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First Among Equals

Narrated by: John Lee
Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
4 out of 5 stars (139 ratings)

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Summary

Playing for the highest stakes of all . . .

In the 1960s, four ambitious new MPs take their seats at Westminster. Over three decades they share the turbulent passions and upheavals of the race for power with their wives and families, men and women caught up in a dramatic game for the highest stakes of all. But only one man can gain the ultimate goal - the office of Prime Minister.

©1984 Jeffrey Archer (P)2014 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A darned good yarn.....

A good story for those who like the cut and thrust of British political life.
some nearly true to life events intertwined with the author's vivid imagination and local knowledge keeps you wondering where it will go next.

Very enjoyable

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Dated but decent

A very simple look into what is supposed to be typical British politics... All the clichés are here, Tories as bankers, labour firebrands... Perfectly decent time killer and quite fun to see who will win out in the end

1 person found this helpful

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A captivating read from start to finish

Archer allows an exciting delve into British politics that keeps you enthralled from start to finish. I have no doubt that there is a Charles, Ray, Simon and Andrew in every administration. Informative and great story

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Insight into parliment

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Enjoyed the story built around three individuals all who want to go into politics . The story evolves telling the tale and including similar happening over the years in the national press. Contains it all tear jerking moments, humour, betrayal all within twists and turns making a griping tale. Could not wait to pick it up again.

2 people found this helpful

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excellent book and narration

very well narrated . enjoyed immensely well done again mr archer. will look at more of mr archers books although I have a few already

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Crackingly good political roller-coaster

I greatly enjoyed this novel. A mix of real and fictional politicians maneuvering for power over several decades from the 1960s to 1991. Written in 1984 so the last section of the book is an imagined scenario for the political scene in the UK that turned out to be entirely different from what actually happened. A what-if vision that would have made the UK a very different place from what it is now. I remember the true-life parts of the book and am struck by how history repeats itself. The Conservative party in-fighting over the benefit or not of being in the EEC (as it was in the 60s and 70s) and the Labour party crippled by hard-left zealots joining local committees to displace sitting MPs by one of their own just as Momentum trying to do now.
It is an enthralling and interesting book with added veracity owing to the author having been an MP. I've read/listened to many of his books and think this one of the very best.
The narrator is excellent

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A bit boring

A bit boring compared to his other books. It was ok but definitely not the best

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Good standard Archer

Would you consider the audio edition of First Among Equals to be better than the print version?

Nope the two mediums are completely different

Who was your favorite character and why?

Fraser or Seymour I found Kerslake full of his own self importance and Gould was smug

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

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This works - on more than one level.

Any additional comments?

I'll declare a interest (or prejudice) and admit I've never been a great Jeffrey Archer fan, but this one is an exception. I've got a well thumbed paperback and was interested to see if the audio measures up. I think it's better. I'd not heard John Lee before but his narration was excellent.

4 young men arrive in Parliament in the same year, all with the same long term ambition; No 10. There's Ray the butcher's son from Leeds, Simon, son of a Solicitor but no financial featherbedding, Andrew who's treading a different political path from his father and Charles the aristocratic rather nasty piece of work. None of them too caricatured apart from perhaps Charles, whose Damascene conversion years later isn't entirely believable.

Some strong supporting characters help with an interesting story, but with the addition of a lot of real background and insight into Parliament and the way politics work. Even though the world has changed in the intervening years, it's still relevant.

No spoilers as to who, if any of them, succeed. Listen for yourself - you could well enjoy it.

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  • Sandra
  • 22-09-15

No solid plotline

Not my kind of story. the stort follows the life of several gentlemen and rambles on about the details of British politics. but I don't know where the author is heading.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • G
  • 12-05-15

Political heavy book

Good insight into political or kings but gets rather tedious at times. But you have to stay focused as there are a large amount of central charaxhters.

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  • Stephen
  • 05-10-14

A little disjointed...

Jeffrey Archer novels span a large footprint on the space-time continuum. That said, he does tend to wander, and sometimes leaves storylines hanging. In this book, for example, the Queen makes a proclamation which Archer goes to great lengths to lay out in terms of the principals involved, and how the proclamation is received by all, but the proclamation itself is never revealed. Being as it comes toward the end of the book, it is a letdown. Other than that flaw, it is a decent read.