Prime The Prestige By Christopher Priest – Avengersinfinitywarfullmovie.de

Really amazing I thought I knew the real story based on the movie, but I was WRONG.I 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 another.And then while I still remembered the whole Tesl Really amazing I thought I knew the real story based on the movie, but I was WRONG.I 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 another.And then while I still remembered the whole Tesla sequence 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 novel.And it s really good Great characters, great mystery, and great Prestige the final result of the magic trick In , two young stage magicians clash in the dark during the course of a fraudulent s ance 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 consequences 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 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 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 doubles.From near the beginning of the novelI remember someone once saying that the trouble with magic was that thea magician protects his secrets, thebanal 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, saidI ve always been interested in misdirecting my readers in my novels, and magicians use techniques 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 sequence, 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 themselves.The 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 protagonists.It 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 readI 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, entitledThe 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 wasLe Professeur de MagieClearly this had to have been a distant blood relative possibly even a direct ancestor.His 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 generation.The second section is the memoir, or journal, of Alfred Borden He describes a series of techniques 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 spoiler Apparently Borden interrupted a s ance 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 consequences, to be revealed later.Borden 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 spoilerAn illusion has three stages First 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 misdirection The performance is where the magician s lifetime of practice, and his innate skill as a performer, co join to produce the magical display The 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 Alfred Borden eventually married and had children view spoiler He also had an affair with his stage assistant, Olivia, who was actually a spy sent by Angier, to learn the secret to The Transported Man But she fell in love with Borden, and the two of them then plotted to send Angier on a wild goose chase in search of Borden s secret Angier was not seen for some time, but on his return he had a new trick In a Flash , which was even better than Borden s In a Flash involved Angier entering a large, electrical apparatus, disappearing, and then reappearing in a different part of the theatre Nobody could guess how this could be done, and so Borden hid under the stage during one of Angier s performances Halfway through the trick, Angier noticed that the stage was getting quite hot Worried that there might be a fire, he pulled the plug on the apparatus, but of course the show was ruined.In a surreal episode, Borden ran into what he thought was Angier s ghost, in his attempt to flee Just a few weeks later, Angier died, and Borden was attacked and nearly killed by the same ghost that he had seen earlier With that, the memoir ended hide spoiler In the middle section of the novel Kate Angier takes up the pen, to describe a traumatic experience she had had in her early childhood view spoiler The family had visitors Clive Borden and his two year old son, Nicholas Andrew s name, before he was adopted The two families were attempting to work out some sort of a resolution between them However, Kate remembered that things did not go well Everyone was watching a strange giant electric apparatus, when in a fit of anger, Kate s father turned the machine on and threw Nicholas into it A burst of light followed, and the machine shut down, whereupon Nicholas seemed to be lying dead in the centre of the machine.Kate could hear crying in the distance, in another part of the house Afterwards, she was obsessed by what she had witnessed, and her family s secrets She believed that Andrew was the boy Nicholas, whom she had seen die in the machine that night hide spoiler The fourth section is a recreation of Rupert Angier s diary We know some of these events already, from Borden s memoir, but now we see them from a different perspective Angier expresses a lot of regret that the feud should have got so out of hand The reader can now see, reading both journals, that and the entire feud may have been fired by misinterpretation on one side or other view spoiler Borden was convinced that Angier was a fraudster, persuading rich people into parting with their money in the belief that his illusions were real, and that they were being contacted by their deceased relatives through Angier.In his attempts to reveal Angier s scheme, during the fatal s ance, Borden pushed Angier s assistant to the floor But we now learn that this was in fact Angier s own wife Julia, who was pregnant, and that the fall caused Julia to miscarry From then on Julia suffered from depression, and there was a rift in their marriage Angier sought revenge on Borden for all these things, and yet none of them were deliberate on the part of Borden Angier, as we know, left his wife for Olivia, whom he persuaded to go and spy on Borden.There isdevelopment of the plot in this section Olivia eventually returned to Angier, with a story the couple had invented ie that Borden s trick was made possible by the technology of the acclaimed inventor, Nikola Tesla Desperate to equal Borden s success, Angier travelled to meet Tesla hoping, that he would build him a machine to transport him from one part of a theatre to another He eventually realised that he had been duped, but Nikola Tesla actually did develop a machine for him, which produced a similar result through a very different method.Angier s act In a Flash , used Tesla s device to teleport a being from one place to another by creating a duplicate at the destination, leaving the original subject behind hide spoiler It is perhaps at the point, if not before, that the reader wonders just who is being tricked here.Angier returned to London and began performing his new trick view spoiler But every time the machine was used, prestige material was left behind Reading on, it becomes evident that these were shells empty, lifeless bodies which were left behind during the teleportation True to form, Borden once again retaliated, and tried to sabotage Angier s performances, switching off the power to Angier s device half way through the act When he did, the teleportation process also stopped halfway, and two Angiers were created One of them was physically weak and ill, and another appeared to be ghostlike, but had a strong desire to live.Whilst we are struggling to get to grips with these fantastic elements, both the Angiers separately discover Borden s secret, and so do we It is a simple one, and devastating Alfred Borden was really a pair of identical twins, both sharing the same life We learn that Alfred Borden is actually not one man but two identical twins named Albert and Frederick, who share the identity of Alfred Borden secretly, to ensure their professional success with The New Transported ManMy life was in two distinct halves, kept emphatically apart, neither side suspected the other existed This Oneness of purpose, of action, of words is essential to the Pact Angier had suspected that Borden used a double, but dismissed the idea because he thought it too easy.The ghostlike Angier, whose will was so strong, attempted to kill one of the Bordens, but took pity on him The other Angier acquired Borden s notebook and decided to publish it as a memoir Eventually the two Angiers cooperated, working together on making their book The weaker, ill Angier eventually died, and the ghostlike Angier planned his suicide, but was not certain whether or not it would work hide spoiler In the final, fifth section, calledThe Prestiges , we are back in the present day view spoiler Andrew hears a voice inside him, which he is sure is his twin He feels compelled to find him, and Kate thinks she knows where he is tooI think I ve known all my life, but it s always been easier to put it out of my mind What traumatised me when was a child is still down there Andrew follows the voice in his head through the garden and beyond into a cavern, which seems to be the Angier family crypt, full of coffins But there was another long tunnel, anddeep inside the cavern the generator continued to run.Incredibly at the end of the tunnel were modern metal racks, each holding what clearly was prestige material , or shells identical corpses wearing evening dress, in various attitudesThere was no sign of decay in any of the corpses It was as if each one had been frozen in life, made inert without being made dead.There was no dust on them, no smell from them Each one of these had a label attached, but when Andrew got to the end, there was a further shock, as here was the body of a small boy, whom Andrew knew by his inner sense, was his twin brotherAt the moment I touched him, the constant background presence of my brother faded away and died Andrew was sure there was another presence, watching him, but he grabbed the body, and made his way somehow back to the house, where Kate waited Looking over to the end of the garden, towards the vault, they could see who was following Andrew.Clearly some version of Angier had continued to the present day, but he showed no further interest in the pair and shuffled off through the blizzard, and disappeared into the night hide spoiler There was an excellent film made of this novel in 2006, which was directed by Christopher Nolan Often, regular readers will maintain that the original book has fardepth than a film, but this is a rare case which divides opinion.The film differs in several respects It is farstreamlined, with astraightforward and direct plot Some will say that this means an increase in suspense and mystery Others, precisely the opposite, because the tension has not been allowed to build up slowly.The structure is very different For instance the frame story of Andrew and Kate is missed out completely in the film I personally was a little sad at this, as I found the device of a sort within a story an authentic style, much favoured by Victorians, and it served to highlight the differences in the way the present day characters spoke, behaved and were motivated The Borden and Angier of the film were modern in their speech, but the novel s Borden and Angier, were typical Victorian gentlemen in all aspects The expressions they use, and the way they write about their lives is quite formal.The main twist was also made clear to the audience from very early on, whereas in the novel, although the facts are there, the reader s notice is not drawn to them Rather, the author behaves much as an illusionist, and deliberately obscures them If you are the sort of reader who likes to guess whodunnit early on in a murder mystery, and watch how it pans out, then you will prefer the film If you prefer to be baffled and intrigued, then you might prefer the book.Transferring to another medium means inevitably that some elements are lost But this cuts both ways For example, the book cannot incorporate the stunning visuals of the film Instead, we have a very clever writing style, with multiple viewpoints We have a modern viewpoint in Andrew, followed by Alfred Borden s account of his life, which in itself is partly disguised Then we have Kate s nightmarish memories, followed by the aristocratic Victorian gentleman Robert Angier s account of the events These different voices, times and perspectives are fascinating We have some of the same events, but with a different villain in each Parts are repeated, yet it seems as if it is a different situation because of the interpretations, and each section serves to move the action on a little In the film of course, the two characters lives are presented together as one story.The film does jump backwards and forwards in time while moving the narrative forward Two diaries are included, as Borden reads Angier s diary, and in it are passages about Angier reading Borden s This is quite a clever device, and probably as near a film can get to the original structure as possible.Even the focus of the story the mystery of the trick The Transported Man has changed The frame story has its own mystery, which is resolved in a way in the end What is the psychic element Is it truly supernatural, or is there a rational explanation There is much surface trickery, and sleight of hand by the author The novel is packed with historical detail, and actual magicians from that period are included, such as David Devant, John Henry Anderson, Nevil Maskelyne, and so on Nikola Tesla too, of course is real, and not only significant but a key character in the novel There are brief mentions of other people who really existed ARobert Noonan , appears near the beginning, a painter and decorator This was the real name of Robert Tressell, an Irish writer best known for his novelThe Ragged Trousered PhilanthropistsHe also lived in Hastings, where his namesake, the fictional Robert Noonan lived Such is the detail this book is steeped in.When asked what made him write The Prestige, Christopher Priest saidI was thinking of writing a thematic sequel to my novel The Glamour 1984 , and thought that prestige had a lot of possibilities However, when I noticed its closeness to the magicians word prestidigitation , I realised it would make a perfect title for the book I was then planning This sort of coincidence is always valuable to a novelist It is a dark but mesmerising story about two men who become consumed and eventually destroyed by obsession Full of twists, turns and revelations, it is part gothic mystery, supernatural ghost story, and historical novel, with elements of horror, fantasy and science fiction Christopher Priest never writes mainstream novels and this is no exception It is an intelligent and thoughtful exploration into the nature of illusion and secrecy, and about the damage done to those who keep such dangerous secrets An illusion has three stages First 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 misdirection The performance is where the magician s lifetime of practice, and his innate skill as a performer, cojoin to produce the magical display The third stage is sometimesAn illusion has three stages First 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 misdirection The performance is where the magician s lifetime of practice, and his innate skill as a performer, cojoin to produce the magical display The 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 Nolan.I 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 quality and in a slightly unusual style reminiscent of Mary Shelley s flowery use of language merged with Bram Stoker s quirky use of different perspectives It is a book that when I read it I began to say from the start that the writing was exceptional.There 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 version.The 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 curtains End 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 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 lottightly woven and provides better motivations for the characters actions.The 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 disappeari 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 lottightly woven and provides better motivations for the characters actions.The 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 quality 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 quite 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 here.What 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 quite 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 equally spectacular.I d give the book 3.5 stars if I could, but in the absence of half stars, I m going to be tough and give it 3 Dueling illusionists ongoing battle in the late Victorian era has consequences 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 quest to be true masters provides for a couple of intriguing Faustian bargains in this tr Dueling illusionists ongoing battle in the late Victorian era has consequences 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 quest 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 Let s get one thing out of the way I preferred the movie It was a tenser experience with muchcompelling motivations to drive the characters forward More importantly, the movie succeeded in obscuring plotholes where the novel did not.Nevertheless, much like the magic trick at the centre of Christopher Priest s The Prestige, the original version isinventive for having been the first and all theenjoyable for not having technology as an aid to bolster the haunting tale.It s a da Let s get one thing out of the way I preferred the movie It was a tenser experience with muchcompelling motivations to drive the characters forward More importantly, the movie succeeded in obscuring plotholes where the novel did not.Nevertheless, much like the magic trick at the centre of Christopher Priest s The Prestige, the original version isinventive for having been the first and all theenjoyable for not having technology as an aid to bolster the haunting tale.It s a damn fine book that isthan 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 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 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 3,5 if that was possible Oddly enough, not as good as the movie