Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Local Scene Articles Partners About Us Contest Soundtrack Books


Christopher Priest
404 Pages
Publisher: Tor Books Reprint edition (November 2005)
ISBN: 0312858868
Price: S$29.95 (Available in Borders)






There are many ways of telling stories. Sometimes, a lousy story can be saved by good story-telling. But when a fine story is accompanied by fine story-telling, it makes readers turn every page with delight.

This 1995 novel by Christopher Priest captures that, well, to put it aptly, magic.

The story: Two magicians battle their wits and intellects in Victorian England. Throw in complications in the form of double identities, family curses, machineries and a mad scientist, and presto, you have a good concoction fit for any avid reader.

The story-telling method: Told through four different characters, you’d understand each one’s troubles and struggles. The amazing thing is - these stories arise from the uncovering of two journals dated 1878 by two people from the modern times. And through their accounts, readers also get a glimpse into the two journals. The final fifth section of the 404-page book sums up the intriguing story.

And that’s where you’d go “orhhhh”.

How appropriate to conclude the novel like this, because the title of this 1996 World Fantasy Award winner refers to the third section of the three-part act (following The Pledge and The Turn) of any magic illusion, where the audience would open their mouths in awe and wonder at the trick presented before their eyes.

The segment that stands out the most is magician Rupert Angier’s section, where the story is told in diary-style. Complete with dates and typical diary one-liners, this section forms the bulk of the novel, and rightly so, because of how engaging it is.

The rest of the book fairs well too, because of its interestingly entertaining style of writing. You’d be captivated at how certain magic tricks are written down in step-by-step instructional manner, and how the names of these illusions have important-sounding names like “The Transported Man” and “The Fish Bowl”.

While the intrigue level is high for a story like this, you may also often be smiling at the lightheartedness of certain portions of the novel too.

The master of dark and moody movies Christopher Nolan has adapted this book into a movie starring the brooding Christian Bale and the charismatic Hugh Jackman. If there is some enchantment in this world yet, it may just turn viewers of the movie into fans of the novel.


“Magicians protect their secrets not because the secrets are large and important, but because they are so small and trivial. The wonderful effects created on stage are often the result of a secret so absurd that the magician would be embarrassed to admit that that was how it was done.”


Read the book before watching the movie. Or go enjoy the movie before picking up this novel. Either way, you’d be captivated.

Review by John Li




. The Prestige



This review is made possible with the kind sponsor of BORDERS


DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004-2006, movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.