Thanks to Christopher Nolan’s film, Priest’s tale of feuding magicians is easily his best-known novel. “For a long time, The Prestige was just one of my novels,” he says today. “It was around for about 12 years before the film was made. I always secretly liked it, but the film ruined that particular private pleasure. It became a sort of public property.
“I can’t complain, I liked the film. I think it’s one of Christopher Nolan’s best, but he left out most of the good stuff. The way the plot works out in the novel still amazes me. It’s much more complex and sinister than Nolan’s characters, who boringly shoot each other and whisper plot explanations.”