©1995 Christopher Priest; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"Extraordinary, like a dazzling magic act!" (Entertainment Weekly)
"A brilliant conjuring act by one of the master illusionists of our time." (Wired)
"A taut, twisting, prize-winning story of two magicians and their fierce fin-de-siècle rivalry that taints successive generations of their respective families....An unexpectedly compelling fusion of weird science and legerdemain." (Kirkus Reviews)
Christopher Priest is primarily considered a science fiction writer, but his scope his much broader and I think it would be reasonable to say that he more an explorer of the human psyche. His main themes are perception, truth and reality, his canvas a kind of Jungian dreamscape. With the “Prestige” he has combined the elements he most favors and presented them in a story that rises above any simple categorization. In short this novel is a revelation. The story concerns with two Victorian era magicians, each blaming the other for the circumstances which have led them into a growing cycle of revenge and retribution. Here we are confronted by two versions of one story as each man makes his case against the other. But it is an illusion called “The new transformed man” which becomes the main focus as both men become obsessed with unraveling each others professional secrets. But the story does not end here, the consequences of their actions resound through the generations to the present day where we are introduced to two of their descendents who are both struggling to confront the “truth” of their own situations. He is haunted by a voice he cannot define, she is the keeper of secrets that have consumed her life. Throughout this story the writer involves the reader, respecting our intelligence and challenging our perceptions. But putting all this aside, Priest certainly knows how to write a good rip roaring yarn one that quietly builds to a crescendo, mesmerizing the reader until we are desperate for some kind of resolution, but be warned, Priest does not do straightforward endings. If you have seen the screen adaptation do not forgo the book, for while the film is faithful to the tone of the story, the book is more complete and thorough entity. The narrator is superb, the story – one of a kind.
Love audio books, collecting and shooting guns . Spent 12 years in the US Army, got out in '94. Been a Surveyor ever since. Married w/3 sons
Great story line, fast paced, great narrator!! one of my top 20 out of 230+ listens mostly in this genre. I even enjoyed the switching between the past and present, which usually becomes a pain to keep track of. A well researched study on the history of late 19th to early 20th century magicians. Anyone who likes a good mystery will love this one. Buy it and enjoy. Great ending.
After seeing the movie last year and enjoying it thoroughly, I was surprised to find I had missed reading the book some how while making my monthly selections.
While most movies quite frequently differ greatly from the original novel, I was happy to find a deeper, richer story filled with more twists and turns, guile and intrigue than the movie.
The beginning and ending of the novel, obviously edited out of the movie since it would detract from the story of the two competing prestidigitators, greatly enhance the story and shows how the actions of a man can impact on the generations that follow him. I will go no further in explaining the story. It would spoil it.
My advice is if you liked the movie, you will love this book! Enjoy!
I did not see the film, but saw the press ooh and aah over it without reading a summary. I expected one type of book and came away with a very pleasant surprise in addition to what I expected. Now I'm looking forward to seeing the film, having received the full surprise and intended effect from the book.
"The Prestige" is the basis for an excellent movie that was released in 2006. The movie and the book are more dissimilar than alike, but each one is fascinating and has its own pleasures. The book is long, sometimes convoluted, and packed with details that do not always advance the plot. And then it stops, moreso than it ends. Still, the book was captivating and enjoyable, largely thanks to a lively, theatrical reading by Simon Vance. So, yes, I would recommend it.
This is not the typical kind of book I listen to, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story of these two late Victorian magicians is framed within a modern story about two of their descendents. Fascinating for the period details. Fascinating for the representation of art, performance, and secrecy of magical illusion. Although I personally found the science fiction aspect of it (the latter part of the book) to be less convincing and appealing than the earlier, more realistic parts, I found the book so intriguing that I could hardly put it down. The narration by Simon Vance is a superb performance.
I could not stop listening to this book. The narrator is wonderful, maybe the best since Jim Dale's audio version of the Harry Potter series (who is still my all time favorite narrator). I did have to go back and relisten to a few passages after I finished the whole thing because it all comes together at the end and some pieces that seemed a bit confusing make more sense once you know what happens. Most of the story is told through two separate diaries which keep coming back to the same events. It does take some getting used to, but in the end is a very interesting format. I found this book to be very different and a great change of pace.
I highly recommend this book for those who like historical fiction mixed with a bit of the mysterious.
Grandma bibliophile! Audible books make reading with an active life possible.
Wow, what a wild ride. This book is totally unexpected. I wanted to see the movie and had to have the book first of course, they are always better. The narrator is great, haven't had a chance to listen to him yet and have been an audio fan for years.
As for the book itself, I have to listen again, may even have to buy it in print. By the end of the book I couldn't believe I missed some of the hints it talked about. Of course, I'm completely a pleasure listener and always just enjoy a good or different story - which this hit both categories in spades.
This was just a fun book with a lot of historical information about magic/"spiritualism", ehem, in that era. If you like history and learning about new things, which I do (and did), you'll love this book.... It didn't have quite the ending I expected, it was kind of weak, or I would have given it 5 stars. I can't give it 4 1/2 so 4 will just have to do.
The movie is a favorite of mine, but even with being that familiar with the story the book is great and still holds many surprises. There was one section that I felt was a bit slow and repetitive though; I'll write what that was below, but to avoid any spoilers I'll write it backwards.
As for the reading, it was absolutely top-notch. I highly recommend this book, either in printed or audio form.
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