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Thread: February Book Study: The Prestige

  1. #1
    Book lover/Spy Sai's Avatar
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    February Book Study: The Prestige

    Welcome to the AW SF/F book club! For the month of February we will be discussing The Prestige

    Spoilers will be streaking naked through this thread. You have been warned!

    Here are the previous book studies. Please feel free to revive any of these threads if you want to talk about any of the previous books.

    2008:
    Ender's Game (August)
    Lies of Locke Lamora (September)
    A Deepness in the Sky (October)
    A Fire in the Deep (November)
    Storm Front (December)

    2009:
    I Am Legend (January)
    The Onion Girl (February)
    Lord of Light (March)
    Small Gods (April)
    Beggars in Spain (May)
    The Once and Future King (June)
    Foundation (July)
    The Graveyard Book (August)
    Neuromancer (September)
    The Last Wish (October)
    The Knife of Never Letting Go (November)
    One Hundred Years of Solitude (December)

    2010:
    Battle Royale (January)
    Jhereg (February)
    Cyberabad Days (March)
    Tigana (April)
    Next (May)
    Perdido Street Station (June/July)
    Boneshaker (August)
    His Majesty's Dragon (September)
    Never Let Me Go (October)
    The Child Thief (November)
    Solaris (December)

    2011:
    Lirael (January)
    Blindsight(February)
    Lavinia (March)
    Hugo nominees (April)
    The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (May)
    Dawn (June)
    Good Omens (July)
    The Hunger Games (August)
    The Last Unicorn (September)
    Ubik (October)
    The Colour of Magic (November)
    The Caves of Steel (December)

    2012
    The Princess Bride (January)
    Last edited by Sai; 02-23-2012 at 07:52 AM.
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  2. #2
    Moonshade lauralam's Avatar
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    HAH! I just finished reading the Prestige not long ago, so I'll be happy to join in.


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    Incurable Aussiephile eyeblink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lauralam View Post
    HAH! I just finished reading the Prestige not long ago, so I'll be happy to join in.
    I read it in the late 90s. I don't have time to reread it now and don't have a copy to hand, so will have to rely on memory and what I know of Priest's other work when relevant.
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    Contrarian Superhero Wordswift
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    I've just reserved my library's copy so I can join in this time. Woo hoo.

  5. #5
    Book lover/Spy Sai's Avatar
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    I'm about 60 pages in. I'm liking it better now that I'm out of the modern day opening (and by modern day, I mean back when people still collected music on 'compact discs'). I'm looking forward to reading more.
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  6. #6
    Moonshade lauralam's Avatar
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    Same--I didn't find the frame particularly riveting to read (character's a bit bland), but I understand the reasoning for it.


    False Hearts - A near-future thriller - January 2016 - Tor/Macmillan

    The Micah Grey Series:
    Pantomime - February 2013
    Shadowplay - January 2014
    Masquerade - 2015

    Vestigial Tales - Self-published short stories/novellas.

    Website / Twitter / Goodreads

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW Fenika's Avatar
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    I wish I had time to go back and read the first part again- specifically Alfred Borden's part. You can tell something is going on, and no book is the same the second time around

    The plot and the book are very interesting, but often times bogged down by slow scenes and overabundant rambling. Not too much happens in the 360 pages (movie edition cover) but there's just enough mystery to keep you going. Yet, even with the mystery to keep me reading, I was tempted to skip ahead a few times.

    The movie otoh (spoiler free info to follow, but does contain general facts on the movie) is very well done. Even though I had just read the book, each scene was riveting. The characters were intense, and the movie much darker and more twisted than the book. And the ending? Wow.

    Movie Spoiler: Please don't quote as white stands out in quotes: The fact that the prestige in the movie was a real double was well done and I was sitting there gaping more and more as it all came together. And to know that the idiot Angier had gone from shooting himself to drowning himself so that the show could go on? Yikes.

    The ending of the book otoh, seemed inconsistent. Little Nicky could communicate with Big Nicky, but there was no indication that any other prestige could. Angier, even when split in two, made no mention of contact with other Prestiges or the original.


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  8. #8
    We Could Be Heroes These Mean Streets's Avatar
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    I read this a few years ago but never finished it.

    In my opinion, this book was one of the very few instances where the movie was better than the book.

  9. #9
    In search of distractions Marya's Avatar
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    I'm a great fan of Christopher Priest, will get out my copy of Prestige to refresh my memory.

  10. #10
    Book lover/Spy Sai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by These Mean Streets View Post
    I read this a few years ago but never finished it.

    In my opinion, this book was one of the very few instances where the movie was better than the book.
    I agree that with The Prestige, movie > book.

    I finished this today. It is a very easy, smooth read. It's a shame that Angier's part comes so late in the book, as I thought it was the most interesting section. There were parts of the plot that I felt the author could have explored more, like for example after one of the Bordens die, we never get to see his twin's reaction to that major loss. there are lots of interesting ideas in this book, but I think the movie did a better job tackling them.
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  11. #11
    Moonshade lauralam's Avatar
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    I do think Priest is a very talented writer--he showed the differences between the two magician's voices so well and I loved how things fell into place. The end unraveled a bit for me, though.

    I need to re-watch the film. I haven't seen it since he theatre and I forget the differences.


    False Hearts - A near-future thriller - January 2016 - Tor/Macmillan

    The Micah Grey Series:
    Pantomime - February 2013
    Shadowplay - January 2014
    Masquerade - 2015

    Vestigial Tales - Self-published short stories/novellas.

    Website / Twitter / Goodreads

  12. #12
    In search of distractions Marya's Avatar
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    I haven't seen the movie -- and I think I was expecting something closer to The Glamour, still reading and since February is about to end I've left it very late for this thread.

    What I do enjoy about Christopher Priest is the unreliable narrator, the sudden reversals and the way in which the reader is not sure what is happening, can't make any easy assumptions about where the novel is going.

    I also like doppelganger themes, that doubling or playing with mirrors, twinning of types. I'm not that interested though in stage magicians, not even David Copperfield, although I know Priest studied him quite closely.

  13. #13
    Contrarian Superhero Wordswift
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    Well, I'm up to page 157. I'm getting through it slowly. I think if I had picked this up in the library and browsed the first chapter I wouldn't have read it. I'm someone who needs action and a bit of whizz-bang. There is now some whizz and bang but it's really not moving with pace. I'll keep going though.

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