House of Cards: Review

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I will start right out by saying that while I have seen advertisements for the show “House of Cards”, I have never actually seen the show. This is an honest review of the book, not a comparison between the book and the show. Now that is out of the way, let’s talk about the book.

I found this book to be extremely dull and uneventful. I definitely do not believe that this book should be classified as mystery/thriller, more like plain literary fiction.

The plot is slow from the start. While there are some interesting parts dealing in political sabotage, there isn’t much excitement throughout the entire story. The story is slow moving, dealing more in the interactions of characters than in any excitement or action. While I am normally a fan of strong character-driven plots, that style just didn’t work for this book.

The characters in this book were part of the reason why I felt that the character-driven plot didn’t work. All of the characters in this book seemed incredibly unlikable and difficult to relate to. Even the characters that it seemed like the reader was supposed to like, weren’t easy to like and were much easier to dislike. I found all the characters acted in an extremely superficial and fake manner, making them difficult to enjoy and believe in.

The writing in this book was also insufferable. The author writes in a manner that, while seemingly sophisticated, is confusing and challenging to follow. I had a hard time keeping everything straight in this book- who all the characters were, who had done what, etc. Normally I don’t have a problem following even the most confusing of story-lines, but this book posed a serious challenge to me. I also found that the author wasn’t very descriptive; he writes in a manner that is almost too straightforward and factual for a fiction book.

The final issue that I had with this book is the understanding of politics. I live in the United States and while I feel that I have a solid grasp on the way our political system works, the political system of England is another matter entirely. This book is completely about the government, so if you don’t have a solid political understanding, this book is a challenge to follow and read.

Honestly, I had been hoping that after reading this book I would want to watch and enjoy the show. In reality, after reading this book I will definitely not be watching the show for fear that it will be as bad as the book.

I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.

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4 thoughts on “House of Cards: Review

    FictionFan said:
    March 23, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    I haven’t read the book, but did enjoy the show when it was first aired a million years ago or so. However it was because of the two great central performances rather than for the plot, which I felt was contrived and totally unbelievable. I also suspect it only worked at that particular time, because it reflected/exaggerated the government of the day (I’m a Brit, so understood the political stuff more or less) – I suspect it would be really dated now. I must admit I’ve always avoided re-watching it…

    Camilla Kyndesen said:
    March 23, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    Thanks for posting this review. I have been thinking about getting the book for someone as a gift, but now I’ll at least do more research on it before making up my mind 🙂

    Ibukun Taiwo said:
    March 24, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    Ironically, I thought of reading this book because I really really adore the US remake of the TV show. But taking your word for it (I honestly don’t have the time to read every book I would like to), I think I’ll skip this and just wait for Season 3 to come along.

    alemhailugklem said:
    April 5, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    You review is good.You prove an honest person.But it sure is good to start from the strong side of the author and latter enumerating his shortcomings, for one of the objective of criticism is helping authors turn competent not annihilating them.

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