James's Reviews > The Prestige

The Prestige by Christopher Priest
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's review
Jun 21, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy
Read from June 21 to July 01, 2011

Andrew Westley has all his life wondered if he ever had a twin brother. Though the records disprove this, the once-adopted man believes it true even so. One day his foster father sends him a book written by a man named Borden and so the story goes.

Andrew meets a woman but any possible romanticism between them is brushed off once the reader reads the diaries of Borden and Angier, two turn-of-the-century (the 19th century that is) magicians who are enemies of each other.

The book is mostly about this feud, the pranks they pull on each other, ruining of each others' acts and such incidents, along with their womanizing and their travels and the lengths they go to in their revenge of each other.

The story picks up with the meeting of Angier and Tesla and Tesla's discovery of using electricity to duplicate matter. Angier sees this as a way of genuine transportation of a man and uses this machine in getting back at Borden, who himself has a transported man trick but uses an identical twin to perform it.

The ending of the tale is interesting, almost a supernatural flight of fancy.

The constant letters back & forth and the diary entries are a bit hard to get through sometimes. It's a technique used by Bram Stoker in Dracula and though it works there, for me it was a bit of a struggle.

Still, a fast-paced read once you get through a few of the early words used. Christopher Priest clearly was trying for a writing style contemporary to the early 20th century. There were not a lot of surprises, easily figured out in the plot. I really wished Priest made the ending more of a surprise than not.

Much different than the movie starring Hugh Jackman of the same title. Recommended!


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Reading Progress

06/21/2011 page 81
22.0% "Well paced book, though I wonder why the author started in modern times and then jumps to the Victorian era. Interesting how we're introduced by a descendant about a magic book written by his ancestor and then proceed to read it!"

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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James So far so good. Just started this book and find it interesting reading and on how the author breaks down the book. We start in modern times and the descendant of the magician gets a book written by his ancestor. After some adventure, we the reader read the same book!

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