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review 2018-10-29 00:04
The Prestige
The Prestige (SF Masterworks, #86) - Christopher Priest

I held him tightly against me. He was neither cold nor warm. One of his outstretched hands, clenched in fear, was touching the side of my face. The relief of finding him at last overwhelmed everything – everything except the fear of this place. I wanted to turn around so that I could head back towards the exit, but to do so involved moving backwards out of the gangway. I held my past life in my arms, but I no longer knew what might be standing behind me.

There was something there, though.

Wow. This is one of the books where not having seen the film and knowing very little about the plot - I only knew there was something about two magicians - really paid off. 


And in order to preserve the whole journey of discovery for others, I'm not going to say much about the plot or twists at all other than I loved the way that Priest seemed to have used real biographical notes of some of the great Victorian conjurers and re-assembled them into the lives of the two fictional protagonists.

The Victorian feel to this novel was phenomenal (without so much as a single mention of the blasted London fog!), I kept checking the dates of the diary entries mentioned throughout the book against the publication dates of the Sherlock Holmes stories. Both stories could have merged seamlessly! Not that there was any connection to the Holmes stories. The only tenuous connection I had to pick up on (because I am reading a biography of Arthur Conan Doyle at the moment) was how Priest describes the rise of spiritualism and how conjurers featured in both the promotion of spiritualism and the debunking of frauds. 


I loved how Priest also managed to merge several genres - historical fiction, steampunk, horror, Gothic, mystery - and still kept a style that was quite literary and created so many layers. 

The plot itself was layered and everything we learn at the start of the book is then taken apart when re-read the events from a different perspective. The plot thickens as the old cliche says. But it isn't only the plot. The more we learn about the relationship of the two magicians, the more we get to see why they do what they do, and just when we think there is a point when Priest forces the crisis to a solution, the moral complexity of the plot unfolds.


Some deeds cast long shadows.


Loved it.

I was thrown into a fit of despair and self-disgust by my attempt on Borden’s life. I knew I had betrayed myself, betrayed my prestige (who was aware of none of my actions), betrayed Julia, my children, my father’s name, every friend I had known. If ever I needed proof that my feud with Borden was an appalling mistake, at last I had it. Nothing we had done to each other in the past could justify such a descent into brutality.

In a state of wretchedness and apathy I returned to the room I had rented, thinking there was no more I could do with my life. I had nothing more for which to live.




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text 2018-10-28 23:22
Reading progress update: I've read 97%.
The Prestige (SF Masterworks, #86) - Christopher Priest

Wow. I wish I had read this one for Halloween Bingo. It would have been perfect for many of the horror or supernatual squares. So perfect.

"The opening was not electrically lit, so I shone my remaining torch inside. I immediately wished I had not. It was full of ancient coffins. Most were stacked horizontally in heaps, although about a dozen were leaning upright against the walls. They were of all sizes but the greater number of them, depressingly, were small ones obviously designed for children. All the coffins were in various degrees of decay. The horizontal ones were the most decrepit: the wood dark, curled and fractured with age. In many cases the lids had fallen in on the contents, and several of the ones placed on the tops of the piles had sides which had fallen away."



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text 2018-10-28 22:53
Reading progress update: I've read 93%.
The Prestige (SF Masterworks, #86) - Christopher Priest

Here we go again: It is Sunday night and I should go to bed, but I just need to find out how this story ends. I have so many questions but right now I have feeling that not knowing the ending to the book will keep me awake much of the night anyway. 


So, I might as well read, right? 

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text 2018-10-28 15:37
Reading progress update: I've read 35%.
The Prestige (SF Masterworks, #86) - Christopher Priest

I've been looking for an engaging work of fiction that I could sink into for a few days and then, without knowing much about it, picked up The Prestige, mostly because I liked the cover.


Now I'm not only hooked to the story but it also turns out that this is perfect book to end the Halloween theme with.


And I am absolutely loving how the events and characters not only seem to relate to events in John Anderson's life (i.e. The Great Wizard of the North) but that he was also included briefly as a character.

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review 2018-10-24 01:02
Dreadful Skin
Dreadful Skin - Cherie Priest
A gun carrying werewolf hunter who happens to be a nun (and has her own secret!)?! Sign me up!
In reality this was disappointing. I think the format didn't work. This is told in 3 parts. The 1st part is told in 1st person, but with several viewpoints. Each chapter is a different viewpoint- but no chapter headings nor was it obvious (sometimes) whose point of view it was. The 2nd part was 3rd person and this worked so much better! The 3rd and last part was back to 1st person. But the chapters had headings so I knew whose point of view it was. 
The frequent POV changes were just too distracting.
 Halloween Bingo:  Genre: Horror


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