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Summary

The acclaimed political thriller that first introduced the unforgettable Francis Urquhart MP and launched Michael Dobbs’ best-selling career. 

Michael Dobbs’ entertaining tale of skulduggery and intrigue within the Palace of Westminster has been a huge hit with the public. Its scheming hero, Chief Whip Francis Urquhart, who uses fair means and foul to become Prime Minister, is one of the best-known characters of the last decade - the politician we all love to hate.

Acclaimed for its authenticity and insights into a secret world - the result of many years working behind the scenes for the Conservative Party - it became a highly popular, award-winning BBC TV series, with Francis Urquhart memorably portrayed by Ian Richardson, and was followed by two further sequels, To Play the King and The Final Cut, which also became top-rating TV series.

©2018 Michael Dobbs (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What listeners say about House of Cards

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Time to lay the cards on the table

This production of House Of Cards is excellently done. Samuel West does a brilliant job portraying all the various figures and showing the infighting explode from a version of late 80s and early 90s Conservative Party government. The book is definitely well written as being authored by a figure who was previously heavily involved in the aforementioned political party allows the scheming and backstabbing to come across as very realistic given the personalities of the characters.

This first book in the series also allows its main newspaper figure and all of her glory moments and mistakes or...almost all of them to be at least understandable even if the reader believes they wouldn't make the same mistakes themselves. I loved listening to this version of the first book much like I loved the original late 80s BBC TV adaptation and plan to listen to the other books in the series very soon. They are already ordered. Consider this review a hearty endorsement of this book and the series if you enjoy political scheming and sabotage.

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excellent - a wicked insight into British Estab.

Gripping from start to finish. Best narrator on your books. Can't wait for book 2

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Brilliant story fantastic narration

Samual West brings the story alive. Is it the best audio book I've heard... I couldn't possibly comment.

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Modern classic, beautifully narrated

it doesn't get much better than this. House of Cards is a fantastic story written by a genuine Downing Street Insider during the Thatcher years. Note it ud set in the UK and bears little relation to the vastly inferior US tv series. it is well plotted and beautifully written. Samuel West's narration is top-notch. You might think you detect a nod to the late great Ian Richardson in his rendering of Francis Urquhart, but i couldn't possibly comment.

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  • MD
  • 17-02-21

Fantastic story and narration

Many of us are familiar with the story but it’s still a great listen with Samuel west doing it justice.

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Excellent narrator

I had watched this on tv with Ian Richardson. So listened thinking it would need a good story teller to convince to carry on. Samuel West’s narration was excellent and Urquhart was Ian Richardson again for me.

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Truly Excellent.

just do it. A wonderful book and don't forget the other two parts of the trilogy.

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Westminster, as we suspect it really is!

Brilliant story of politics, greed and murder at Westminster perfectly narrated by Samuel West.

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A classic

Very well read and every bit as good as I remembered from first reading it.

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Brilliant

Quite simply the best political drama I have ever read. Pure genius. I highly recommend.

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  • Thomas Hoelgaard
  • 02-07-21

Exceptional narration

The exceptional narration is worth the listen alone, and the great story is just icing on top.

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  • Madalina
  • 16-09-21

Insanely good

First - the narrator. Samuel West is amazing. I love his voice, I love his ability to differentiate characters. He is amazing. He's the reason I signed up for Audible again and immediately bought the books in this trilogy. I might use my credits to get the Inspector Morse books he narrated.

Second - the book. This is the best book of the series. Especially with the revised ending.

I had seen the British mini series ages ago and the first part was the most impressive. I knew the plot well, I had read up on the differences, but I still loved it. This book is clearly the best of the three. I'm glad the author changed the original ending. I'm now on book 3 and not having a lot of fun. The end of book 2 was incredibly annoying. I hardly remembered any details of the book from the mini-series. And I definitely didn't remember such a downbeat (yes, FU is a villain but damn I rooted for him) ending.

Third - the MC. Or, I should say, the FU.
Samuel West does an amazing job of channeling Sir Ian Richardson. Maybe it's the material he has to work with, but his Francis Urquart is a little more vile, a little less slimy than my memory of the character from the TV series.

I would LOVE to see West himself play Francis Urquart!

This is a character worthy of a reboot (the source material is painfully fresh and sadly, all too easily updatable) and I think Samuel West would do a great job. I'd love to see some flashbacks of his father (expanded from what's in the book) and have Timothy West in the film. I'm daydreaming now.

Audio books are my walking friends. Usually, I can put down an audio book once I get home. This book, I could not put down.

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  • jjlaw
  • 20-07-21

Narrator on top form

Some great accents thrown in. Rest you already know. Leadership contest in book bizarrely echoes/predicts 2016 and May wins after other candidates destroy themselves.

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  • Emily
  • 09-09-18

A classic political tale of schemes and trickery

Michael Dobbs' tale of political trickery remains as fresh today as when it was first published. The BBC series (from the 90s) and the Netflix series have only ensured its legacy as a must read for those who like politically savvy novels with a hefty dose of dark humour.

In terms of this novel, Francis Urquhart (the protagonist) remains a brilliantly constructed character whose craftiness is both disturbing and inspiring - you're left with have a feeling he's going to win, but have to keep listening to find out how he's going to triumph and who he'll leave floundering in his wake. Samuel West reads the novel with the perfect mix of cool reserve and a sense of witty and cynical disclosure in the monologues. It all makes for engrossing listening.

Should you immediately purchase and listen to this audiobook? Well, to quote Francis Urquhart himself, "you might very well think that, I couldn't possibly comment."

One note about the version - this is the revised edition of the novel, republished to tie in to the BBC series and set up the subsequent novels. If you're looking for the original version, this isn't it, and the search continues! (Audible, please let us have that one too - I believe it's narrated by Paul Eddington ...)