During a scuffle, Angier's pregnant wife Julia is thrown to the ground, resulting in a miscarriage.The two men are mutually antagonistic for many years afterward as they rise to become world-renowned stage magicians.David Langford wrote in a 1996 review, "It seems entirely logical that Christopher Priest's latest novel should centre on stage magic and magicians.The particular brand of misdirection that lies at the heart of theatrical conjuring is also a favourite Priest literary ploy – the art of not so much fooling the audience as encouraging them to fool themselves...Angier desperately tries to equal Borden's success.With the help of the acclaimed inventor Nikola Tesla, Angier develops an act called "In a Flash", which produces a similar result through a starkly different method.Priest weaves together a tale of two feuding stage magicians at the turn of the century, a dark but mesmerising story that sees two men become consumed with, and eventually destroyed by, obsession.

The original Angier fakes his own death in order to put behind his public persona of a magician and returns as the heir to his family estate, Caldlow House, without any publicity. The duplicate Angier, alienated from the world by his ghostly form, discovers Borden's secret. However, Borden's apparent poor health and the duplicate Angier's sense of morality prevent the assault from becoming murder.

careerism of dueling prestidigitators whose feud is carried out against the lush backdrop of fin-de-siècle London.

And the novel provides the pleasures of a mystery as well, as the reader attempts to find the man (or men) behind the curtain, and discover the true parentage of Andrew Westley, who may or may not be related to Borden.

It's only fair to say, though, that the book's very considerable narrative grip is its principal virtue.

The characters and incidents have a decidedly Gothic cast, and only the restraint that marks the story's telling keeps it on the rails." Elizabeth Hand wrote, "There is a certain amount of grim humor to The Prestige, the blatant Can-You-Top-This?

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Tesla's device teleports a being from one place to another by creating a duplicate at the destination, leaving the original subject behind.

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