Saturday, April 4, 2015

Book Review: First Among Equals by Jeffery Archer

I wasn't sure about reading this novel as my mind was going crazy without any activity. I browsed through my book shelf; I was even bored of looking at the books which I have not read (Not bored, actually. It was a feeling of sickness when realization hit me yet again: "There are so many good books to read!"). This was one of them. You know, sometimes, having done everything at your disposal, you still don't know how to kill time; even by wasting it. Well, start with something, I thought. I did eeny, meeny, miny, moe and it wasn't a bad choice after all.

This is the third novel by Jeffery Archer I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Its a political tale of four ambitious MPs of British Parliament wanting to be Prime Minister. All four, able men, hailing from different backgrounds and belonging to different constituencies. The story spans from 1964 to 1991. It is not just about their political careers, but it tells about how their personal lives get entangled with different problems and how they deal with them. Ultimately, as the title says, there is only one winner. The story is a little slow in the beginning because it took some time for me to get used to the jargon, but it gets interesting eventually. From the top view, its a battle between the Conservative Party and the Labour Party. There are some peculiar points that will surprise the reader. For instance, the MPs appear to fight in the Westminster like wild cats and dogs; but behind the scenes they will be good friends. And, there are also quite a few characters in the novel which are real, like, Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, Margaret Thatcher, etc. who served for the United Kingdom. When the novel nears the end, the climax is very gripping as Archer always keeps his promise.

What I take away from this novel is, that I learnt a lot about the British political structure and procedures involved in it. To me, it is always interesting to gain general knowledge about the things you already know by understanding the differences.