The Prestige PDF/EPUB ß Paperback

  • Paperback
  • 404 pages
  • The Prestige
  • Christopher Priest
  • English
  • 12 June 2016
  • 9780312858865

9 thoughts on “The Prestige

  1. says:

    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 masterfully crafted tale written in the grand tradition of Victorian novels of mystery and suspense specifically Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White use of multiple narrators and Moonstone epistolary novel The language is so well tuned and exact so vividly clear many the time turning the pages I felt as if I was launched miraculously back into the streets flats and performance halls of turn of the century London So compelling and thrilling my response to the British author repeats esteemed critic Garry Indiana's words regarding the literary output of Georges Simenon “I know how he does it but I have no idea how he can do it” Christopher Priest what a marvelous weaver of fictional magic And speaking of magic please read on True the novel begins and ends at a country estate in modern day England where journalist Andrew Westley and Lady Kate Angier both young and single take turns narrating as they sit together and move about in Kate’s family mansion however this is but the frame – the bulk of the narrative consists of the respective diaries of two of their long dead ancestors Alfred Borden and Rupert Angier illustrious stage magicians who had been engaged in a bitter vindictive rivalry protracted over many years beginning in the late nineteenth century The plot is simply too good and contains too many surprises for me to divulge any tantalizing secrets thus I will shift my observations to a number of the novel’s underlying themes and philosophical enigmas Illusion Counterpoint to nimble skill and dexterity performing sleight of hand and misdirection concealment and manipulation on stage Alfred Borden and Rupert Angier are also master illusionists as each pens his diary Claiming the two magicians are less than reliable narrators is understatement as we are never entirely certain where the illusions start and where they stop where reality begins and where it ends Now you read it now you don’t And in case you might not catch the shift since it is so easy to miss there is one short chapter of the novel where Christopher Priest deftly slides into telling the tale in objective third person – a crafty authorial variation on now you read it now you don’t Revenge Ah retaliation vengeance payback reprisal the juice of mountains of fiction and generous helpings of history But as both Alfred Borden and Rupert Angier discover the hard way the aftermath of vengeful words and actions are never nearly as clear cut and confined as we might conceive In many cases the person extracting revenge is completely oblivious to the full range of conseuences sometimes affecting men women and children over a number of generations Secrecy An enormous part of a stage magician’s art is secrecy how the trick is performed Alfred Borden and Rupert Angier extend their secrecy to nearly all aspects of their personal and professional lives Of course the secrets one has the possibility of being discovered But while a secret remains a secret the magician maintains a power an advantage over his audience if stage magic; over his family and associates if his secret pertains to his personal life The ultimate disgrace for a stage magician – having the secret of his trick revealed publicly during a performance Of course this is exactly the practice of both Alfred Borden and Rupert Angier Twins Just think of the power a magician would possess if he had an identical twin he kept secret All the jaw dropping feats of stage magic he could perform – I’m over here on this side of the stage presto in an instant I’m over there on that side of the stage Such secrecy and magic might ualify as the ultimate illusion One could stake a career on such an astounding trick However two people going through life pretending they are one and the same person will undoubtedly alter a sense of one’s individual identity one of the prime hallmarks of what it means to be human Or will it? Can a master of illusion pull it off successfully? Many the author captivated by the idea and possibilities of twins my personal favorite Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors featuring not one but two sets of twins Identity of the Self Robert Nozick has a thought experiment where after an accident half of one person’s brain along with memory is transferred to a second person’s body Both Tim the giver and Tom the receiver live after the operation and both Tim and Tom claim to be Tim Are they both right? The next day Tim dies and Tom is now the only person claiming to be Tim Does Tom now Tim assume the old Tim’s rights and obligations including the right to live with Tim’s wife and kids? The ancient world knew such a dilemma of identity with the ship of Theseus the planks and other parts of the ship are all replaced over time After the last old plank is removed and replaced is it the same ship or a different ship? What if less than half of the ship is replaced? What if than half is replaced? The variations are endless The Prestige hurls a few crazy twists into the mix Electricity The end of the nineteenth century the heyday as stage performers for the novel’s two magicians was also the heyday for inventors such as Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla In 1879 electric lights were first used for public street lighting The possibilities and power of electricity captured the public’s imagination And if a performer could include the sizzling popping currents of this newly found power into their act– what a show Jolt of the Weird Although a Victorian thriller in the tradition of Wilkie Collins please keep in mind Christopher Priest has been strongly influenced by H G Wells Similar to his science fiction novel Inverted World where events move along at a measured pace until the jolt of the weird The Prestige has its own weird jolt which leads to a series of even weirder jolts One of the most fascinating and astonishing last parts of any novel you will ever read If you are stirred to consider The Prestige I’m accomplished my own bit of magic as a reviewerSpecial thanks to Wastrel and Kevin for suggesting I make The Prestige my next Christopher Priest novel There is a absolutely first rate audio book available where Simon Vance reads The Prestige “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”― Christopher Priest The Prestige

  2. says:

    Really amazing I thought I knew the real story based on the movie but I was WRONGI 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 anotherAnd then while I still remembered the whole Tesla seuence from the movie the book takes it so much farther I loved it I really loved it It turned a mystery and a rivalry story into true science fiction of the highest caliber Surprise Sheesh I want to just spoil it It's so tempting But no No hints about things that should only belong in space opera tales or popular episodic federation stuff No beam me up Scotty references or out of time or out of phase memes I refuse to give away the really good stuff in the novelAnd it's really good Great characters great mystery and great Prestige the final result of the magic trick

  3. says:

    The Prestige is a novel by Christopher Priest which was first published in 1995 It is a very imaginative and skilful novel about illusionists two stage magicians in late 1800s England who are deadly rivals involved in a sustained and ongoing feud They are mutually antagonistic throughout their lives and careers The title comes from the idea that stage illusions have three parts the setup the performance and the “prestige” or effect The novel is suggestive of the supernatural and has decidedly gothic overtones; ostensibly about the world of 19th century stage magic but altogether a stranger tale exploring a fantastic world of disappearances and doublesFrom near the beginning of the novel “I remember someone once saying that the trouble with magic was that the a magician protects his secrets the banal they turn out to be”“What will seem new or baffling to an audience is simply a technical challenge for other professionals”Christopher Priest in an interview about The Prestige said “I’ve always been interested in misdirecting my readers in my novels and magicians use techniues of misdirection that are similar This isn’t sleight of hand real misdirection is when the performer allows or encourages his audience to make assumptions about what they are seeing or in my case assumptions about what they are reading”It is a complex tale which must have been extremely difficult to tell in exactly the right seuence while still maintaining momentum Reading The Prestige one wonders if in the end everything will turn out to be one big confidence trick on the part of the author The plot is full of twists and turns obsessive secrecy and duplicity The setting Christopher Priest has chosen is inspired All theatrical conjuring tricks rely on misdirection subtly making the audience look in one direction whilst some devious trick is played in another But the most successful of all do not fool the audience so much as encourage them to fool themselvesThe novel has five sections each told from a different viewpoint These multiple viewpoints means that much is inconsistent or unreliable and misunderstandings abound It is partly epistolary using diaries which were kept by the main protagonistsIt begins in the present day with Andrew Westley’s account He had been adopted at the age of three his biological family being the Borden family All his life he had felt an unfathomable “pyschic contact”; a feeling of rapport with some “other” presence On the second page we read “I am certain or to be accurate almost certain that I was born one of a pair of identical twins and that my brother and I were separated at the time of adoption I have no idea why this was done nor where my brother night be now but I have always assumed he was adopted at the same time as me All my life as long as I can remember I have had the feeling that someone else is sharing my life”Yet despite this feeling all the official records indicated that Andrew Westley was an only child Now he works as a struggling journalist writing stories on mysterious happenings such as UFO appearances and witches’ covens Receiving a book in the post entitled “The Famous Oath Protected Book of Secrets” published in 1905 he was intrigued by the blurb on the back These were the memoirs of Alfred Borden whose stage name was “Le Professeur de Magie” Clearly this had to have been a distant blood relative; possibly even a direct ancestorHis current assignment was to research a story of the leader of a religious cult who allegedly bilocated having been reported as being in two places at the same time Andrew duly followed this up but when he arrived at the location of the church his contact Kate actually Lady Katherine Angier revealed that the story was mostly fabricated The true reason she had brought him there was to try to work out the secrets of their families’ pasts Both of them were descendants of famous stage magicians in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Andrew was the great grandson of Alfred Borden and Kate was the great grand daughter of Rupert Angier These two magicians were well known to be in a lifelong feud and over had a rivalry that had lasted all the way to the current generationThe second section is the memoir or journal of Alfred Borden He describes a series of techniues and illusions which are commonly practiced by magicians and also how his own life and career have progressed up to this point as well as personal aspects of his life He relates his feud with Rupert Angier and we learn how it began view spoilerApparently Borden interrupted a séance Angier was performing; trying to humiliate him by showing the grieving family that it was a trick Borden resented Angier considering him an aristocratic amateur who fabricated sensational stunts and claimed he felt that this was morally wrong This incident had far reaching conseuences to be revealed laterBorden had been working hard on devising his own signature act which he called “The Transported Man” The memoir is deliberately guarded as Borden explains that he has to be careful not to divulge his secrets such as his famous act of teleportation and an improved version called “The New Transported Man” This seemed to transport him from one closed cabinet to another within seconds without him appearing to pass through the intervening space The act seems to defy known physics and Borden does reveal in his journal that this in fact an illusion But what irked Angier was that he could not see how Borden pulled off the “prestige”—the moment at which the trick is finally effected He was unable to believe that it could be anything but an illusion but could not see how it was done; and remained as baffled as the audience hide spoiler

  4. says:

    An illusion has three stagesFirst 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 misdirectionThe performance is where the magician's lifetime of practice and his innate skill as a performer cojoin to produce the magical displayThe third stage is sometimes called the effect or the prestige and this is the product of magic If a rabbit is pulled from a hat the rabbit which apparently did not exist before the trick was performed can be said to be the prestige of that trick The SetupA four and a half to five star book that began as a five star book dropped partway to a four star read and then rose again to a five star enjoyable finish Now before I begin my proper review I have a disclaimer that the review you see here is due in part because I made a vow I would read this before what is bound to be an excellent film by Christopher NolanI must now draw your attention ladies and gentleman to the apparatus of my next paragraph in which I will perform wonders most miraculousThe PerformanceI found the writing to be of top uality and in a slightly unusual style reminiscent of Mary Shelley's flowery use of language merged with Bram Stoker's uirky use of different perspectives It is a book that when I read it I began to say from the start that the writing was exceptionalThere are several thematic elements and multiple subplots which were properly explored to fully explain and sustain the intrigue of the book That said the book does end on a very mysterious note but I shall leave you to observe that magic for yourselves I rather enjoyed reading the perspective of Alfred Borden and then switching to his rival Rupert Angier's perspective in order to observe the full picture and understand both mysterious secrets of the illusions they perfect in order to outplay the other at conjuring In many ways this is a novel about secrets secrets kept in order to preserve the magic of illusions and how those secrets affect the magician's lives It is also the tale of an illusionist's war a war in which both magicians attempt to reveal the secrets of each other's magic to the observing audiences and hence win the battle I would say that this novel is one which is deeper than it appears and cannot help wondering if perhaps in the distant future it will be named as a classic because I believe it would prove capable of doing so if the popularity of Christopher Nolan's film does not destroy this intriguing versionThe PrestigeAnd now you see that I have completed a magical trick of such proportions that you cannot grasp its magnitude Ah but I will not tell you how it works you see because I like all true magicians must carry out living the secret of my grand illusion to ensure no one knows how I perform such a trick The magic is such that I suddenly have before you where there was nothing a fully completed review with a magical five star rating at the top If that is not enough to convince you to give this a read then no other illusion will persuade you exits in a flash of smoke and falling curtainsEnd note You know how there are times when you read a book and you go away and forget about it now matter how good the book was? Well I think a good book grabs you becomes part of you and refuses to let go And then when you encounter something with the similar subject matter you remember the book all over again That is what this work is for me a book that grabbed me Now every time I see a magic trick I think of the various stages of performing that trick

  5. says:

    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 tightly woven and provides better motivations for the characters' actionsThe 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 disappearing act to which the other wants to find out the secret The obsessive nature of the two men's relationship is drawn well first from the working class Borden's point of view then from the aristocratic Angier's Their feud isn't motivated particularly well but that might be the point of the story; feuds often arise over trivial matters At any rate the resulting obsession and its destructive effects are painted vividly The magic tricks are also presented well although the words describing them of necessity lack the powerful uality of the film's images of them And finally there's a nice sense of mystery surrounding some of the tricks although again less so than in the film bringing to mind the thrilling sensation fiction of the Victorian era which I happen to love Sadly though the book has many shortcomings For one thing Borden's and Angier's diaries are unconvincing as Victorian documents; the language used is far too modern Secondly both of the protagonists are fairly unlikeable characters I realise it's hard to write a story about an obsessive feud without making the characters uite unlikeable but still I think Priest could have done a better job on these two Thirdly Angier's part of the story is a bit of a drag Some judicious editing would have been welcome hereWhat really sets the book apart from the film however is the fact that Priest saw fit to include a modern frame in which the reader is introduced to two of the magicians' present day descendants whose lives are still being affected by the ancient feud At first I hated the modern frame which the filmmakers wisely left out thinking it detracted from the main story Towards the end I came to appreciate it I actually uite liked the ending which is spectacularly sci fi ish and gothic It rather stands out from the rest of the book which is fairly realistic and as such could be said to be out of out of character but as far as I'm concerned it works I wish the rest of the book were eually spectacularI'd give the book 35 stars if I could but in the absence of half stars I'm going to be tough and give it 3

  6. says:

    Dueling illusionists' ongoing battle in the late Victorian era has conseuences 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 uest to be true masters provides for a couple of intriguing Faustian bargains in this truly marvelous novel Yet we as readers are also being deceived until it all finally unravels One of the best novels in a structural sense that I've read Well worth the time

  7. says:

    Let's get one thing out of the way I preferred the movie It was a tenser experience with much compelling motivations to drive the characters forward More importantly the movie succeeded in obscuring plotholes where the novel did notNevertheless much like the magic trick at the centre of Christopher Priest's The Prestige the original version is inventive for having been the first and all the enjoyable for not having technology as an aid to bolster the haunting taleIt's a damn fine book that is than able to stand on its own It would have been nice to experience it without knowing what the hell was going on but then I'm also glad to have had that experience with Christopher Nolan's version While some might feel a sense of frustration at the source material being overshadowed I think that in this case the book and the movie actually act as perfect companions for one another I'm sure if I scroll down the reviews I'll find plenty of other people who've already made this comparison but given that it's a story of doppelgangers and neverending feuds it's fitting to say that they are both as worthy of being called The Prestige as the other

  8. says:

    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 with 3 stars I'd probably give it 35 if that was possible

  9. says:

    Oddly enough not as good as the movie

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The Prestige[PDF / EPUB] The Prestige In 1878 two young stage magicians clash in the dark during the course of a fraudulent séance From this moment on their lives become webs of deceit and revelation as they vie to outwit and expose one In two young stage magicians clash in the dark during the course of a fraudulent séance From this moment on their lives become webs of deceit and revelation as they vie to outwit and expose one anotherTheir rivalry will take them to the peaks of their careers but with terrible conseuences In the course of pursuing each other's ruin they will deploy all the deception their magicians' craft can command the highest misdirection and the darkest scienceBlood will be spilled but it will not be enough In the end their legacy will pass on for generationsto descendants who must for their sanity's sake untangle the puzzle left to them.

About the Author: Christopher Priest

Christopher Priest was born in Cheshire England He began writing soon after leaving school and has been a full time freelance writer since He has published eleven novels four short story collections and a number of other books including critical works biographies novelizations and children’s non fictionHe has written drama for radio BBC Radio and television Thames TV and HTV In.