Before posting my review of the most recent book I've read for the Fill in the Gaps list, I thought I'd include some information that might be of interest to readers/reviewers here. I am the book reviews editor at Sloth Jockey, an online literary journal. If you would like some of the reviews of the books on your Fill in the Gaps list to appear there, you can contact me, and I'd be happy to include them at the site. Here's the call for submissions I usually post at other sites:
Sloth Jockey, an online literary magazine, is open for submissions. Please view the guidelines page and send your poems, stories, flash fiction, essays, art, and music in for consideration. Sloth Jockey also reviews books regularly. If you'd like your book or magazine to be reviewed at the site, or if you would like to submit a review of a book or magazine, please see the guidelines page. Sloth Jockey is not yet a paying market, but the editors are working toward that.
Right. So, on to my review of Sweeney Todd and the String of Pearls.
The 2007 play written by Yuri Rasovsky is based on the old story in the Sweeney Todd penny dreadful. It's wicked and funny, and more than a little twisted. This is the older version of the story, slightly different from the one filmed in 2007 starring Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, based on the 1979 Stephen Sondheim musical). In this version, Todd is just wicked and greedy, rather than a man tormented after his wife and child were ruthlessly torn from him by a powerful, evil man. Unlike the villain in the musical and movie, this Sweeney Todd isn't driven by a need for revenge, but by a desire to line his pockets with the wealth carried on the person of one customer after another.
The dialogue in the text is really funny, and the way the story moves along is full of twists and turns that make it a lot of fun to read. I can imagine watching this on the stage — it would be a real riot!
If you like the stage at all, and like reading a good play, Sweeney Todd and the String of Pearls is one worth picking up.
I also finished another title on my list recently, House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones, and posted my response at one of my other blogs.
Same goes for Brighton Rock.