The Prestige

Christopher Priest

Tor Books



Trade Paperback

368 Pages


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Winner of the World Fantasy Award
Winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize

In 1878, two young stage magicians clash in the dark during the course of a fraudulent séance. From this moment on, their lives become webs of deceit and revelation as they vie to outwit and expose one another.

Their rivalry will take them to the peaks of their careers, but with terrible consequences. In the course of pursuing each other's ruin, they will deploy all the deception their magicians' craft can command—the highest misdirection and the darkest science.

Blood will be spilled, but it will not be enough. In the end, their legacy will pass on for generations . . . to descendants who must, for their sanity's sake, untangle the puzzle left to them.

The Prestige is now in production as a major motion picture from Newmarket Films, directed by Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins) and starring Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Michael Caine, David Bowie, and Scarlett Johanson. Shooting begins the second week of 2006, aiming for a Fall 2006 release.


Praise for The Prestige

"A dizzying show of a novel . . . Imagine Possession rewritten by Barbara Vine, or Robertson Davies at his most smoothly diabolical. A brilliantly constructed entertainment!"—The Washington Post

"Hypnotic . . . The Prestige provides the satisfaction of an ambitious and well-told entertainment."—San Francisco Chronicle

"A brilliant conjuring act by one of the master illusionists of our time."—Wired

"Extraordinary—like a dazzling magic act!"—Entertainment Weekly

"As ingenious as it is suspenseful."—Newsday

"Nothing quite prepares you for the sinister complexity and imaginative flair of The Prestige . . . Magnificently eerie."—Anthony Quinn, The Sunday Times (London)

"Beautifully written . . . Two magicians vie with each other to create the perfect illusion: vanishing from one part of the stage and reappearing instantaneously in another. It's a story of utter fakery and scientific audacity. The pioneer of electrical power, Nikola Tesla, appears in a supporting role; to say more would reveal too much. Priest masters the merging of SF and mainstream, and The Prestige is his finest novel to date."—New Scientist

"A taut, twisting, prize-winning story of two magicians and their fierce fin-de-siècle rivalry that taints successive generations of their respective families . . . An unexpectedly compelling fusion of weird science and legerdemain."—Kirkus Reviews

"Remarkably akin to the style of the late Robertson Davies . . . Priest has brought it off with great imagination and skill."—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads



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It began on a train, heading north through England, although I was soon to discover that the story had really begun more than a hundred years earlier.
I had no sense of any of this at the time: I was on company time, following up a report of an incident at a religious sect. On my lap lay the bulky envelope I had received from my father that morning, still unopened, because when Dad phoned to tell me about it my mind had been elsewhere. A bedroom door slamming, my girlfriend in the middle of walking out on me. 'Yes, Dad,' I had said, as Zelda stormed past with a boxful
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