The Bad Seed: A Vintage Movie Classic

The Bad Seed: A Vintage Movie Classic

by William March


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101872659
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/03/2015
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 74,610
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

William March (1893–1954), born William Edward March Campbell in Mobile, Alabama, was an American novelist and short-story writer. He served in the Marines during World War I, and was recognized with the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross, and the Croix de Guerre. His first novel, Company K, was based largely on his wartime experiences. A prolific writer of short stories, he was a four-time winner of the O. Henry Prize. The Bad Seed was an immediate critical and commercial success, the source for a Tony Award-winning Broadway play and a finalist for the National Book Award. Sadly, March died of a heart attack just weeks after publication.

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Excerpted from "The Bad Seed"
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Copyright © 2015 William March.
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The Bad Seed: A Vintage Movie Classic 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous 13 days ago
I don't know if this is the earliest story about an evil child, but it is probably one of the earliest. The author takes the unusual route of making said evil child a girl rather than a boy -- sociopathy is not unknown in females, but it is mostly the domain of males. Rhoda Penmark is outwardly the perfect child: polite, well-behaved (except to her victims, of course), perfectly groomed, a good student. People adore her. But there are a handful, most of them other children, who sense there is something not right about her -- a group that is starting to include her mother Christine. To her horror, Christine discovers that Rhoda is not only selfish and greedy, but a cold-blooded murderer. Rhoda has in fact killed at least two people, one of them a classmate, who had something she wanted. She also killed her puppy simply because she was bored with it. And as if that's not bad enough, Rhoda's evil may be inherited: Christine's other horrifying discovery is that she herself is the biological child of a notorious serial killer named Bessie Denker. Bessie's evil apparently skipped a generation and showed up in Rhoda. The 1956 big screen adaptation ends differently than the book, and Rhoda is a blonde rather than a brunette, but otherwise it's pretty faithful. It's also much better than the two subsequent adaptations, both of them TV movies (Rhoda is renamed Rachel in one, Emma in the other). They keep the book's ending, but they're terrible. Stick with the book and the 1956 movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story about a true criminally insane child.