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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet…
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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

by Robert Mack

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Showing 5 of 5
I must admit that I had seen all of the movie trailers (but not the movie) before I read this one. So, with Johnny Depp's face, voice and accent doing a one-man-play in my head, I read Sweeney Todd...and loved it. Quite a lot like Dickens in the way the characters are so masterfully developed, and in the way that there are so many stories within the story itself. Additionally, the author makes use of social injustices of the time in telling his story. While the subject matter is quite dark, the telling of the story is not. The author quite adeptly draws the picture but leaves plenty of room for the reader to fill in details ... or not :-) Excellent book, I will be reading this one over and over again. ( )
  Momtosamandliv | Oct 29, 2012 |
i loved this book! ( )
  FremdeB | Sep 27, 2011 |
Firstly, for I suppose more people to see the movie before reading the book, I would recommend to bear in mind, that movie and book are different media and therefore, they ought to be judged differently (the pros and cons of each one are not the same, the purporse or function of each one is not the same, so...).
As for comparing the story, the book is more „classical“, it evidently counts with popular stereotypes and formal techniques used in trivial literature. The characters are pretty simple, almost flat, but it is for a reason - something like in pikaresque novels or commedia dell‘arte, you almost immediately know, who is good and who is bad and this does not change through all the story (in the movie, the relationships between characters and their motivation are more complicated, ambivalent in their best moments).
The key to both the book and the movie is, imho, irony. In the book, the narrator plays with characters and makes humorous notes about their behaviour and way of thinking (Johanna is the most glorious in this part) - in the movie, characters are ironical themselves.
I would conclude, Sweeney Todd in both versions is great and really smart piece of work. ( )
  _eskarina | Mar 25, 2010 |
I enjoyed reading this book more than seeing the musical version via film. The book opens with the background of the story of Sweeney Todd and the penny dreadfuls that evolved into this fictitious yet realistic character. The story from the book was much better than the new Tim Burton Film version, even though I adore most of Burton's work, this should have stayed in paperback. ( )
  sszkutak | Aug 6, 2009 |
Much better and nothing like the movie. ( )
  TheTeri | Jan 27, 2008 |
Showing 5 of 5
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First words
Before Fleet-street had reached its present importance, and when George the Third was young, and the two figures who used to strike the chimes at old St Dunstan's church were all in their glory--being a great impediment to errand-boys on their progress, and a matter of gaping curiosity to country people--there stood close to the sacred edifice a small barber's shop, which was kept by a man of the name of Sweeney Todd.
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Disambiguation notice
This is an edition of the original stories of Sweeney Todd (originally published in the 19th century as The String of Pearls). It is NOT the same work as the adaptations by various playwrights. Do NOT combine with those adaptations, or with the film versions.
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Book description
blurb: “Ladies and Gentleman….I have to state that Mrs. Lovett’s pies are made of human flesh!” This shocking announcement provides the stunning denouement to a narrative first published over a period of four months in the winter of 1846-7. The revelation marked only the beginning, however, of the notorious career of Sweeney Todd, soon known to legend as the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0199543445, Paperback)

A sensational story of murder and pie-making, Sweeney Todd is a classic of British horror writing, widely adapted in print and on stage, most famously by Stephen Sondheim, whose unlikely "musical thriller" won eight Tony awards. This edition offers the original story with all its atmospheric Victorian trimmings. The story of Todd's murderous partnership with pie-maker Margery Lovett--at once inconceivably unpalatable and undeniably compelling--has subsequently set the table for a seemingly endless series of successful dramatic adaptations, popular songs and ballads, novellas, radio plays, graphic novels, ballets, films, and musicals. Both gleeful and ghoulish, the original tale of Sweeney Todd, first published under the title The String of Pearls, combines the story of Todd's grisly method of robbing and dispatching his victims--by way of Mrs. Lovett's meat pies--with a romantic sub-plot involving deception, disguise, and detective work, set against the backdrop of London's dark and unsavory streets. Editor Robert Mack 'fleshes' out the story with a fascinating introduction touching on the origins of the tale, the growth of the legend, and a history of its many retellings. Mack also includes explanatory notes that point out interesting aspects, plus a full chronology of the many versions of Sweeney Todd.
Since Sweeney Todd first entered the public imagination in the mid-nineteenth-century, his exploits have chilled and fascinated audiences around the world. This new edition allows modern readers to savor the ghastly original in all its gruesome glory.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:53:37 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Both gleeful and ghoulish, the original tale of Sweeney Todd, first published under the title The String of Pearls, combines the story of Todd's grisly method of robbing and dispatching his victims--by way of Mrs. Lovett's meat pies--with a romantic sub-plot involving deception, disguise, and detective work, set against the backdrop of London's dark and unsavory streets. Features an introduction and explanatory notes.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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