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The String of Pearls: The Original Sweeney Todd

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  2,578 Ratings  ·  219 Reviews
Beware the blood-soaked razor of Sweeney Todd, demon barber of Fleet Street! Johanna Oakley's lover, Mark, has gone missing in suspicious circumstances. And the man who was meant to deliver Mark's last gift to her, a string of pearls, has gone missing too - last seen entering the barber-shop of Sweeney Todd. In desperation, Johanna decides to dress up as a boy in order to ...more
Paperback, 378 pages
Published January 28th 2010 by Penguin Classics (first published 1846)
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Loran (Algonquiins) It's not creepy at all! I found it to be rather boring and nothing like the musical at all honestly. If I hadn't known it was Sweeney Todd I would…moreIt's not creepy at all! I found it to be rather boring and nothing like the musical at all honestly. If I hadn't known it was Sweeney Todd I would have thought they were unrelated(less)

Community Reviews

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Nickolas the Kid
Το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο είναι ένα κλασικό δείγμα "δεκάρικης φρίκης" (penny dreadful), δλδ φτηνών περιοδικών φρίκης και τρόμου που κυκλοφορούσαν στην Μεγάλη Βρετανία στην διάρκειά του δεύτερου μισού του 19ου αιώνα...

Ουσιαστικά η ιστορία του φονικού κουρέα είναι ένας αστικός μύθος της Αγγλίας δοσμένος με όμορφο τρόπο από ένα άγνωστο συγγραφέα.

Ο Σουώνυ Τοντ είναι ένας αιμοσταγής δολοφόνος που δεν διστάζει να σφάξει όσους περισσότερους ανθρώπους μπορεί για να ικανοποιήσει το ακόρεστο πάθος του για αί
Mar 26, 2016 Dimitris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Το τσίμπησα πρόσφατα πιο πολύ επειδή ήταν φθηνό. Η ιστορία δεν είναι κάτι το τρομερό, μια ιστορία δεκαρικής φρίκης όπως λέγονταν στην Βρετανία οι φτηνές ιστορίες τρόμου. Είχε ένα κάτι όμως που δε μπορώ να προσδιορίσω. Απλά με κράτησε και το διάβασα σε ένα απόγευμα.
Jun 22, 2009 M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Contrary to the cover, this book is not the version of Sweeney Todd seen in the Tim Burton film or Stephen Sondheim stage musical. This is actually The String of Pearls, an entirely different portrait of Todd. There are many differences. So, sorry to disappoint, but if you're looking to read that version, this isn't it. However, I strongly suggest you read this book if you are a fan of Sweeney Todd. The story is well-written, and I loved the well-rounded characters, especially Tobias Ragg. If I ...more
Kevin Richey
Two and a half stars. Being a fan of the Sondheim production, I decided to read the original tale. While it had a few moments of dark humor (Sweeney being caught beating a child, turning to a customer and saying he was simply trying to teach the child that he should "devote his few spare hours in reading the Bible.") as well as the general macabre plot (Sweeney the barber kills his customers which are then made into pies and sold by Miss Lovett), this version of the plot was simply lacking. Firs ...more
Casey Harvey
To be clear: I have never seen the movie versions of Sweeney Todd or the musical ones. My review is based solely on the novel.

Sweeney Todd is one of those stories that everyone is familiar with, whether you have read it or not. It has dripped its way down into the collective consciousness so that before ever opening the book you know that Sweeney Todd is a murderer and Mrs. Lovett bakes human meat pies. Just want to get that out of the way.

That being said, this book has a lot of technical flaw
Dana Pencu
19ος αιώνας, Λονδίνο, σκοτεινά, υγρά και βρόμικα δρομάκια, εξαθλίωση, αίμα, φρίκη… αυτά είναι μερικά από τα συστατικά που συνθέτουν την ιστορία του «φονικού κουρέα». Αν και η ιστορία είναι φρικιαστική, ο τρόπος με τον οποίο είναι γραμμένη την κάνει να φαίνετε όμορφη και λυρική χωρίς όμως υπερβολές. 2,5 - 3 / 5 αστέρια.
Oct 22, 2010 Juushika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: status-owned
In Victorian England, a customer steps into Sweeney Todd's barber shop and appears never to step back out. Edited and standardized, this volume presents The String of Pearls, a 1846-7 penny dreadful which was the literary debut of Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Don't let the movie tie-in cover fool you into thinking this is a film novelization or a quick and dirty imprint. It's a classic text, and while it may aim to feed off the popularity of Burton's version of Sondheim's play ...more
Faranak Bakhshipour
فیلمش را دیدم ...
تقریبا نزدیک به نود درصد مکالماتشان شعر و ترانه بود ... میشود گفت یک فیلم موزیکال .
داستان در شهر لندن قرن 18 جریان دارد. مرد آرایشگری به نام سوینی تاد بازن زیبا و دختر نوزادش در شهر به خوبی زندگی میکرد. به گفته خودش تمام دلیل زیستنش همسر زیبایش بود اما قاضی ناعادل شهر عاشق همسر تاد میشود و او را به تبعید میفرستد و زن و فرزندش را در اختیار میگیرد.
تاد که جانی دپ (هنرپیشه مورد علاقه من) نقشش را بازی کرده بعد از 15 سال برمیگردد. با دلی پر کینه که هدفی جز انتقام ندارد. خانم لاوت یکی
Dec 14, 2014 Samah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The movie this time was waaaaay better,watched it like seven times in a row *_*
the humanity concept imbodies in this none_human receiving too much love and care and transforming into an idol who holds love.. Care.. Simplicity.. Politeness..
A human of which you consider and re_think of yourself as a person.

The relationship between sweeney
And his new family got me.. It's not easy to accept the idea of a totally stranger semi-alien freak and new guy among a family!
Though they all spent so muc

Mar 06, 2008 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm cleansing my mind of the filth that I encountered yesterday with some blood. This is the original story, which was first published in serial form under the title "The String of Pearls". Good subway book, especially with the Johnny Depp cover, which keeps people from talking to me. Or maybe it's just that I look really excited by what I'm reading.
Mar 24, 2008 Mahsa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: به كساني كه زبان استعاره در فيلم را دوست دارند
Recommended to Mahsa by: يك فيلم فروش خياباني !
آرزوهاي ما درست پيش روي ماهستند ولي ما نمي بينيمشان !ما چيزي را مي بينيم كه تصور مي كنيم حقيقت دارد ولي خشم و نا اميدي چنان انسان را كور مي كند كه حتي يك قدمي خودش را هم نمي بيند . فلسفه خيلي جالبي داشت ولي مطمئن نيستم كه اينهمه صحنه خشن واقعابراي فيلمش لازم بوده باشد !
May 28, 2008 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite the highly sensational cover, which is taking advantage of the new movie and Johnny Depp's popularity, this book is from the Oxford University Press and it shows. This is not the story from Sondheim's musical, but the original 18th Century romance in which Sweeney Todd first made his appearance. True to form, Mack includes a fairly lengthy introduction discussing the history of Sweeney Todd, up to and including Sondheim and the new movie. The text itself is also heavily annotated. Most o ...more
Aug 19, 2015 Elisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Dover Publications!
Sweeney Todd is the quintessential penny dreadful: lurid tales published serially for the newly literate classes in the mid 1800's. I know the Sondheim musical well and I had the images of Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury burnt into my brain, so at first it was hard to picture the characters as described by the authors. Like the introduction to this new version says, we are now used to handsome, c
Marvellous, just marvellous! Thsi is my first meeting with a 'penny dreadful', and I have to say I really enjoyed it. Plenty of atmosphere, creepy goings-on and CANNABALISM!

What a brilliant cast of characters. My favourite was Sweeney Todd (of course). I can appreciate Depp's translation of him now I have read the actual story he was taken from. The only difference between this Todd and the film version one is that here, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street is quite literally demonic. He hasn't an o
OK - I think this book has tons of potential, however, I am having a hard time getting stuck in. It is definitely getting more interesting as I continue but I am having difficulty wading through the extremely verbose language - like 10 pages of text to say that Joahanna is sad....but I am going to keep plodding along as I really do like the history behind the legend.

UPDATE! I finally finished it. It did pick up a bit but I have to admit that skimming is of great importance when reading this stor
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
This book was simply 'alright'. I was pretty much apathetic towards it throughout. After seeing the movie, I thought that the book would be a lot more impressive and dramatic. Of course, the book is infact 'The String of Pearls' and is different to the film/play. I did find the scenes involving Sweeney Todd and Mrs Lovett to be intriguing and interesting but I wasn't particularly drawn in or excited by it. I think that the story could have been a lot more exciting or full of suspense. I was disa ...more
Margot Jennifer
I was a little worried about the content of this story and began my reading in trepidation, but there was very little to turn my stomach until the very end.
The movie is rated 'R' but I would rate the book at a PG as far as gory detail goes. The main character Sweeney Todd was evil yet comical at the same time. The other characters in the book also had an element of comedy to them and were a bit laughable even in their earnestness. The book was easy to read, entertaining, and compelling. The cove
No cliché is left unturned in this story, and I enjoyed any one of them. Sweeney Todd is not famous in Italy, we know about him because of the Johnny Depp movie and I avoided it because I wanted to read the story first.
The connection with the pie-shop is blatant and the revelation comes too late to be a real surprise. Sometimes I felt like there were too many sub-plot, especially in the madhouse.
Johanna is a nice girl, but the romance isn't relevant in the story.
In my opinion the best parts ar
Christina Cramer
May 12, 2009 Christina Cramer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Mack includes at the commencing of this book an introduction of the written version of the story of Sweeney Todd. He also describes how the story evolved into a play and a musical, with storylines much different from the original story published in an 18 part serial, much the same way Dickens published his works.

Admittedly, I enjoy the modern play and musical storyline better, as the characters boast more depth and the story is more intriguing. But this grew on me the more I read on.
Dec 06, 2015 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
You know those instances where you're just fine having seen the movie and not bothering with the book? Despite these being two totally different stories, this was one of those cases. It's hard to properly get into a story when you already know all the huge plot twists. None of the characters are properly developed, which was a letdown considering just how great Todd should/could have been.
Mallory mower
Aug 07, 2008 Mallory mower rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book was an absolute thrill to read! i enjoyed the movie so much that i quickly went to my local bookstore to keep the story going. And this book sure did it! i cant say enough about this, i absolutely loved it. the writing so simply to 'die' for. ;)
Nov 13, 2009 Carlee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Old English text, but really got into it after the third chapter.Can't wait to compare and contrast with the movie...which is a musical version of the tale, and I am pretty sure explains why Sweeney Todd is so crazy.
Jan 07, 2009 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I saw the musical so I had to know if the story had any basis in fact! History nerd-dom strikes again!
Terry Calafato
Mar 30, 2015 Terry Calafato rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
Abbastanza deludente.
Jeanne (Such a Bookaholic)
Might sound weird but this book is actually pretty fun to read.
Jun 19, 2011 Maicie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished-in-2011
I couldn't wait to polish off (pun intended) this novel. Loved the movie, adored the book.

Sep 30, 2012 Miljana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
Jamie Rose
This story was so scary when I read it as a kid. It was fun to re-read and it's still a fairly unsettling tale, even compared to today's gruesome stories.
Χρήστος Αναστασόπουλος
Ήταν υπέροχο, σα να έβλεπα τον Τζόνυ Ντεπ και την Έλενα Μπόναμ Κάρτερ μπροστά μου.
Sep 18, 2009 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a marvelously macabre story! Brilliantly sinistre!
Anyone who enjoys the musical or the movie should read this book for an even deeper understanding of the plot.
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Gothic Literature: Dec: The String of Pearls; The Demon of Fleet st. Chapters 1-24 5 25 Dec 18, 2014 04:41AM  
Gothic Literature: The string of pearls; The demon of Fleet st (ch 25-39) The end! 2 4 Dec 14, 2014 02:20PM  
Sweeney Todd 3 13 Sep 04, 2013 04:42AM  
Tobias' Ending 1 12 Dec 25, 2011 05:08PM  
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Thomas Peckett Prest, also known as Thomas Preskett Prest, was a British hack writer, journalist and musician. He was a prolific producer of penny dreadfuls. He is now remembered as the co-creator with James Malcolm Rymer of the fictional Sweeney Todd, the 'demon barber' immortalized in his The String of Pearls. He has also been associated with the authorship of Varney the Vampire, now more often ...more
More about Thomas Peckett Prest...

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“There was a barber and his wife. And he was beautiful. A proper artist with a knife but they transported him for life. And he was beautiful” 12 likes
“and all I have to remark is, damn the pies!” 3 likes
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