one of those books whose spirit permeates the way you feel about your day! It also leads you to take up activities that will allow you to keep listening!
Readers of The Prime Minister will want to go back to the first Palliser Novel, Can You Forgive Her?, and become acquainted with the engaging cast of characters who move in and out of the series.
About 4 hours and 30 minutes into Part 3, there is an eloquent statement by the Duke about why he has remained a liberal in Parliament.
Trollope improves the way I think, and the way I talk. He writes the best letters for his characters to send (though not especially in The Prime Minister).
"lots to be irritated about"
pretty improbable, what a wimp that heroine is. more importantly, it's anti-semitic and anti-hispanic enough to irritate--really anger--even a wasp.
he really is good, i probably wouldn't have kept listening at all if it weren't for his smooth delivery and great characterization.
i would be happy to listen to mr. west's reading of another book
"The most prejudiced novel I have read by Trollope."
As a Trollope fan, I write this review for others of you who consume these novels with as much relish as i do. With this novel, I have hit my limit; this is the most antisemitic novel I have encountered by any English novelist (including Trollope). Worse than THE WAY WE LIVE NOW in this respect; at least that novel has enough structural complexity to swallow up the Jew-hating sections to some extent.
He is a very good reader and my review has nothing to do with the performance; he does a nice job of handling the transitions between female and male voices (the biggest challenge for the audiobook voice actor)
The problem character is Ferdinand Lopez, who is variously described as a filthy black, a Jew despoiling the Egyptians, a greasy foreigner, a blackguard.
"Trollope + West = Unbeatable prose"
Whithout a doubt Timothy West is the BEST reader of Trollope on Audible. And this story, the next to last in the Palliser series, is one of the most affecting.
"I'm a long, long time listener"
I have listened to over 250 audio books over 20 plus years. My taste is eclectic, but I do tend towards longer books, because I get more bang for my buck!
I have really enjoyed the Palliser series. This one is reasonably balanced between politics and characters, don't let the title fool you.
Of all the Palliser novels so far, I believe this one is the most dependent on the previous novels, although they are all independently enjoyable, each focusing on a different tangent line of characters.
But the great pleasure of this book is Timothy West. He a truly brilliant reader, and the perfect match for all Trollope.
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