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House of Cards (1989)

de Michael Dobbs

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Sèrie: House of Cards (1), Francis Urquhart (1)

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Francis Urquhart is Chief Whip and he has his hands on every secret in politics and is willing to betray them all to become Prime Minister. Mattie Storin is a tenacious young political correspondent. She faces the biggest challenge of her life when she stumbles upon a scandalous web of intrigue and financial corruption at the very highest levels. She is determined to reveal the truth, but she must risk everything to do so.… (més)
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» Mira també 18 mencions

I never saw the new series but recalled that my father watched the original, so I figured I should get around to this series. Wow! I must say that I very much enjoyed this novel & Francis Urquhart is captivating and seriously petrifying. I was all over the place with Mattie but ended up simply pitying her because she wanted to believe up to the very end. Roger was hapless and pathetic but I still hoped he’d make it but I knew he couldn’t. Mrs Urquhart gets total points for being just about as chilling a person as her husband. They’re perfect for one another. I very much enjoyed this one & have to admit that it’s not often one runs across so memorable a character. I wholly see what all the chatter was about & why an American version of the UK series was done.

This was a fascinating & absorbing read. I wish it were available on Kindle but I’m glad that a raid of the bookshelves at my parent’s had a copy. There was also a copy of To Play the King, so I’ll have to read that soon. I’d recommend this one, definitely.
( )
  anissaannalise | Feb 28, 2018 |
I have been binge watching a number of political satires and dramas on Netflix recently: Yes, Minister; Yes, Prime Minister; The Thick of It; and latterly House of Cards, featuring infighting within a post-Thatcher Conservative government and the rise to power of the manipulative Chief Whip Francis Urquhart. This famous series was broadcast on TV at the same time in November 1990 as in the real world Margaret Thatcher's 11 year premiership was coming to an end as many of her colleagues turned against her and she resigned after a heavy loss of support in a leadership election challenge from Michael Heseltine. The series was based on this novel, presciently written by the author, a Conservative party official, in 1989, after he had been "handbagged" by the Prime Minister during the 1987 general election campaign. I previously read and enjoyed this novel in the early 1990s, but Dobbs has now rewritten it, most notably changing the ending so that Urquhart survives to be Prime Minister in the TV series sequels made in the mid 1990s, which Dobbs also novelised. In fact comparing this version with the original paperback which I still have, there are many other changes, which mostly make the rewrite a tighter narrative. In any case, this remains an excellent novel and a searing study of political and media manipulation. ( )
1 vota john257hopper | Sep 3, 2017 |
I am a huge fan of the current Netflix series House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey. This book is part of a series written by Dobbs witch sparked the Netflix show. The big difference between the book version and the film version is that the book version takes place in England. Francis Urquhart is the Chief Whip of the majority party. Like Frank Underwood (his US variation), who was the House Whip for the Democratic Party, his ambitions and plans were thwarted at the highest levels. Urquhart matches Underwood for evil deeds and manipulation of people for his own ambitious ends. The reader keeps expecting Urquhart to get tripped up. Urquhart screws over his Prime Minister and other candidates who run against him for party leadership. The reader of this book who is also a viewer of the Netflix series will notice a number of similarities in terms of plot and characters. This book was a great joy to read – – highly recommended. I look forward to reading the other books in this series. ( )
  writemoves | Jan 30, 2017 |
This became one of the classic political thrillers and spawned one of the most successful television dramas of the 1990s. Indeed, the television series was so successful that it in turn spawned a new, American version quarter of a century on.

At an unspecified point in the 1990s a post-Thatcher Conservative government has just secured re-election, though with a significantly reduced majority. In the immediate aftermath of the election victory, senior members of the party convene to put the finishing touches to their high level plans for the forthcoming term. Francis Urquhart, the party's insanely ambitious Chief Whip hopes for advancement. He is to be disappointed, however, as Prime Minister Henry Collingridge is reluctant to tamper with his Cabinet. This disappointment proves to be the final straw for Urquhart who, at the age of sixty-two, sees his chances of scaling to the highest reaches of the political world receding fast. He is, however, not a man to cross lightly. As the party's Chief Whip he knows all the vulnerabilities of his fellow MPs, and he has the evidence of all manner of their peccadilloes: financial malfeasance, sexual indiscretions and plenty more besides. He also has a finely tuned Machiavellian mind, and the combination proves lethal. He embarks upon a masterful scheme to advance his fortunes, and his front bench colleagues find themselves beset by all sorts of woes.

Michael Dobbs had been a member of Margaret Thatcher's inner circle, and had subsequently served as Deputy Chairman of the Conservative party, so he has ample insight into the seedier wheeling and dealing that accompany high politics. The book is gripping, and Urquhart is an appealing protagonist. Scarcely a hero, but he is surprisingly appealing, despite his ruthlessness and complete absence of remorse. It is tempting to suggest that, enjoyable though the story is, it is too far-fetched to be plausible. However, the capacity for seemingly successful politicians to self-destruct, immolated on the pyre of their boundless vanity and misplaced belief in their unassailable rectitude is inexhaustible. Though now m ore than twenty years old,m the novel has scarcely aged at all, and seemed entirely gripping. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Dec 3, 2015 |
Este foi um livro que despertou a minha curiosidade devido ao seu título. Já tinha ouvido referências à série televisiva “House of Cards”, distribuída pela HBO, assim como já tinha também ouvido que o Kevin Spacey tem um desempenho excelente nesta série sobre os meandros da política norte-americana. Sobre este programa de televisão, pouco mais nada sei.
Foi no posfácio deste livro que fiquei ainda a saber que o “House of Cards” já tinha sido adaptado numa mini-série de 4 episódios pela BBC, que foi para o ar em 1990. Mais ainda, este livro, publicado pela Jacarandá, é na verdade uma edição revista pelo autor que chega às estantes no seguimento do sucesso da série norte-americana, e faz parte de uma trilogia que gira em torno de Frank Urquhart, um verdadeiro “animal político”.
“House of Cards” conta a história de como um político influente, ganancioso e ferido no seu orgulho resolve virar-se com aqueles que o antagonizaram, envolvendo-se então num jogo de mentiras, dissimulações, traições e chantagens, que começa com um golpe palaciano que derruba o primeiro-ministro do Reino Unido, e prossegue com a eliminação de todos os adversários que, tal como Frank, pretendem chegar ao topo da máquina do poder britânico.
De uma forma vertiginosa, Michael Dobbs põe a nu os jogos de poder em terras da sua majestade, onde não existem amigos mas apenas aliados, alianças estas que ora são construídas por ambição e chantagem, ou se desfazem unilateralmente, ao sabor dos interesses mais ousados de uma das partes.
Tal como referi, este “House of Cards” faz parte de uma trilogia agora revista pelo autor, mas apenas este primeiro livro está traduzido para português, desconhecendo se a edição originalmente publicada foi alguma vez traduzida. A curiosidade em saber como o primeiro-ministro Frank Urquhart se safa lá me fará correr atrás dos volumes em inglês, não que haja qualquer inconveniente nisso… ( )
  TonyAlmeida | Aug 22, 2015 |
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Michael Dobbsautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Joyce, PeterNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Please DO NOT combine the ABRIDGED audiobook version (10-ISBN: 0001047132) with the following unabridged versions

10-ISBN:
0002234505;
0006176909;
0061000159;
0286133024;
0745133657;
0745174221;
079271105X;
0792711068;
1854963643 (unabridged audio book);
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Francis Urquhart is Chief Whip and he has his hands on every secret in politics and is willing to betray them all to become Prime Minister. Mattie Storin is a tenacious young political correspondent. She faces the biggest challenge of her life when she stumbles upon a scandalous web of intrigue and financial corruption at the very highest levels. She is determined to reveal the truth, but she must risk everything to do so.

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