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Read This: House of Cards

Author: Michael Dobbs
Price: $14.99
Release Date: March 11
Photo courtesy of Sourcebooks Landmark

March 13, 2014 | 12:00 a.m. CST

American Fans of Netflix’s House of Cards can now get their hands on the inspiration for the binge-worthy series without having to travel across the pond.

Originally published in 1989, Michael DobbsHouse of Cards inspired an award-winning BBC miniseries as well as the Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning American adaptation on Netflix. The highly anticipated second season came out Feb. 14.

Viewers of the D.C. drama should be aware: This isn’t the Frank Underwood who Kevin Spacey makes you love to hate (or is it hate to love?). This is the original. Francis Urquhart is the chief whip of the British government, and his lust for power has him headed for Downing Street, not the White House.

Dobbs rewrote some dialogue and created a new ending for the novel’s U.S. debut, but fear not — the heart of the story remains the same. Urquhart is just as Machiavellian as the Underwood you’ve come to know. He schemes, blackmails and murders to get what he wants, and readers get to follow right along with all the dirty details.

Some reviewers say the Netflix version is better than the book. Others say the opposite. The best answer might be a line from the beguiling Francis himself:

“You might very well think that. I couldn’t possibly comment.”

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