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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: The Graphic Novel

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No one knows for sure if Sweeney Todd actually existed, but this story, taken from a serialization in a Penny Dreadful from 1846, was the first official record of the terrible crimes committed by the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Gory? No! What's particularly good about this adaptation is that none of the horror is to be seen — making this a truly wonderful version of a bri No one knows for sure if Sweeney Todd actually existed, but this story, taken from a serialization in a Penny Dreadful from 1846, was the first official record of the terrible crimes committed by the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Gory? No! What's particularly good about this adaptation is that none of the horror is to be seen — making this a truly wonderful version of a brilliant book. This story first appeared in serialized form in 1800s London and gripped the nation. Although there is no explicit record of these events taking place, there is overwhelming anecdotal evidence that Todd existed and that he was the world's worst mass-murderer. A gruesome tale, portrayed with a certain Victorian "twee-ness" that borders on the comical. Featuring beautiful engaging artwork, the book features the entire novel, unabridged (in the original British English), as well as an illustrated Character List (Dramatis Personae), 156 pages of story artwork, and fascinating support material - all beautifully presented in color. An alternative text edition with simplified U.S. dialogue is available enabling differentiation in the classroom.


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No one knows for sure if Sweeney Todd actually existed, but this story, taken from a serialization in a Penny Dreadful from 1846, was the first official record of the terrible crimes committed by the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Gory? No! What's particularly good about this adaptation is that none of the horror is to be seen — making this a truly wonderful version of a bri No one knows for sure if Sweeney Todd actually existed, but this story, taken from a serialization in a Penny Dreadful from 1846, was the first official record of the terrible crimes committed by the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Gory? No! What's particularly good about this adaptation is that none of the horror is to be seen — making this a truly wonderful version of a brilliant book. This story first appeared in serialized form in 1800s London and gripped the nation. Although there is no explicit record of these events taking place, there is overwhelming anecdotal evidence that Todd existed and that he was the world's worst mass-murderer. A gruesome tale, portrayed with a certain Victorian "twee-ness" that borders on the comical. Featuring beautiful engaging artwork, the book features the entire novel, unabridged (in the original British English), as well as an illustrated Character List (Dramatis Personae), 156 pages of story artwork, and fascinating support material - all beautifully presented in color. An alternative text edition with simplified U.S. dialogue is available enabling differentiation in the classroom.

30 review for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: The Graphic Novel

  1. 5 out of 5

    RA Ratterman

    A gripping tale and great artwork! I found this work of immense interest and inspiring. Read for personal research and for the experience of the 'Graphic Novel' genre. Dark secrets, meat pies, and just desserts, etc. keep the reader captivated. Overall, this work is also a good resource for the researcher and enthusiast. A gripping tale and great artwork! I found this work of immense interest and inspiring. Read for personal research and for the experience of the 'Graphic Novel' genre. Dark secrets, meat pies, and just desserts, etc. keep the reader captivated. Overall, this work is also a good resource for the researcher and enthusiast.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kas

    This was a book and story I've long been wanting to read, and it was well worth it, gripping, gory and beautifully illustrated and written losing nothing from the original story. This was a book and story I've long been wanting to read, and it was well worth it, gripping, gory and beautifully illustrated and written losing nothing from the original story.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Prabhat

    So, it turns out that 221 B Baker Street is not the only fabled address that has acquired a cult status, today I discovered another- Todd's barber shop at 186 Fleet Street, London. Today, while at a Library, I was looking forward to some light casual reading and so was drawn towards the shelf containing graphic novels. I flipped through some Batman, some Shakespeare, and some World War themed graphic novels but at last got hypnotized with the cover of this book. I think the memories of my college So, it turns out that 221 B Baker Street is not the only fabled address that has acquired a cult status, today I discovered another- Todd's barber shop at 186 Fleet Street, London. Today, while at a Library, I was looking forward to some light casual reading and so was drawn towards the shelf containing graphic novels. I flipped through some Batman, some Shakespeare, and some World War themed graphic novels but at last got hypnotized with the cover of this book. I think the memories of my college days came back which prompted me to pause at it. In those days, I had some friends who were great fans of manga and through them I had got acquainted with some weired characters and their esoteric stories, which I had found strangely amusing. This book cover with such a vicious guy, having tainted fonts below him and the label of ‘classic’ at the top made me believe this would be an interesting read. And it was! I was engrossed throughout! I was so eager to know the ending of this tantalizing suspense story that I didn’t take a break the whole time. After finishing I started doing my research. It turned out the story was written as a serial and published in a London periodical between 1846-47 with the title ‘Strings of Pearls’ Now that I had read the tale, I could relate why it had such a title. The mysterious barber in the story is a wicked and greedy man and it so happens that some people who visit him disappear in strange ways, never to appear again. It is only when a particular person goes missing , who is carrying a ‘String of Pearls’ to be delivered to a young lady as a token of remembrance from her past lover, that a series of events get triggered leading to the uncovering of mystery. Wikipedia told me that this story belongs to the category of ‘penny dreadful’ Penny dreadfuls were often written carelessly and contained themes of gore and violence. The 'String of Pearls' is no different. Its style of writing makes it a perfect example of a penny dreadful, having a sensational, violent subject matter that plays off of the public’s real fears. I remembered James Hadley Chase whose stories too, somewhat felt like this. Anyways, I think it was a graphic novel so such a theme appealed to me. I couldn’t have read it if it was a normal novel. Since it was in a comics form, my expectations were well aligned to what is expected from a comic book- a sensational story with thrill and suspense. I was amused to know that this story was hugely popular even before its last chapters were published. Subsequently, over the years it got adapted into novels, plays, Broadway musical, and movie. The tale became a staple of Victorian melodrama and London urban legend, and has been retold many times since I was glad I got to know about this urban legend, and as I stated earlier, this vicious barber’s place of dwelling, 186 Fleet Street (which was the center of suspense in the graphic novel) made me consider it with as much curiosity as I consider 221B Baker Street.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Graham

    Ever since Sweeney Todd came out in 2007 I have been a huge fan of both the film and the Sondheim musical. So going into this book I was expecting to love it also. Unfortunately that's not the case. While it was an ok read I was rather disappointed that, besides a few names and the basic killing-people-and-making-pies-out-of-them plot, the story was vastly different to the musical. I know it shouldn't bother me, especially since I'm not the type of person who dislikes films/tv shows if they are Ever since Sweeney Todd came out in 2007 I have been a huge fan of both the film and the Sondheim musical. So going into this book I was expecting to love it also. Unfortunately that's not the case. While it was an ok read I was rather disappointed that, besides a few names and the basic killing-people-and-making-pies-out-of-them plot, the story was vastly different to the musical. I know it shouldn't bother me, especially since I'm not the type of person who dislikes films/tv shows if they are not faithful adaptations of the books, but all the things I love about the musical weren't in this book which I was hoping they would. For starters Sweeney doesn't even slit people's throats to kill them, and his vendetta against Judge Turpin doesn't exist because not only does Turpin not exist in the book but Johanna isn't even Sweeney's daughter. I was also disappointed that Mrs Lovett isn't really prominent in this book, out of all the main characters she definitely appears the least. And in the little time she does appear she isn't obsessed with Mr. T, or even show the slightest bit of romantic interest in him. I was also disappointed that it was never explained how the two came about their arrangement. Nevertheless I thought it was an ok read with an interesting enough plot. I really enjoyed Tobias' story in this book, even more than in the musical. And the art style is wonderfully done. If you're looking for a story similar to the musical I definitely wouldn't suggest you go for this. But if you're interested in seeing how it differs I highly recommend reading it as a graphic novel.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cathal Reynolds

    I'll admit, I haven't read the original book. I didn't even realise there was one though I thought it in the back of my mind. Let's just say that Tim Burton took a lot of liberties with the movie... I'll admit, I haven't read the original book. I didn't even realise there was one though I thought it in the back of my mind. Let's just say that Tim Burton took a lot of liberties with the movie...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kristy

    I love this series! I learnt a lot about the background to the story from this book too.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Janet

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sara Labor

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alexander

  10. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lucia

  12. 4 out of 5

    Benedikt

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alok Kumar

  14. 4 out of 5

    Raw-G

  15. 5 out of 5

    Annie

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amrita

  17. 5 out of 5

    Just A Ginger

    This story was lacking for me, maybe because the absence of Johnny Depp? And the lovely woman who... Is the pie guru. The art style I enjoyed it, but it wasn't my favorite. Cute, sexy, scary, sweet? It was creepy for sure, but nothing to scary over the top. It really made you wait for the ending (view spoiler)[when you discover the Meat Pie's are made of human flesh, which you should know if you're familiar with the story (hide spoiler)] the pictures were a big lacking in gruesomeness. I borrowed t This story was lacking for me, maybe because the absence of Johnny Depp? And the lovely woman who... Is the pie guru. The art style I enjoyed it, but it wasn't my favorite. Cute, sexy, scary, sweet? It was creepy for sure, but nothing to scary over the top. It really made you wait for the ending (view spoiler)[when you discover the Meat Pie's are made of human flesh, which you should know if you're familiar with the story (hide spoiler)] the pictures were a big lacking in gruesomeness. I borrowed this book from the library

  18. 4 out of 5

    Valentina

  19. 4 out of 5

    Belle

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Villhauer

  21. 5 out of 5

    Helma

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dharshini

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sotodeh

  24. 5 out of 5

    TMM

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Ochoa-Sanchez

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tori

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

  29. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Olsen

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lizzy Seitz

    Dnfed after first couple chapters. The structure wasn’t for me.

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