Throwback Thursday (10/18/12)

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books!

Noting that book blogging onften focuses on new releases, here’s how Throwback Thursday works:

  1. Pick a book released more than 5 years ago.
  2. Write up a short summary of the book (include the title, author, and cover art) and an explanation of why you love it.
  3. Link up your post at The Housework Can Wait or Never Too Fond of Books.
  4. Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list!

The Prestige by Christopher Priest

From my original post, 9/13/2010:

This is the book that the Hugh Jackman/Christian Bale movie was based on. I knew that The Illusionist was based on a novella, but I hadn’t realized that the “other magician movie” was based on a text as well. (I currently have some interest in magician novels…)

What strikes me about this novel is that, while originally published in 1995, it is much more like 19th century novels: Dracula, Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights. There is narrator that is external to the majority of the story. The story is formed by several different journals. Which means, there is a great deal of “telling” in this novel rather than showing. And that’s okay. There are quiet a few extraneous details, especially within Angier’s journal, that have more to do with the character’s life than with the story. And that’s okay too. It works.

I do wish that I hadn’t seen the movie before reading this because I knew what to expect twist-wise. I could appreciate some of the literary misdirection that the author engaged in to tell the story, without cheating. I also think that the movie tells a better story by limiting the scope to only the two magicians.

It should be noted that I’m still somewhat interested in magician novels and am going to try my hand at kinda-sorta writing one myself. This was pretty good read, and if you can’t get enough of epistolary novels, this is definitely a book for you.

This post is also a part of Bloggers Dressed in Blood!

3 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday (10/18/12)

  1. fakesteph

    I really want to read both of these texts and watch both of these movies. I’ve only heard good things about the movies. I’m always interested in stories told by someone who is on the outside… Thats how Gatsby is set up and that’s my favorite book.

  2. John Wiswell

    This sounds like a great blog game. I’ll have to try to play along next week if I have access to a computer – I’ve been reading mostly old stuff lately anyway.

    Prestige was fun when I read it. It had the unique quality of being able to be read at any speed with total coherent retention – I skimmed dozens of pages and was never confused, yet never disengaged or disaffected. It’s a style I don’t think I’ve ever experienced before.


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