Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Prestige” as Want to Read:
The Prestige
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Prestige

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  14,499 Ratings  ·  1,589 Reviews
Two 19th century stage illusionists, the aristocratic Rupert Angier and the working-class Alfred Borden, engage in a bitter and deadly feud; the effects are still being felt by their respective families a hundred years later.

Working in the smoke-and-mirrors world of Victorian music halls, both men move stealthily in the background of each other’s shadowy life, driven to th
...more
Paperback, Film Tie-In Edition, 360 pages
Published November 8th 2006 by Gollancz (first published 1995)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Prestige, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Brenda Clough Think of the work as one of those candy Easter Eggs. The movie has several layers. The book has one more, a crunchy chocolate coating around the…moreThink of the work as one of those candy Easter Eggs. The movie has several layers. The book has one more, a crunchy chocolate coating around the entire outside of what you see in the movie. It is delicious.(less)
Amanda Lee This book is not a page turner. It simply isn't. The author does a good job of making you want to read the story, but it's a story meant to be read…moreThis book is not a page turner. It simply isn't. The author does a good job of making you want to read the story, but it's a story meant to be read slowly.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Bradley
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2016-shelf
Really amazing. I thought I knew the real story based on the movie, but I was WRONG.

I love the epistolary nature of the novel and how the story stretches through time, but my favorite bits were all between the two warring illusionists. I can't believe how far the two of them went to prolong their feud of pranks. It was kinda great seeing two professionals unwilling to harm their craft still work around all the little niceties to get at one another.

And then while I still remembered the whole Tesl
...more
Glenn Russell
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

"My error, at first, was to assume that the sheer brilliance of the effect would be enough to dazzle my audiences. What I was neglecting was one of the oldest axioms of magic, that the miracle of the trick must be made clear by the presentation. Audiences are not easily misled, so the magician must provoke their interest, hold it, then confound every expectation by performing the apparently impossible." - Christopher Priest, The Prestige

The Prestige - Christopher Priest’s highly inventive, maste
...more
Jonathan
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy suspense, intrigue and delving deeper into books

"An illusion has three stages.

"First there is the setup, in which the nature of what might be attempted at is hinted at, or suggested, or explained. The apparatus is seen. volunteers from the audience sometimes participate in preparation. As the trick is being setup, the magician will make use of every possible use of misdirection.

"The performance is where the magician's lifetime of practice, and his innate skill as a performer, cojoin to produce the magical display.

"The third stage is sometimes
...more
Tfitoby
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, lit


The Prestige by Christopher Priest

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not even close to what I was expecting, thankfully.

Blurb: Turn of the 20th Century London, two stage magicians embark on a feud of a lifetime propelling both of them to fame and fortune, pain and despair and a couple of shocking discoveries along the way, also framed by the meeting of their great grandchildren still living with the aftermath of the feud.

Thoughts: At its core Christopher Priest's The Prestige (completely different entity
...more
A. Dawes
May 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dueling illusionists' ongoing battle in the late Victorian era has consequences for future generations. This is a masterpiece of epistolary style writing. The reader is set up, mirroring the art of the illusionist. The Prestige explores issues relating to social class and gender, artistry vs science, one's perspective shaping the truth, and the dangers of limitless ambition. The illusionists' duel and their quest to be true masters provides for a couple of intriguing Faustian bargains in this tr ...more
Martine
Like many readers, I came to this book after seeing the excellent 2006 film based on it. Like many other readers, I ended up preferring the film to the book as the film is a lot more tightly woven and provides better motivations for the characters' actions.

The story, for those of you who don't know, centres on two Victorian magicians who strike up a feud and spend the next twenty years sabotaging each other's shows and trying to outperform each other, each coming up with a spectacular disappeari
...more
Simon Fay
Let's get one thing out of the way: I preferred the movie. It was a tenser experience with much more compelling motivations to drive the characters forward. More importantly, the movie succeeded in obscuring plotholes where the novel did not.

Nevertheless, much like the magic trick at the centre of Christopher Priest's The Prestige, the original version is more inventive for having been the first and all the more enjoyable for not having technology as an aid to bolster the haunting tale.

It's a da
...more
Marija Simić
Saw the movie not so recently, but I have to agree with almost everyone, when I say I prefer actually movie. This rarely happens! Of course, book has such a interesting story, and I liked it. And I like how Priest wrote about Nikola Tesla (who is (Tesla) my favourite historical figure, ever). At times confusing, both movie and the book. But, essentially- what is important is to see how every story has like, three sides, and how revenge blinds us. Makes us so so stupid. So, this book I will rate ...more
Manny
Dec 09, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Oddly enough, not as good as the movie!
Scribble Orca
I saw the movie on the plane (where else) and was frantic to surf the 'net to find out more about it when we landed. I wanted to understand more about the book, its author, the concepts, and background. Big screen (well, in this case, the small screen on the back of a plane seat) is terrific but ephemeral, whereas with a book I have time for distractions, cogitation, re-reading (and checking things on the net!). You might argue that I can fiddle with 'Pause', 'Rewind', 'Forward' and (several ite ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
So Many Questions (Spoilers) 1 20 Oct 14, 2016 06:02AM  
Bookworm Bitches : July 2015: The Prestige 16 73 Oct 29, 2015 12:32PM  
Ending of The Prestige - Any theories or thoughts? 6 122 Oct 22, 2015 04:45AM  
ending 14 215 Oct 22, 2015 04:11AM  
  • Take Back Plenty (Tabitha Jute, #1)
  • R.U.R. & War with the Newts
  • Glimpses
  • The Dragon Waiting
  • Unquenchable Fire (Unquenchable Fire, #1)
  • Physiognomy
  • Arslan
  • Helliconia Trilogy
  • Bold as Love (Bold as Love, #1)
  • Floating Worlds
  • Life During Wartime
  • The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe
  • Drowning Towers
  • Sirius: A Fantasy of Love and Discord
  • Galveston (Resurrection Man, #3)
  • Thraxas (Thraxas, #1-2)
  • Only Begotten Daughter
  • The Facts of Life
23419
Christopher Priest was born in Cheshire, England. He began writing soon after leaving school and has been a full-time freelance writer since 1968.

He has published eleven novels, four short story collections and a number of other books, including critical works, biographies, novelizations and children’s non-fiction.

He has written drama for radio (BBC Radio 4) and television (Thames TV and HTV). In
...more
More about Christopher Priest...
“Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called "The Pledge". The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course... it probably isn't. The second act is called "The Turn". The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it, because of course you're not really looking. You don't really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn't clap yet. Because making something disappear isn't enough; you have to bring it back. That's why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call "The Prestige".” 198 likes
“The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you're looking for the secret... but you wont find it, because of course you're not really looking. You don't really want to know. You want to be fooled.” 34 likes
More quotes…