House of Cards (novel)

book by Michael Dobbs

House of Cards is a novella by Baron Michael Dobbs. Dobbs was in the British House of Lords in the 1980s.

After an argument with Margaret Thatcher, Dobbs decided to write a book whose protagonist was an evil politician with the initials F.U. So he made a fictional character named Francis Uruqhart.

Plot change

In the book, Uruqhart finds out that a man named Roger O’Neal is addicted to cocaine and blackmails O’Neal into helping him while Uruqhart has an affair with a female journalist named Mattie Storin so she will write the stories that he wants her to write.

Then Roger O’Neal’s girlfriend breaks up with him so he has a nervous breakdown. He is angry with Uruqhart so Uruqhart gets O’Neal drunk until he falls asleep and puts rat poison in O’Neal’s cocaine to kill him and make the murder look like a suicide. Uruqhart feels guilty about that so when Mattie asks him if he killed Roger O’Neal he kills himself by jumping off a balcony.

BBC TV show change

The BBC made a television miniseries created by Andrew Davies based on the book and called it House of Cards. In it, Francis Uruqhart was played by Ian Richardson. The show changed the ending to Uruqhart killing Mattie Storin so that he could become Prime Minister of Great Britain. After the show was a success, Dobbs wrote two books as sequels to it called ”To Play the King” and ”The Final Cut” both of which were adapted into the show.

US version change

In 2013, Netflix made an American version of the television series House of Cards created by Beau Willimon starring Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood.