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The Magic: The Story of a Film Paperback – 31 Jul 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: GrimGrin Studios (31 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955973511
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955973512
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.9 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,420,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jason Mills VINE VOICE on 19 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Christopher Priest wrote the novel "The Prestige", about obsessed rival magicians, upon which Christopher Nolan's film is based. This (expensive) little book is Priest's account of the process by which the tale moved from page to screen.

Such at least was what I expected: discussions over what should stay, what should change, what should be added; how the casting proceeded; the design decisions; and so forth. We are used to the idea that writers quickly lose control of their work when the film industry moves in, but that must not have been the case here or Priest would have nothing to write about, right?

Wrong. There is none of the above. Priest explains how the book was written, the slow process of selling the rights, and the years of silence that followed, during which Nolan went on to make "Batman Begins". Priest himself is so far out of the loop that he is forced to scrape around for crumbs on the internet, his main source of information being Google Alerts! In due course the film is made, without authorial input, and the remainder of the book is mostly Priest's broadly positive reaction to it.

All of this is not without interest, but more as a salutary tale for writers slavering to sell their work than as an insight into the film-making process. There are substantial differences between the book and the film, though both are impressive works, and hearing the author's take is worthwhile. I think he worries too much that the audience won't 'get it', but I agree with him that it's a stylish, original and intelligent movie. However, students of film and fans of the book will learn little that they couldn't see for themselves. So whilst I enjoyed "The Magic", it's not a book the world really needed; more one that the author wanted to get off his chest, I suspect.

(Includes a few pages of endnotes and an index.)
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