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Sunday, 24 January 2016

Double Book Review: Never the Sinner and Thrill Me

Since watching Swoon I've been very interested in the Leopold-Loeb case, especially the controlling, disturbed relationship between the two, where they made a pact that if Leopold helped Loeb with his criminal activities, Loeb would love him in return. Never the Sinner by John Logan and Thrill Me: the Leopold and Loeb Story by Stephen Dolginoff go into detail about the pact the two boys made, and speculate as to what their relationship was like behind closed walls. I felt somewhat like a fly on the wall reading the scenes, which is always a good feeling with cases where not very much is revealed!

The characters were not as loathsome as I anticipated (except for perhaps Richard Loeb, though I did feel a bit sorry for him in the song "Afraid", when he realised he wasn't the master criminal or √úbermensch that he fervently believed he was, and became afraid to be executed), and I actually really liked the portrayals of Nathan in these two plays/musicals. Nathan is easily my favourite character out of the two, though I do think that what they did to poor Bobby Franks was despicable.

Both of them were intriguing plays and really made my inner thespian self want to see them on stage; however, both of them were very short for books that cost ten pounds, and it left me wanting more. My favourite out of the two was Thrill Me, as the twist at the end had me on the edge of my seat, suddenly feeling not-so-sorry for Nathan Leopold, whom I'd always sympathised with for feeling like he had to do dirty work to get his relationship with Richard to work, and slightly disturbed over the lengths he'd go to to keep Loeb to himself. The songs were also very catchy and I could hear them naturally being sung, even though I haven't heard the audio tracks for the musical before. Also, the fact that there were only two characters made the obsession between the two boys more obvious and prominent through the way they only had each other to talk to, to rely on.

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