The Prestige by Christopher Priest

20 Jun

Title: The Prestige

Author: Christopher Priest

Publisher: A Tor Book 1995

Genre: Thriller?

Pages: 360

Rating:   5 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Support Your Local Library; Page to Screen

This book took much longer to read than I thought it would, but it was definitely worth it.  One of my favorites for this year!!! (You know how I hate movie tie-in covers for books,  but it was the only version the library had.  If I bought it, I would definitely have searched for a different version.)


The book was set in two separate time periods.  We meet Andrew who by the intervention of a mysterious stranger begins to learn about the history of his birth family.  The book then switches to Alfred Borden’s (Andrew’s great grandfather) diary.  We glimpse his life and struggles with the world of magic.  In his diary we meet Rupert Angier (The Great Danton) with whom Borden had a long standing feud.  Then the story switches back into the present and we learn more about Angier’s great granddaughter, Kate.  Kate and Andrew discuss the feud, what happened when Andrew (or Nicholas?) was just a toddler, and then we are again transported into the past.  We are privy to Rupert Angier’s diary of his life.  We learn of his view of the feud and about his strive to create The New Transported Man.  I won’t give away any of the mystery, but I will say that there are a couple.  And the promise of mystery and explanation drives the book.  I read the last 150 pages in one sitting because I just had to know.  Very intriguining mystery!  And the ending did not disappoint.


I confess that I saw the movie before reading the book, but that is of little importance in this case.  They are very different entities.  The movie director, Christopher Nolan, made sure to keep the main story between the two magicians, but left out the present day appearance of Andrew and Kate.  He also changed the catalyst to the magicians’ rivalry.  However, the spirit was there.

And the actors!!!  I absolutely love Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale.  They show such complex emotions that they make the film.  Michael Caine was amazing as Angier’s ingeniur.  And David Bowie as Nikola Tesla was perfect casting.  My only casting issue, Scarlett Johansson as Olivia.  I understand that her part in the book is limited, but she just seemed so flat on film that I didn’t see her appeal to either of the men.

This was definitely a great film.  Reminded me how much I love Christopher Nolan.  And it was a great adaptation of the novel, even with the changes.


Posted by on June 20, 2011 in Book Reviews


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2 responses to “The Prestige by Christopher Priest

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