Denver Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club
The Prestige (1995)
World Fantasy Award Winner
Tor trade paperback
cover engraving by Giovanni Battista Bracceli
cover design by Shelley Eshkar
360 pages (left)
Gollancz UK paperback
Film tie-in edition
368 pages (right)
10 Wow! Don't miss it
8-9 Highly recommended
5-6 Mild recommendation
3-4 Take your chances
1-2 Below average; skip it
0 Get out the flamethrower!
U Unfinishable or unreadable
- Skipped or no rating given
Christopher Priest - The Prestige
This is so skillfully and cleverly written that I really wanted to like it more than I did. The many ironic twists and nested iterations on the theme of dual personalities are most impressive. I think Priest made the right choice not trying to conceal Alfred Borden's nature too long, instead focusing on Borden's fascinating psychology.
(Trying too hard to keep Borden's secret was one of several regrettable changes the filmmakers made in adapting The Prestige to the screen. The most obvious error was altering the nature of the Tesla machine. With the movie's nonlethal version, Angier could have merely used the device once and thereafter pulled off his magic trick the same way Borden did it. But the film version is fairly good nonetheless.)
I found Rupert Angier a much less compelling character than Borden, and unfortunately his was a longer section of the novel. Because I wasn't terribly interested in Angier's psychology, and because both Angier and Borden struck me as petty and unsympathetic, I found the second half of the novel a bit of a chore. I had the same reaction to much of The Prestige that I have to magic shows: I recognize that the magician is skillful, but can't see much reason to care about his tricks.What do you think? Your comments are welcome. Please send them to
The Prestige (2006) - the movie
"A Friendship, That Became a Rivalry...A Rivalry, That Became a Battle."
Directed by Christopher Nolan. Screenplay by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan. Buena Vista.
Starring: Hugh Jackman (Robert Angier); Christian Bale (Alfred Borden); Michael Caine (Cutter); Piper Perabo (Julia Angier); Rebecca Hall (Sarah Borden); Scarlett Johansson (Olivia Wenscombe); Samantha Muhurin (Jess Borden); David Bowie (Nikola Tesla); Andy Serkis (Alley).
The film was nominated for two Academy Awards for Cinematography and Art Direction