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To Play the King After scheming his way to power, newly elected Prime Minister Francis Urquhart faces a crisis that could destroy his Government But as he plots the drastic measures needed to save his political future he finds one determined man standing in the way the idealistic new King Urquhart will stop at nothing to cling to power As he prepares to expose the scandalous activities of certain members of the royal household, he threatens to bring down not only his Royal opponent, but also the Monarchy itself


About the Author: Michael Dobbs

Michael Dobbs was born on the same day, in the same hour as Prince Charles in 1948.He is the son of nurseryman Eric and his wife Eileen Dobbs and was educated at Hertford Grammar School and Christ Church, Oxford University After graduating in 1971 he moved to the United States In the USA he attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, which he funded by a job as feature writer for the Boston Globe, where he worked as an editorial assistant and political feature writer from 1971 to 1975.He graduated in 1975 with an M.A., M.A.L.D., and PhD in nuclear defence studies His doctoral thesis was published as SALT on the Dragon s Tail In 2007 he returned to Tufts where he gave the Alumni Salutation.After gaining his PhD he returned to England and began working in London for the Conservative Party He was an advisor to the then leader of the Opposition, Margaret Thatcher, from 1977 to 1979 and from 1979 to 1981 he was a Conservative MP speechwriter He served as a Government Special Advisor from 1981 to 1986 and he survived the Brighton Bombing in 1984 at the Conservative Party Conference He was the Conservative Party Chief of Staff from 1986 to 1987.He was considered a masterful political operator and was called Westminster s baby faced hit man , by The Guardian in 1987 In the John Major government, he served as Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party from 1994 to 1995, after which he retired from politics.Outside of politics, he worked at Saatchi Saatchi as Deputy Advertising Chairman from 1983 to 1986 and was Director of Worldwide Corporate Communications at the company from 1987 to 1988 He became Deputy Chairman, working directly under Maurice Saatchi from 1988 to 1991 From 1991 to 1998 he was a columnist for The Mail on Sunday and also wrote column for the Daily Express From 1998 to 2001 he hosted the current affairs program Despatch Box on BBC television and has also been a radio presenter.Nowadays he is best known as the bestselling author of 17 novels up to 2010 , such as The Turning Point , about Winston Churchill and Guy Burgess, and A Family Affair , about the last days of Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street, and also a number of non fiction works His writing career began in 1989 with the publication of House of Cards , the first in what would become a trilogy of political thrillers with Francis Urquhart as the central character House of Cards was followed by To Play the King in 1992 and The Final Cut in 1994 Each of the three novels was adapted by the BBC into a miniseries and, with Ian Richardson playiing a starring role, the trilogy received a combined 14 BAFTA nominations and two BAFTA wins and was voted the 84th Best British Show in History.His 2004 novel Winston s War was shortlisted for the Channel 4 Political Book of the Year Award He was the winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award for best historical novel in 2008 and in 2001 was shortlisted for the C4 Political Novel of the Year He has also been a judge of the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and lectures at dozens of literary and fundraising events each year Anthony Howard of The Times said Dobbs is following in a respectable tradition Shakespeare, Walter Scott, even Tolstoy, all used historical events as the framework for their writings And, unlike some of their distinguished works, Dobbs s novel is, in fact, astonishingly historically accurate He is now a full time writer and divides his time between London and Wiltshire, where he says that he lives near a church and a pub He is married with four children.Gerry WolstenholmeOctober 2010He is sometimes confused with American author Michael Dobbs, who is a distant relative of his and also an author of historical books e.g Saboteurs The Nazi Raid on America.



10 thoughts on “To Play the King

  1. Daniel Balici Daniel Balici says:

    I opted for this series out of curiosity, considering that it has served as a source of inspiration for the critically acclaimed and award winning political drama TV series called House of Cards, which is one of my favourites What is important to know is that the books focus on the politics of the United Kingdom, whereas the famous TV series centers around the politics of


  2. Matthew Tanous Matthew Tanous says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I have to say, I honestly think the first book is better for three main reasons Note there are spoilers here First, there seemed to be a lot of setup of the relationships of the King s press secretary as a gay man with very little payoff I guess this was to humanize the situation , but it felt like it


  3. Razvan Banciu Razvan Banciu says:

    Four stars ONLY for the last five pages, as To play the King is far under the spectacular beauty of House of cards The action is slower, the plot is somehow unreal, as it grows up practically from nothing a speach Even Urquhart is less convincing, being rather brutal than clever, a fact that turns against him, much to the readers joy, I think Only onething, the king s words in confrontatio


  4. Josephine Josephine says:

    That plot twist at the very end though 3.5 stars, I think, not quite sure how to rate this one.A lotcentral characters, a lot of evil planning and plotting, but not as badass as the first book Nevertheless I really enjoyed this one, and I m looking forward to getting to the final book in this series


  5. Alice Alice says:

    Much less satisfying than the first Where House of Cards felt bold and Shakespearean, To Play the King felt formulaic It was as if Dobbs was trying to recreate the magic of the first book, but chose the wrong elements to replicate A sort of literary George s Marvelous Medicine.


  6. Hastings75 Hastings75 says:

    Not sure if it is because of what is happening in my own life at the moment, but I love the whole House of Cards premise.This is the second book in the series and it hasn t lost any of the intrigue of the first book The lead protagonist, FU, has lost none of his ability to manipulate others to further his own agendas Pure evil Look forward to Book Three, the conclusion of the trilogy Will FU be able to hold his posi


  7. Matt Matt says:

    Dobbs follows through with the second in the trilogy, picking up the thread of the plot where it left off in HOUSE OF CARDS This new book with its political action moves the story away from the party leadership and into the aftermass that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat, especially for the political nut The PM faces a fairly new Monarch who has ascended the throne, with little experience dealing with his role


  8. David David says:

    This was not a bad book I just happened to like the first one better Urquhart and his personality really changed in this book and he kind of felt like a new character to me In a House of Cards he loved his wife and made sure he stayed out of trouble so he could further his political career, but in To Play the King, he seemed bitter and he has changed The plot idea is good but again not as good as the first book The rivalry between Pr


  9. Jeni Jeni says:

    It took a turn Where is my magnificent bastard The strong if not loving relationship with his wife view spoiler I know he ll fall, but I had expected him to end this book on a great win Not that it s bad for my expectations not to be met, but still want to root for him, a little hide spoiler Again, I can t help but compare it to the TV show that introduced me to the books in the first place For this book it had to be different as a republic a


  10. Kristi | Hidden Staircase | Kristi | Hidden Staircase | says:

    This is our second outing with Francis Urquhart FU , who is now the newly elected Prime Minister, serving alongside a newly crowned King In typical FU style, Francis already has his sites set on his next move, which is securing his position as Prime Minister by forcing a quick election to clean house Unfortunately, the King and his views are getting in the way of this master plan A fun novel revealing once again the deals made in politics and how easi


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