First Among Equals

( 35 )

Overview

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 quality matched by a sharp intellect and the desire to attain the impossible...Andrew Fraser was raised by a soccer hero turned politician. Now it's ...

See more details below
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback - Value Promotion Edition)
$5.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (13) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $3.64   
  • Used (10) from $1.99   
First Among Equals

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$5.99
BN.com price
Marketplace
BN.com

All Available Formats & Editions

Overview

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 quality matched by a sharp intellect and the desire to attain the impossible...Andrew Fraser was raised by a soccer hero turned politician. Now it's his turn for heroics, whatever the cost.

From strangers to rivals, four men embark on a journey for the highest stakes of all—the keys to No. 10 Downing Street. Unfolding over three decades, their honor will be tested, their loyalties betrayed, and their love of family and country challenged. But in a game where there is a first among equals, only one can triumph, in this novel from bestselling author Jeffrey Archer.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This engrossing, well-spun tale of ambition and will-to-power is a pick-hit in the summer sweepstakes. Archer received his usual high marks for readability and gives his novel a pleasing sense of substance." —Publishers Weekly

"All the elements that make for a great commercial fiction: ambition, lust, greed, duplicity...a whale of a tale." —Newsday

"Top-flight entertainment." —United Press International

"Archer invests his novels with drama, irony and suspense—First Among Equals is no exception...fascinating." —Boston Herald

Michiko Kakutani
''First Among Equals'' is propelled by a single question - which of three men will become Prime Minister - and its 400-odd pages are mainly concerned with giving us random anecdotes and details about its heroes and their women. Whatever amusing tidbits the book contains about British parliamentary politics will doubtless be lost on the majority of American readers....None of the characters has any particular grace with words. The reader wonders how these characters ever got elected to Parliament - much less considered as candidates for Prime Minister. -- New York Times
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250052988
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 2/25/2014
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Value Promotion Edition
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 368,198
  • Product dimensions: 4.12 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Archer

JEFFREY ARCHER was educated at Oxford University. He has served five years in Britain’s House of Commons and nineteen years in the House of Lords. All of his novels and short story collections—including Best Kept Secret, Sins of the Father, Kane and Abel, and False Impression—have been international bestselling books. Archer is married with two sons and lives in London and Cambridge.

Biography

Few contemporary writers can lay claim to as many career highs and lows as Jeffrey Archer -- bestselling novelist, disgraced politician, British peer, convicted perjurer, and former jailbird. And whether you view his misfortunes as bad luck or well-deserved comeuppance depends largely on how you feel about this gregarious, fast-talking force of nature.

Born in London and raised in Somerset, Archer attended Wellington School and worked at a succession of jobs before being hired to teach Physical Education at Dover College. He gained admission to Brasenose College at Oxford, where he distinguished himself as a first-class sprinter and a tireless promoter, famously inveigling the Beatles into supporting a fundraising drive he spearheaded on behalf of the then-obscure charity Oxfam.

After leaving Oxford, Archer continued work as a fundraiser and ran successfully for political office. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1969 but was forced to step down in 1974 when he lost his fortune in a fraudulent investment scheme. He turned to writing in order to stave off bankruptcy. His first novel, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, was published in 1976 and became an instant hit. It was followed, in quick succession, by a string of bestsellers, including his most famous novel, Kane and Abel (1979), which was subsequently turned into a blockbuster CBS-TV miniseries.

On the strength of his literary celebrity, Archer revived his political career in 1985, serving as Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The following year he was forced to resign over a scandal involving payment to a London prostitute. (He admitted paying the money, but denied vehemently that it was for sex.) In 1987, he sued a British tabloid for libel and was awarded damages in the amount of 500,000 pounds.

Despite the adverse publicity, Queen Elizabeth (acting on the advice of Prime Minister John Major) awarded Archer a life peerage in 1992. The Conservative Party selected him to run for Mayor of London in the 2000 election, but he withdrew from the race when perjury charges were brought against him in the matter of the 1987 libel trial. In 2001, he was convicted and served half of a four-year prison term. (He turned the experience into three bestselling volumes of memoir!) Since his release, Lord Archer has expressed no interest in returning to public office, choosing instead to concentrate on charity work and on his writing career.

Controversy has dogged Archer most of his adult life. Claims still circulate that he falsified his paperwork to gain entrance to Oxford; and, at various other times, he has been accused of shoplifting, padding expenses, insider trading, misappropriation of funds, and financing a failed coup d'état against a foreign government. Needless to say, all this has kept him squarely in the sights of the British tabloids.

Yet, for all the salacious headlines and in spite of lukewarm reviews, Archer remains one of Britain's most popular novelists. His books will never be classified as great literature, but his writing is workmanlike and he has never lost his flair for storytelling. In addition to his novels, he has also written short stories and plays. Clearly, in "art," as in life, Jeffrey Archer has proved himself an affable survivor.

Good To Know

Archer was once a competitive runner and represented Great Britain in international competition.

Regarding the sex scandal that ultimately landed her husband in prison, Lady Mary Archer, the author's wife of 35 years, told reporters that she was "cross" with her husband but that "we are all human and Jeffrey manages to be more human than most. I believe his virtues and talents are also on a larger scale."

The prison where Archer was transferred for carrying out his perjury sentence in October 2001 is a "low security" jail on the Lincolnshire coast, a facility known for raising high-quality pork. According to one authority, "It is considered to be a cushy little place."

After his "fall from grace," Archer counted former Conservative PMs Margaret Thatcher and John Major among his many loyal supporters.

In the 1980s, Archer and his wife, Mary, purchased the Old Vicarage, Grantchester, a house associated with the poet Rupert Brooke.
Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      London and the Old Vicarage, Grantchester
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 15, 1940
    1. Education:
      Attended Brasenose College, Oxford, 1963-66. Received a diploma in sports education from Oxford Institute

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



Thursday 10 December 1964

Mr. Speaker Rose and surveyed the Commons. He tugged at his long black silk gown, then nervously tweaked the full-bottomed wig that covered his balding head. The House had almost got out of control during a particularly rowdy session of Prime Minister's questions, and he was delighted to see the clock reach three-thirty. Time to pass on to the next business of the day.

He stood shifting from foot to foot waiting for the 500-odd members present to settle down before he intoned solemnly, "Members desiring to take the oath." The packed assembly switched its gaze from the Speaker to the far end of the Chamber, like a crowd watching a tennis match. There, standing at the bar of the Commons, was the victor of the first by-election since the Labour party had taken office some two months before.

The new member, flanked by his proposer and seconder, took four paces forward. Like well-drilled guardsmen, they stopped and bowed. The stranger stood at six-foot-four. He looked like a man born with the Tory party in mind, his patrician head set on an aristocratic frame, a mane of fair hair combed meticulously into place. Dressed in a dark gray, double-breasted suit and wearing a Guards' tie of maroon and blue, he advanced once again toward the long table that stood in front of the Speaker's chair between the two front benches which faced each other a mere sword's length apart.

Leaving his sponsors in his wake, he passed down the Government side, stepping over the legs of the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary before being handed the oath by the Clerk of the House.

He held the little card in his right handand pronounced the words as firmly as if they had been his marriage vows.

"I, Charles Seymour, do swear that I will be faithful, and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors according to law, so help me God."

"Hear, hear," rose from his colleagues on the benches opposite as the new MP leaned over to subscribe the Test Roll, a parchment folded into book-shape. Charles was introduced to the Speaker by the Clerk. The new member then proceeded toward the chair where he stopped and bowed.

"Welcome to the House, Mr. Seymour," said the Speaker, shaking his hand. "I hope you will serve this place for many years to come."

"Thank you, Mr. Speaker," said Charles, and bowed for a final time before continuing on behind the Speaker's chair. He had carried out the little ceremony exactly as the Tory Chief Whip had rehearsed it with him in the long corridor outside his office.

Waiting for him behind the Speaker's chair and out of sight of the other members was the leader of the Opposition, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, who also shook him warmly by the hand.

"Congratulations on your splendid victory, Charles. I know you have a great deal to offer to our party and indeed your country."

"Thank you," replied the new MP, who after waiting for Sir Alec to return to take his place on the Opposition front bench made his way up the steps of the side gangway to find a place in the back row of the long green benches.

For the next two hours Charles Seymour followed the proceedings of the House with a mixture of awe and excitement. For the first time in his life he had found something that wasn't his by right or by effortless conquest. Glancing up at the Strangers' Gallery he saw his wife Fiona, his father the fourteenth Earl of Bridgwater and his brother, the Viscount Seymour, peering down at him with pride. Charles settled back on the first rung of the ladder. He smiled to himself: only six weeks ago he had feared it would be many more years before he could hope to take a seat in the House of Commons.

At the general election a mere two months before, Charles had contested a South Wales mining seat with an impregnable Labour majority. "Good for the experience, not to mention the soul," the vice-chairman in charge of candidates at Conservative Central Office had assured him. He had proved to be right on both counts, for Charles had relished the contest and brought the Labour majority down from 22,300 to 20, 100. His wife had aptly described it as a "dent," but it had turned out to be enough of a dent for the party to put Charles's name forward for the Sussex Downs seat when Sir Eric Koops had died of a heart attack only a few days after Parliament had assembled. Six weeks later Charles Seymour sat in the Commons with a 20,000 majority of his own.

Charles listened to one more speech before leaving the Chamber. He stood alone in the Members' Lobby not quite certain where to begin. Another young member strode purposefully toward him. "Allow me to introduce myself," the stranger said, sounding to Charles every bit like a fellow Conservative. "My name is Andrew Fraser. I'm the Labour member for Edinburgh Carlton and I was hoping you hadn't yet found yourself a pair." Charles admitted that so far he hadn't foundmuch more than the Chamber. The Tory Chief Whip had already explained to him that most members paired with someone from the opposite party for voting purposes, and that it would be wise for him to select someone of his own age.When there was a debate on less crucial issues a two-line whip came into operation: pairing made it possible for members to miss the vote and return home to their wife and family before midnight. However, no member was allowed to miss the vote when there was a three-line whip.

"I'd be delighted to pair with you," continued Charles. "Am I expected to do anything official?"

First Among Equals. Copyright © by Jeffrey Archer. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 35 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(4)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Plot worthy of the English Parliament.

    The story is about three men who have invested their lives to become the Prime Minister of England. The author, Jeffrey Archer, became the youngest member of the House of Commons in 1969. His knowledge of the English system gives the reader a true incite into the workings of the Parliament.
    It was quite a study of history as well as a compelling tale.

    The men each have their women who help them confront their fears, obsessions, loves, hates, and political ambitions.

    Each of the three men possess their own strengths and weaknesses in their quest to become England's Prime Minister. The twists and turns of their lives comes to a complete turn around of events at the end.

    The plot was interesting but a little too detailed in the political arena for my taste. I skipped over some of this part. Otherwise the story line was good. I believe a reader interested in political systems would really enjoy this book.


    Cherry Blossom

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2004

    A SUPERIOR VOICE PERFORMANCE

    Larry King has said of Jeffrey Archer, 'There isn't a better storyteller alive.' One would be hard pressed to find a better reader alive for this story of a fight for power. Martin Jarvis easily inhabits the personas of four men as they parry and jab for the right to live at No. 10 Downing Street. Listeners are introduced to this quartet gradually as the story unfolds over some thirty years. Charles, a man born to title and privilege; Simon, whose father imbues him with ambition; Ray, not of patrician birth but born with an iron will; and Andrew, a politician cum sports hero. Archer, a member of the House of Lords, well knows the terrain in which he sets his story, and Martin Jarvis well knows how to deliver it. - Gail Cooke

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 19, 2012

    I was very disappointed in the quality control (proofing) of the

    I was very disappointed in the quality control (proofing) of the NOOK version. For example, the surname Gould was frequently and confusingly referred as Could. The expletive "My God" was also less impressive as "My Cod". Definitely a book for those interested in the UK political scene and its machinations, but less interesting as a "good read". This is the least appealing of the Jeffrey Archer books I have read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 22, 2012

    Good read, but not Archer's best effort

    I've read most of Archer's novels, and enjoy his style, et al. However, in this case, I was mildly disappointed. It seemed he stretched the plot too much, thus losing the flow of the narrative. Also, his surprise ending was, to me, beyond credible. Sorry, Mr. Archer!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    Boring, boring, boring!

    One of the slowest books I've ever read! You would have to know English Government to understand most of the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2012

    Typical Jeffrey Archer - The Good Guys Win

    I enjoyed learning about how British politics work. I was confused but still managed to understand most of the details.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    First

    I liked the book well enough. It gave you some good insight into the workings of Parlement.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 1, 2012

    Interesting, but complex

    This is an interesting take on the complexities of how the inner workings of the English Parliament works in front and behind the scenes. Proving how politics are treacherous, very deceiving and always constantly working. Very interesting take on four personalities all from different backgrounds. The author does an outstanding job of weaving the characters into a good novel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2012

    Do not recommend

    Had a hard time keeping the characters straight. Very cut and dry, too much into the politics.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    Jeffrey Archer scores again!

    Just when you think you have something figured out, the story takes another turn.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)