The Prestige (1995) by Christopher Priest

ThePrestigehardThis is cruel, violent, unexplained, and almost certainly illegal. It has blighted my own life (121).

I have seen [his] new illusion, and it is good. It is devilishly good. It is the better for being simple (194).

 I still do not know how [he] works that damnable illusion (205).

 

I am at a loss for how to review The Prestige. I have started and restarted this review a dozen times, delayed posting it, rewritten it again. It’s not that it’s difficult to describe: epistolary collage, dueling protagonists, unreliable narrators, metafictional misdirection… all that fun stuff to think about. Page magic about stage magic, the self-awareness so loud and clear, with bells on. There I go with my highlighter when he talks about intrinsic secrecy and puzzles and the Pact of Acquiescence. I smirk along with him when he splays and rotates his hands while speaking of misdirection. As if I’m on stage with him, as if I’m the volunteer, as if I’m in collusion with the master. As if I won’t get fooled. Continue reading

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