House of Cards: the novel

Happy new year.

For Christmas amongst the books I received was a copy of House of Cards by Michael Dobbs. I had been half heartedly looking for a copy of this and was pleased to see it. Thanks to my sister-in-law there.

I had previously read a later Dobbs offering First Lady, which I found rather disappointing. My review of that book was positive but noted the rather clunking one pace style. This book was much better, and you can see why someone decided to adapt it.

One key thing to note is there are significant differences to the TV series. I think I prefer the TV version, but both stories are good, and the differences mean both are worth watching/reading. I won’t include too many spoilers, but the absence of the junior whip Stamper is one notable difference. The characters also have very different relationships than in the TV version.

One game I’m not quite able to play is to match the characters to the characters at the end of the Thatcher era. Woolton, Dobbs’ foreign secretary, is very different to Hurd and doesn’t seem to match anyone I can think of. Samuels could be partly based on Heseltine but isn’t a good fit. Can anyone give some better matches? The characters are much less the stereotypes of First Lady however.

Overall much better than First Lady, and clear why it became adapted for a bit of classic telly.


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Filed under books, Conservatives, michael dobbs, political fiction

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