The Reads: The Prestige

I’m not a big fan of Science Fiction/Fantasy stuff.  I don’t like it.  It makes my body hurt in ways that only a car can do.  However, Christopher Priest’s The Prestige is a gem, a hunk of writing that has some true, fundamental problems but that achieves mystery, suspense and interest by not telling the reader anything.  At all.  Most of you have probably seen the movie based off the book.  The movie is golden, and tells the exactly story the book does, but only shows us the core, the Prestige, and doesn’t give us the other 2/3 of the story, which focuses on the present.  Rupert Angier and Alfred Borden wage war to find out each other’s magical secrets.  But both go too far.  And one of them barters off his soul in order to achieve the fame and fortune he desires.  Both these men are broken, and both of them deserve the many punishments they receive. The author never gives us his message, though, and that is my only complaint.  He never gives us a secret about the world, and never lets us learn about the human condition.  After reading it, I just thought it was a good story.  I didn’t have a different view of the universe.  That’s the difference between genre fiction and contemporary literature.  Still, I was turning the pages.  Next on my reading list: David Foster Wallace.

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