The Prestige by
Reviewed by John Howard
In late Victorian England Alfred Borden and Rupert Angier are top celebrities in the world of stage magic. But as well as being rivals they actively detest each other. Not content with only developing and improving his own act, each spends time and energy on revealing the working behind the other’s act, spoiling the effect for the audience and potentially ruining his career. The illusionists’ feud escalates as their acts become more inexplicable and miraculous. They become more scientific, experimental ‘ and much more dangerous. Differences between an illusion and a genuine process or transaction steadily erode. The story is told through the diaries forming the bulk of the novel, which are framed within a modern setting when they come to be read. No matter what was ‘real’ once, the lingering effect of Borden and Angier’s feud, the costs of crossing the boundaries, still make themselves felt a century later ‘ and the prestige. All this and the real wonders of Nikola Tesla too’ The Prestige is certainly at home in the prestigious SF Masterworks series. You can’t lose ‘ and that’s no illusion!