Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Prestige - Christopher Priest

I've always been of the opinion that a media thing, an artistic endevour is best served by it's original media. If it was a book first and then a movie, always read the book first and then, if you like it, go see the movie.

But the Prestige was one of those rare occasions where it worked in reverse. I saw the dvd a little while back and really, really enjoyed it. Enjoyed it so much in fact that I then went out and added the book to the overflowing bookcase of books. But I made a resolution this year to read again and this was the book that started the year off:

Christopher Priest's The Prestige:
It's a book about Magic, and science, and on the feuds we can keep going for many years. Set at the turn of the century before last, two stage illusionists start a bitter feud that stretches across the decades and the generations.
The aristocratic Rupert Angier and the working class Alfred Borden are competing magicians in the Victorian era, who take their competitive nature too far and begin sabotaging each other's acts. Tragedy follows and the fallout from the feud is felt a century later as the descendents of each man come together to uncover the truth.

The book is really an expansion of the film. Obviously the film-makers decided that they had to cut all of the modern day stuff to fit into the film and I can't help but think it was a good idea. But despite that it was still a hugely enjoyable book and I'll return to the film to watch again and compare sequences.

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