Wednesday, June 20

Book Review: The Prestige

Title: The Prestige

Author: Christopher Priest

Pages: EBook 365

Summary: 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, they 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.

My Rating: 9/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: At times the book was gripping and hard to put down. Even though I knew to some extent what the big reveal was at the end from watching the movie, I was fascinated by how it all played out.  

The book is very different then the film. There are some similar elements, but there are also a lot of differences, so I wasn't completely spoiled by having watched the film first.  I really enjoyed how the story was told. It was split into multiple parts, sometimes it was the journals of the characters, or memories of another character but in the end it brought the entire story together nicely. I think the way it was told could have gone differently, but the author managed to pull it all together nicely.  I also loved the ending and the build up to it. It was one of those endings that you also dislike because it makes you want more.

The characterization was well done particularly Borden and his narrative.  I don't think he was a favourite character of mine, but the author wrote his story, narrative and thought process extremely well. I think this is a book you can reread and you'll find more clues and hints and information each time. Fantastic read overall.
Would I recommend it to read: I would. I found so many aspects fascinating and trying to pull all the pieces together to reveal the secrets of all the characters made for a great read - and I think a lot of readers would enjoy this.

What to read next: The Night Circus

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