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  1. #61
    the puppet master ArthurFrayn's Avatar
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    Question The Prestige-some questions

    Finally read this novel several books back now, and it certainly is a compelling and involving read. At about the middle I would have sworn I was reading one of the best books I would read this year.Alas, the end feels like something of a letdown ;it feels like it's written with a movie deal in mind, and l felt like I was closing a good, but ultimately disappointing and flawed novel. Perhaps you gentlemen can respond to my comments and answer my questions and maybe convince me otherwise.

    1)Is Priest trying to suggest that the Tesla device is being used by the church at the Caldlow House by having Andrew Westley investigating reports of the church's leader Father Patrick Franklyn reportedly bilocating? If he is, I feel compelled to point out that the event mentioned does not conform to the prior established capabliities of the device.If not it's kind of an unnecessary coincidence, isn't it? Bit of a red herring...

    2) I don't see the point of Andrew having a telepathic connection with his brother, other than trying to establish a strong emotional motivation for staying with Lady Colderdale when there really isn't one. Again, it's not something that's established elsewhere in novel, with regard to other reported uses of the device.

    3)We read Rupert Angier's journal, but from what I read, unless I missed it, and I don't think I did, Andrew has not, nor has Kate. It's not one of the things they are reading, at the estate. This is something only we see. So while we as readers, are in some measure, prepared for what he finds in the family crypt, I don't see how Andrew could be, as he has not been exposed to any true paranormal phenomena. So he seems awfully calm down there,reading all the tags, not very credibly so. I also find it a little incredible that the family would leave what's down there, down there, and that Kate, as thorough as she is about looking at everything else, hasn't already investigated the crypt. I know, she's scared.

    4)When all is said and done we really don't have enough of a story about Borden's son, Clive. I don't really have a sense of why he should be so obsessive about finding out about Angier's illusion. It makes as much sense to have a diary entry from him as it does Kate. Perhaps more so.Kate's parents as well, are a total mystery as to motivation.
    Last edited by ArthurFrayn; September 22nd, 2006 at 02:54 PM.

  2. #62
    Prefers to be anomalous intensityxx's Avatar
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    Jeez, you guys! You've got me hunting for Priest books now.

    I just saw a commercial for the upcoming film "Prestige", which I won't want to see until I read the book, which increases the pressure to read the book soon, so I can then see the movie while it's in the theaters....which led me to this thread...which got me checking out The Extremes, The Affirmation, and The Glamour...which led me to abebooks.com...which led me to some storefront that sells "new" UK books shipping from Miami...which makes me wonder whether it's legit...which is keeping me awake too late after a late last night...

    You should get a big red button marked "OBSESS" and just press it. You're that contagious!

    P.S. are there no female fans in this thread? why do you suppose?

  3. #63
    Registered User Mugwump's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArthurFrayn
    1)Is Priest trying to suggest that the Tesla device is being used by the church at the Caldlow House by having Andrew Westley investigating reports of the church's leader Father Patrick Franklyn reportedly bilocating? If he is, I feel compelled to point out that the event mentioned does not conform to the prior established capabliities of the device.If not it's kind of an unnecessary coincidence, isn't it? Bit of a red herring...
    It may be a red-herring. It may not be (personally, I think it is a red-herring). Quite often Priest throws in little titbits of information that knock you sideways for a moment. I put it down to playfulness. As stated in the earlier interview – ‘I always like to leave DOUBT in my books. Doubt is the story of my life -- I have difficulty believing in anything that is said to be true. So, if anyone is in any doubt about one of my books, I say that's a good thing.’

    2) I don't see the point of Andrew having a telepathic connection with his brother, other than trying to establish a strong emotional motivation for staying with Lady Colderdale when there really isn't one. Again, it's not something that's established elsewhere in novel, with regard to other reported uses of the device.
    Andrew doesn’t have a brother. Andrew is the prestige of the boy tossed into the machine by Angier (‘The Prestige’ of the novel). He is a supernatural twin. Identical twins are – at least in old-wives’ tales and popular fiction – thought to share psychic links (the Bordens clearly do share a link). Andrew shares a supernatural link with his ‘twin’. The relationship between the Bordens and the Angiers is one of distorted parallels. They both practice 'magic'. But their magic is entirely different. One relies on sleight-of-hand, the other science. They both possess distinct magical ideologies - but these ideologies are different: Borden believes magic is the sacred product of the practicioner. Angier would rather steal or re-work other people's ingenuity. Their lives both revolve around twins or doubles. Borden's is natural. Angier's is not.

    3)We read Rupert Angier's journal, but from what I read, unless I missed it, and I don't think I did, Andrew has not, nor has Kate. It's not one of the things they are reading, at the estate. This is something only we see. So while we as readers, are in some measure, prepared for what he finds in the family crypt, I don't see how Andrew could be, as he has not been exposed to any true paranormal phenomena.
    I’m not certain about this. I’ll have to check.

    4)When all is said and done we really don't have enough of a story about Borden's son, Clive. I don't really have a sense of why he should be so obsessive about finding out about Angier's illusion. It makes as much sense to have a diary entry from him as it does Kate. Perhaps more so.Kate's parents as well, are a total mystery as to motivation.
    Remember, the story is about ‘obsessive secrecy and obsessive curiosity’. Alfred Borden was destroyed by Angier’s 'In a Flash' – literally and figuratively. His career - which he loved above anything, including his family - was ruined; his personality was split in two (remember, the Bordens are effectively one person: Losing one is equivalent to you losing your legs). And he died an embittered man – without the secret. We can assume the son witnessed all of this. We can also assume the son felt more than considerable curiosity and resentment. The motivation – especially after the republication of his father’s work with Angier’s modifications – should be fairly obvious.
    Last edited by Mugwump; September 22nd, 2006 at 03:25 AM.

  4. #64
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArthurFrayn
    Alas, the end feels like something of a letdown ;it feels like it's written with a movie deal in mind, and l felt like I was closing a good, but ultimately dissapointing and flawed novel.
    If this is a flawed novel I find it hard to imagine one that isn't. The writing and plotting are just about perfect. I'd say, ultimately, it comes down to personal taste as to whether or not you find it disappointing - technically you can't fault it at all.

    Myself, I find there's something about Priest's work that, so far, stops it just short of my very favourite books. I think it could be to do with his rather clean and polished style - for me there's a certain texture missing.

    3) We read Rupert Angier's journal, but from what I read, unless I missed it, and I don't think I did, Andrew has not, nor has Kate. It's not one of the things they are reading, at the estate. This is something only we see. So while we as readers, are in some measure, prepared for what he finds in the family crypt, I don't see how Andrew could be, as he has not been exposed to any true paranormal phenomena. So he seems awfully calm down there,reading all the tags, not very credibly so.
    As I recall (and I have leant my copy of the book out) Andrew is in some kind of trance or strange state-of-mind brought on by dreams (I think) and is semi-prepared in this way for what is in the crypt. We do get a sense that he is pretty terrified down there but also resigned to the fact that he is carrying out the inevitable.

  5. #65
    the puppet master ArthurFrayn's Avatar
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    It may be a red-herring. It may not be (personally, I think it is a red-herring). Quite often Priest throws in little titbits of information that knock you sideways for a moment. I put it down to playfulness. As stated in the earlier interview – ‘I always like to leave DOUBT in my books. Doubt is the story of my life -- I have difficulty believing in anything that is said to be true. So, if anyone is in any doubt about one of my books, I say that's a good thing.’
    I say that's not a good thing. When you bring in fantastic elements you have to establish firm rules in how they work in the novel, and you can't rely on reader genre familiarity to bend them. That's just being lazy. And throwing the reader leads that wont pan out is a cheap shot.

    Andrew doesn’t have a brother. Andrew is the prestige of the boy tossed into the machine by Angier (‘The Prestige’ of the novel). He is a supernatural twin. Identical twins are – at least in old-wives’ tales and popular fiction – thought to share psychic links (the Bordens clearly do share a link). Andrew shares a supernatural link with his ‘twin’. The relationship between the Bordens and the Angiers is one of distorted parallels. They both practice 'magic'. But their magic is entirely different. One relies on sleight-of-hand, the other science. They both possess distinct magical ideologies - but these ideologies are different: Borden believes magic is the sacred product of the practicioner. Angier would rather steal or re-work other people's ingenuity. Their lives both revolve around twins or doubles. Borden's is natural. Angier's is not.
    Yes, MW, I know Andrew doesn't really have a brother. . I understand that the subject of twins is a central motif of the book. And I repeat, telepathic connections are not something that is indicated as a related phenomena to using the Tesla device as outlined by the rest of the novel. So everything else about the psychic link of real twins does not apply. And even that doesn't apply when one of them is dead.


    We can assume the son witnessed all of this. We can also assume the son felt more than considerable curiosity and resentment. The motivation – especially after the republication of his father’s work with Angier’s modifications – should be fairly obvious.
    Well it's nice that Priest can get you to do all this work for him. This is a minor quibble of mine, BTW. It's a preference, not a flaw. One can come to the conclusions you just did; it just doesn't feel like enough to me.

    As I recall (and I have leant my copy of the book out) Andrew is in some kind of trance or strange state-of-mind brought on by dreams (I think) and is semi-prepared in this way for what is in the crypt. We do get a sense that he is pretty terrified down there but also resigned to the fact that he is carrying out the inevitable
    Just checked. No trancelike state -just his brother calling. Don't see any mention of a dream in the latter part. In the earlier section (prior to the Angier journal) he has just been given his room for the night. He cannot be prepared for what's down there, he doesn't know anything about it in any way.He hasn't read the Angier journal as far as I can tell.


    I’m not certain about this. I’ll have to check.
    I've reread related passages several times.I don't see any indication. If you find a passage otherwise, you'll go far and away in eliminating my major structural problem with the novel.

    The writing and plotting are just about perfect.- technically you can't fault it at all.
    I respectfully disagree. Granted, the prose is very good. The ride is terrific -very emotionally involving. Buuut, it doesn't appear that he can close the deal.

    If I were nitpicking, I could also ask-
    Spoiler:
    where are all the fresh dead bodies kept while Angier's on tour away from home, performing the "In A Flash" illusion?
    Last edited by ArthurFrayn; September 22nd, 2006 at 11:54 PM.

  6. #66
    the puppet master ArthurFrayn's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    P.S. are there no female fans in this thread? why do you suppose?
    Certainly nothing about The Prestige should keep female readers away. In fact it feels like a very female friendly read to me. You could be the first one here though, intensity.

    And despite the fact that I'm talking about probs I have with the book, it's still a three and a half star book as far as I'm concerned. I'm just disappointed because it was heading on to be a five star book for me, until the end.

  7. #67
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArthurFrayn
    I respectfully disagree. Granted, the prose is very good. The ride is terrific -very emotionally involving. Buuut, it doesn't appear that he can close the deal.
    Well Mr Frayn, who can? One of my very favourite books Grass has also, comparitively speaking, one of the poorest endings and though I was slightly disappointed it didn't affect the way I felt about the rest of the book. It's all about the journey, IMO For what it's worth though, I though the ending of The Prestige was exciting, enigmatic and clear enough. And as for the point you make in the spoiler, if every detail was dealt with he'd never finish writing the thing - we wouldn't want (or get, from Priest) a fat tome of rambling and rather dull technical detail!

  8. #68
    the puppet master ArthurFrayn's Avatar
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    I though the ending of The Prestige was exciting, enigmatic and clear enough.
    The fact that we haven't absolutely established with 3 readers whether or not Andrew and Kate did or did not read the Angier Journal means that the novel is not clear enough. And it is not a minor plot error if the characters in the last chapter act as if they know something they do not.
    If I were Andrew, and I came across what he came across, not knowing anything about the Angier journal, I would suspect that Kate Colderdale was a psycho, and I was being set up for something very bad. That would be in the real world, not in the, "I'm in a fantasy novel, anything can happen" world. That's why "I communicate telepathically with my unknown twin brother' is a bandaid on a gaping wound in the plot -that's supposed to be enough to compel him to do the things he does at the end of the novel. It comes from nowhere; it has nothing to do with what's set up in the rest of the novel. Doesn't work.

    Well Mr Frayn, who can? One of my very favourite books Grass has also, comparitively speaking, one of the poorest endings and though I was slightly disappointed it didn't affect the way I felt about the rest of the book
    You're right, most genre books drop the ball.But this is a puzzle novel, so if the author expects the readers to be extra attentive, he has to afford a workable solution, and be extra attentive to plot mechanics. My major crits were not minor points- the book unfortunately hinges in many ways on the the events of the last chapter.

    But the real reason I'm so disappointed is because this had a real potential to be a piece of literature. Now, fun as it is, it isn't.

    And as for the point you make in the spoiler, if every detail was dealt with he'd never finish writing the thing - we wouldn't want (or get, from Priest) a fat tome of rambling and rather dull technical detail!
    I pointed that one out, because earlier discussion talked about how attentive to detail he was. That's a detail he missed, or thought the reader would miss.
    To be honest,some of the best novels I've read in terms of great plot mechanics, were also the slimmest. Come on Ropie, you know I'm not someone who likes to read endless tomes.
    Last edited by ArthurFrayn; September 23rd, 2006 at 12:56 PM.

  9. #69
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArthurFrayn
    The fact that we haven't absolutely established with 3 readers whether or not Andrew and Kate did or did not read the Angier Journal means that the novel is not clear enough.
    Well, I suggest that it is something we have all missed. This is a complex book (as you say, it's a "puzzle") and as far as I know we've all only read it once each. Surely it would be a weak puzzle if we had all the answers from the off. The other thing you could try is to ask CP himself - apparently he is quite responsive to emails...

    That's why "I communicate telepathically with my unknown twin brother' is a bandaid on a gaping wound in the plot -that's supposed to be enough to compel him to do the things he does at the end of the novel. It comes from nowhere; it has nothing to do with what's set up in the rest of the novel. Doesn't work.
    I found the mysterious connection between Andrew and his 'brother' to be one of the most interesting parts of the book and it certainly works as an opening device. It's a subject that Priest goes on to explore much further in The Separation and, under slightly different circumstances, in The Glamour.

    But the real reason I'm so disappointed is because this had a real potential to be a piece of literature. Now, fun as it is, it isn't.
    I'm not quite sure what you mean by "literature" here.

    To be honest,some of the best novels I've read in terms of great plot mechanics, were also the slimmest. Come on Ropie, you know I'm not someone who likes to read endless tomes.
    I know - it's why I always take note of your recommendations But I think in this case you are trying too hard to figure everything out and seem to be a bit miffed because things aren't adding up for you. You can't expect to solve problems buried in the pages of a well researched and elastic plot like this one by skim re-reading over areas of the book looking for clues. The Ox is slow but the Earth is patient, maybe the answers will come to you if you read it again...

  10. #70
    the puppet master ArthurFrayn's Avatar
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    You can't expect to solve problems buried in the pages of a well researched and elastic plot like this one by skim re-reading over areas of the book looking for clues. The Ox is slow but the Earth is patient, maybe the answers will come to you if you read it again...

    Well, I could point out that the "skim rereading" was informed by a fresh reading of the novel, and perhaps not as slap dash and impatiently done as you seem to suggest. In other words, I went right back after finishing to check on these things. So, nah, I'm not going to reread the whole thing again. There are way, way too many other books to read. I did bring these questions up, but I don't consider them mysteries or clues to be solved as part of the plot. If it is felt by others that the questions are not in need of being addressed,or that I should direct my inquiries to the author, I'll take those suggestions under advisement, and we'll just move on.
    Last edited by ArthurFrayn; September 23rd, 2006 at 08:54 PM.

  11. #71
    Registered User Mugwump's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArthurFrayn
    I say that's not a good thing. When you bring in fantastic elements you have to establish firm rules in how they work in the novel, and you can't rely on reader genre familiarity to bend them. That's just being lazy. And throwing the reader leads that wont pan out is a cheap shot.
    If you’ll forgive the lapse into Orwell, it seems like you’re trumping up a set of rules to justify your negative instincts about the book.

    As for – ‘When you bring in fantastic elements you have to establish firm rules in how they work in the novel, and you can't rely on reader genre familiarity to bend them’ – this sweeping statement (which could be used to disqualify half the SF books written and a good many of your personal favourites, I’m willing to bet) is nonsense. For a start – Priest is not a genre writer (he quit SF decades ago); or at least, not in the common interpretation of the word. The Prestige is a mixture of Wellsian SF, gothic, fantasy, horror and a couple of other genres. There is no assumption of ‘genre familiarity’ in the reader by Priest so the accusation of ‘laziness’ doesn’t stand up. His works demand the antithesis of genre assumptions.

    With respect to your second accusation, ‘throwing the reader leads that wont pan out is a cheap shot.’ – I don’t see this is as ‘cheap’ at all. On the contrary, I think it forces the reader to keep his mind on the text. If we follow your reasoning, Gene Wolfe, who regularly leads his readers down blind alleys, is similarly ‘cheap’. Ditto just about every writer working in the genre of detective fiction.

    Yes, MW, I know Andrew doesn't really have a brother. . I understand that the subject of twins is a central motif of the book. And I repeat, telepathic connections are not something that is indicated as a related phenomena to using the Tesla device as outlined by the rest of the novel. So everything else about the psychic link of real twins does not apply. And even that doesn't apply when one of them is dead.
    Did you read the same book as the rest of us? It’s obvious the prestiges aren’t dead. Or, at least, not to our understanding of the word. Dead bodies decay over time. The prestiges do not. What more can I say?

    As for telepathy – I don’t know whether there is an earlier indication. I’ll check. But in any case, the circumstances in which young Borden was tossed into the machine are radically different to those associated with the stage act. It is a fact of life that machines produce differing results when they are operated differently.

    The fact that we haven't absolutely established with 3 readers whether or not Andrew and Kate did or did not read the Angier Journal means that the novel is not clear enough. And it is not a minor plot error if the characters in the last chapter act as if they know something they do not.
    I can’t check because my copy is with someone else. Without it, I’m not convinced your accusation holds water. You say that he’s ‘remarkably calm’ – why shouldn’t he be? As you say, he’s not been exposed to any paranormal events. I won’t claim that I’d thrilled to bits about entering such a place in the middle of the night, but I wouldn’t be on my knees in terror. Andrew certainly is terrified when he bumps into Angier. He runs for his life.

    As for Kate not venturing into the crypt – so what? My grandfather is buried in a crypt. I’ve never gone inside. I’m sure the vast majority of people who have relatives buried in crypts have no desire to enter them for reasons that should be obvious.

    I don’t see this ‘major’ plot error. Your reasoning is faulty.
    Last edited by Mugwump; September 25th, 2006 at 07:08 AM.

  12. #72
    the puppet master ArthurFrayn's Avatar
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    Did you read the same book as the rest of us? It’s obvious the prestiges aren’t dead. Or, at least, not to our understanding of the word. Dead bodies decay over time. The prestiges do not. What more can I say?
    Flat out untrue. This is not obvious.
    Spoiler:
    It's stated a number of times in the Angier journal that they are dead. Not once is it discussed that there are any other attributes to the dead bodies. There are any number of circumstances that could lead to lack of decay, that have nothing to do with the absence of death. They are at all times referred to as corpses, and as dead.
    "Well if they're not decayed, then obviously they are not dead and must be able to communicate telepathically"
    That doesn't strike you as a flawed argument?


    If you’ll forgive the lapse into Orwell, it seems like you’re trumping up a set of rules to justify your negative instincts about the book.
    Granted, these are my percieved rules about dealing with fantasy.You don't have to accept them, but I personally think they are fairly self evident.Think carefully about abandoning them as "nonsense" just to defend this novel.
    Again-with regard to fantasy writing :the only rules of the game an author has, when things do not conform to reality, are the rules the author establishes for the novel. When they are broken, nothing matters, because anything can happen. Anyone can write a book like that. A singularly egregious example of this, was a book we read a little while ago for the book club by Michael Marshall Smith called Only Forward where, by the end of the book all internal logic had been thrown to the wind for the sake of of cool, wild blasts of reckless imagination. Thankfully, this book doesn't have that lack of restraint, but I think Priest bends his own "rules of the game" in the context of the book, to come up with a cool ending.
    You can say "So what?" and ultimately,that's fine. Then don't even bother rebutting my points. Let it go.
    As for – ‘When you bring in fantastic elements you have to establish firm rules in how they work in the novel, and you can't rely on reader genre familiarity to bend them’ – this sweeping statement (which could be used to disqualify half the SF books written and a good many of your personal favourites, I’m willing to bet) is nonsense.
    This is one of those patented Mugwump "this is nonsense" dismissals that don't have to be any truer than anything else.You open yourself up to having to give examples. Do you really want to do that?
    Of course books are written that do it all the time, but you do come up with a flawed result.I thought we were talking masterpiece here. Do you understand what I'm saying? I'm saying that the writer knows that the reader is familiar with certain conventions in genre fiction, and uses that to spackle the holes and inconsistencies in his narrative. Hence sticking telepathy in where it doesn't really apply. Do you really want to argue that this is a good thing? It screws up his whole wonderful, ironic, thematic dichotomy between magic and technology. It hurts the book.
    I didn't say this was a bad book, but the plot does hinge on things that don't add up. He could have written this without the "shock ending" and I'm not sure the book would have suffered. There's a lot of good stuff in it.Take the two magician's journals, and imagine a restructuring of the framing story without the telepathy. Can't you come up with other possibilties that could even preserve most of the ending?


    For a start – Priest is not a genre writer (he quit SF decades ago); or at least, not in the common interpretation of the word. The Prestige is a mixture of Wellsian SF, gothic, fantasy, horror and a couple of other genres. There is no assumption of ‘genre familiarity’ in the reader by Priest so the accusation of ‘laziness’ doesn’t stand up. His works demand the antithesis of genre assumptions.
    He could be argued to be a Slipstream writer.Their big hero is Kafka.I think my whole point is, he's no Kafka. Kafka doesn't make these kind of mistakes. And to say he's not using elements of genre fiction in general is not really being straightforward.


    I can’t check because my copy is with someone else. Without it, I’m not convinced your accusation holds water. You say that he’s ‘remarkably calm’ – why shouldn’t he be? As you say, he’s not been exposed to any paranormal events. I won’t claim that I’d thrilled to bits about entering such a place in the middle of the night, but I wouldn’t be on my knees in terror. Andrew certainly is terrified when he bumps into Angier. He runs for his life.
    Spoiler:
    Carrying a corpse in his arms-yeah he's running all right.
    He finds a crypt filled with bodies that have somehow been preserved and labelled and he's stopping to read the tags!! Truthfully, what would your reaction to such a thing be?? I'd be right out of there,heading back to the car and calling the cops on my cell phone.I wouldn't continue to snoop around. wouldn't pick up a kid's corpse and run it out of the place.

    The thing is, the rest of the book is so much better than this ending, which is like something from The Mummy Returns
    Gene Wolfe, who regularly leads his readers down blind alleys, is similarly ‘cheap’.
    It's interesting that you should say this, because The Fifth Head of Cerebus is exactly an example of someone playing this kind of game, following his own rules, and not throwing in any cheap shots. I'll have to take your word that he changes his MO with regard to ensuing novels.

    As for Kate not venturing into the crypt – so what? My grandfather is buried in a crypt. I’ve never gone inside. I’m sure the vast majority of people who have relatives buried in crypts have no desire to enter them for reasons that should be obvious.
    I don't percieve your motivations and hers to be the same in this regard. She's on an obsessive path to obtain info about her grandfather. What's even odder is that her parents left things down there as they are, with no provisions or protection of any kind after they were dead.


    But in any case, the circumstances in which young Borden was tossed into the machine are radically different to those associated with the stage act. It is a fact of life that machines produce differing results when they are operated differently.
    Why were they radically different? Why, because it was a kid wearing pajamas? How do you know the machine was operated differently? We're not given that kind of information. And why does that de facto lead to not being dead or telepathy? Go ahead, spin it man, make it work for you...

    Spoiler:
    I'll remind you there was no telepathy even with Angier's seperated selves after the accident


    As for telepathy – I don’t know whether there is an earlier indication. I’ll check
    Heres another one to chew on:
    Spoiler:
    Priest has an opportunity to establish that Angier is sitting there telepathically communciating with his prestiges. Does he do that?


    When I read this novel, I said to myself "hey wait a minute, that doesn't work". This is not my reaction to every novel I read. If these are minor things to you, fine.
    I've made my observations-neither of you have checked on it, but have adamantly rebutted me anyway.Not something I would be caught doing, but that's besides the point. I checked again. I have the book right here, guys, I've looked through it a number of times.There's no direct connection between the Angier journal and the events at the end of the novel with regard to what Andrew and Kate know. Andrew is only acting because of the link with his dead "brother" , which as you know by now, I don't think much of as a plot device.I comes out of left field and exists nowhere else in the book.The guy is telepathically communicating with a dead body. And you keep trying to make an argument for the presence of telepathy in the rest of the novel with such tenuous and tortured inferences. I'm sorry, for me, it would have to be a little more present than the things that you're spinning. I don't care that there is telepathy between characters in his other books, I only care how it works here. But if you want to put a little soap on the gears to keep the machine running, that's certainly your prerogative.
    I've given responses to to every rebuttal. Ultimately though,it's less important to me that it be flawed than it is to you guys for it to be perfect. If you feel these things are all things I made up, then forget it.

    It's a flawless masterpiece.
    Last edited by ArthurFrayn; October 7th, 2006 at 01:53 PM.

  13. #73
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArthurFrayn
    I've made my observations-neither of you have checked on it, but have adamantly rebutted me anyway.Not something I would be caught doing, but that's besides the point.I checked again. I have the book right here, guys, I've looked through it a number of times.
    Only because we are both currently unable to check. Maybe you are right and the connection isn't established - I say, so what?

    I have already commented to the effect that what you have pointed out is, to me, not the problem it is for you. I have read three Priest books and I just can't reconcile what I know of his work with 'laziness' or the idea of 'plot holes'. It's the opposite of the whole Priest style and the reason his work is difficult to decipher but so rewarding.

    Anyway, you gave the book 3.5 stars, I gave it 4 stars. Mugwump probably hasn't rated it but I seem to recall preferred other Priest books over this one. Let's not fall out over a book we all ultimately feel the same about, albeit from different directions.

    And you couldn't have imagined that you could just stroll into a Priest thread populated by recent, enthusiastic converts to his work and have an easy ride of avidly proclaiming his faults, did you? C'mon Frayn

  14. #74
    the puppet master ArthurFrayn's Avatar
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    Thumbs up So What? Is definitely an option

    Well usually people aren't that defensive here about criticism of authors. You know that's it's not unusual for one to say something is great and someone pop right up behind you and say it stinks, and give no reason. And that's just another day...
    You'll have to be honest: as much of a pain in the ass it might be to hear this stuff, you didn't hear me do anything like that, right? I was talking about what I percieved to be flaws.I liked the book and will probably read another by him.I was just talking about the guy's book.
    Three and half stars, baby. Never said anything like it stunk. Warts and all it's still a good read.
    Last edited by ArthurFrayn; September 25th, 2006 at 08:08 PM.

  15. #75
    Prefers to be anomalous intensityxx's Avatar
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    It'll be interesting to see the conversation here once the film is released next month.

    I just saw The Illusionist, and while it wasn't particularly good, the atmosphere left me wanting more victorian gothic. The Prestige, the book, is up next for me.

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