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The Prestige (GOLLANCZ S.F.) by Christopher…

The Prestige (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (original 1995; edition 2005)

by Christopher Priest

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2,530992,392 (3.78)2 / 196
Title:The Prestige (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
Authors:Christopher Priest
Info:Gollancz (2005), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Prestige by Christopher Priest (1995)


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English (95)  French (2)  Portuguese (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (99)
Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
All right, in this case, as someone has already said it, the movie was better than the book. Done. ( )
  supercoldd | Aug 27, 2015 |
Woah, that was a great story! I think I'm a Christopher Priest fan now.
Love the story for it's historical aspects, and that it spanned two separate characters entire adult lives and beyond making the story deeper. ( )
  untitled841 | Aug 20, 2015 |
When I finished The Prestige, I wanted to flip back to the beginning of the book and start the whole thing again. You'll understand if you've read Christopher Priest's intricate historical novel about dueling magicians.

Borden and Angier both set out to make careers in the magic business in England at the end of the nineteenth century. They should have been friends, but both circumstance and their personalities turned them into enemies, each seeking to both outdo and to ruin the other. Then Borden comes up with an illusion called The New Transported Man and Angier is desperate to find out how he did it and to exceed it, which he goes to some length to do.

There's a familiar pattern to The Prestige; the historical tale framed by a modern discovery and of a story that only becomes clear as all the various threads come together. But the expected structure helps to give firm footing to an unbelievable series of events, that Priest guides the reader through in such a way as to make the most fantastic of events seem reasonable.

This is a fun read that insists that the reader keep their mind fully engaged as a moment's inattention will leave you floundering. ( )
  RidgewayGirl | Jan 28, 2015 |
I really did rather like this book. I like the writing, and the multiple voices used appealed to me. Some parts dragged (the Angier bit in particular) but overall it was enjoyable enough.

And then it ended.

I'm not even sure if that's WHY I'm taking a star off, or what. I'm not sure about anything because I'm not sure what the fuck even happened. I read it like three times trying to work out what was going on in the last five pages and I got absolutely nothing. Not a sausage. Which I think I kind of like? I have no idea. I'm taking a star off for this weird unsettled feeling I have. Because I can. ( )
  humblewomble | Oct 19, 2014 |
It really doesn't matter if you've seen the film - the book adds to the dark tale of 2 feuding Victorian illusionists with a modern-day wrapper revealing how the feud has trickled down into subsequent generations. In fact, there was enough additional depth and variation in the Victorian sections that I actually felt that I could be 'spoilt' in spite of The Prestige being one of my favourite films - the end of the book and the fates of pretty much all the key characters is different here.

Told largely through the diaries of the two magicians, this is a study of obsession and animosity. All is fair in magic and war - they disrupt one another's performances, interfere (if not always intentionally) with love lives and ultimately threaten each other's lives. With asides on the cost of living a life of lies, what is considered acceptable to sacrifice for your art, and magic as both illusion and as science we haven't discovered yet, this is heady stuff, told with Gothic glee. I'm not particularly interested in stage magic; it really didn't matter - I was hooked from start to finish, in spite of my niggling annoyance with the way both magicians' treat their wives and lovers. ( )
  imyril | Sep 13, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christopher Priestprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bracceli, Giovanni BattistaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It began on a train, heading north through England, although I was soon to discover that the story had really begun more than a hundred years earlier.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312858868, Paperback)

The Washington Post called this "a dizzying magic show of a novel, chock-a-block with all the props of Victorian sensation fiction: seances, multiple narrators, a family curse, doubles, a lost notebook, wraiths, and disembodied spirits; a haunted house, awesome mad-doctor machinery, a mausoleum, and ghoulish horrors; a misunderstood scientist, impossible disappearances; the sins of the fathers visited upon their descendants." Winner of the 1996 World Fantasy Award, The Prestige is even better than that, because unlike many Victorians, Priest writes crisp, unencumbered prose. And anyone who's ever thrilled to the arcing electricity in the "It's alive!" scene in Frankenstein will relish the "special effects" by none other than Nikola Tesla.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:14 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

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 gaslight-and-velvet world of Victorian music halls, both men prowl edgily in the background of each other's shadowy life, driven to the extremes by a deadly combination of obsessive secrecy and insatiable curiosity. At the heart of the row is an amazing illusion they both perform during their stage acts. The secret of the magic is simple, and the reader is in on it almost from the start, but to the antagonists the real mystery lies deeper. Both have something more to hide than the mere workings of a trick.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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