Book Review – The Prestige by Christopher Priest

5/5

Now, I know what you might be thinking. This is my first book review and I’m already giving a book a perfect 5 star rating; I must hand those out easily. This; however, is not the case. When reading a book I find myself being rather critical much of the time. I break apart the story, the characters, the plot, the way the story is told, word choice, etc. Upon reading The Prestige I really found nothing to critique. The book is essentially a masterpiece and undoubtedly a work of genius.

The Prestige tells the story of two dueling stage illusionists during the late 1800’s in England. Their rivalry grows to incredible heights and the feud is still felt by their descendents until the end of the 20th century. The story is well crafted and is ingeniously told through journal entries of the two primary characters Alfred Borden and Rupert Angier.

If there was one thing that Priest got right with this book, it was the characters. There is no book (and I am not exaggerating here) that contains better characters than Borden and Angier. They are two interesting and remarkable characters that Priest uses to weave this story together. When I read their individual journal entries I feel as if I am actually reading the diaries of Victorian era stage illusionists. They are very real and entertaining characters with real human flaws. The appearance of historical figure Nikola Tesla is also quite entertaining. Priest’s handling of the character is fantastic and fun to read.

The themes and emotions in this book run high. Themes of duality, sacrifice, and escaping from the confines of our daily lives run strong. The book itself is crafted as one large magic trick and is sure to contain surprises in the final pages (even for those who have seen the film which is loosely based on the novel). There are moments, and many of them, that give the reader chills running down their spine. This book is often impossible to put down.

In conclusion, one would be hard pressed to find a better novel thanThe Prestige. While there may be better books out there, they are few and far between. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, fantasy, sci-fi, or even horror/suspense. One of the great things about this book is it doesn’t really fit the mold of any one genre. So if you’re ready to read a truly great book, I strongly urge you to pick up a copy of this fantastic novel.

Content: PG-13 for violence, disturbing narrative, and some sexuality

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