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The Bad Seed

The bestselling novel that inspired Mervyn LeRoy s classic horror film about the little girl who can get away with anything even murder. There s something special about eight-year-old Rhoda Penmark. With her carefully plaited hair and her sweet cotton dresses, she s the very picture of old-fashioned innocence. But when their neighborhood suffers a series of terrible accidents, her mother begins to wonder: Why do bad things seem to happen when little Rhoda is around? Originally published in 1954, William March s final novel was an instant bestseller and National Book Award finalist before it was adapted for the stage and made into a 1956 film. "The Bad Seed" is an indelible portrait of an evil that wears an innocent face, one which still resonates in popular culture today. With a new foreword by Anna Holmes. Vintage Movie Classics spotlights classic films that have stood the test of time, now rediscovered through the publication of the novels on which they were based."
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About the Author

William March (1893-1954) was born in Mobile, Alabama, attended Valparaiso University in Indiana, and studied law at the University of Alabama. He served in the Marine Corps during World War I and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross, and the Croix de Guerre with Palm. After the war, he took a job with the Waterman Steamship Corporation, and worked there for eighteen years before giving up his position to devote himself to writing. March published three volumes of stories and six novels, including The Bad Seed, his final book.


"William March knows where human fears and secrets are buried. . . . Nowhere is this gift better displayed than in The Bad Seed." --The New York Times "An impeccable tale of pure evil." --The Atlantic William March knows where human fears and secrets are buried. . . . Nowhere is this gift better displayed than in" The Bad Seed." "The New York Times" An impeccable tale of pure evil. "The Atlantic"" ""The Bad Seed" is a novel of suspense and mounting horror, which the reader . . . will enjoy as the work of one of the most satisfying of American novelists."--"Chicago Tribune" "Dark, original, ultimately appalling . . . a straightforward, technically accomplished story of suspense. . . . This is a novel bound to arouse strong responses, to generate vehement discussion, and so not easily to be forgotten."--"New York Herald Tribune" "An impeccable tale of pure evil."--"Atlantic Monthly" "William March knows where human fears and secrets are buried. . . . Nowhere is this gift better displayed than in "The Bad Seed"--the portrayal of a coldly evil, murderous child and what she does to both victims and family. In the author's hands this is adequate material for an absolutely first class novel of moral bewilderments and responsibilities nearest the heart of our decade."--"The New York Times """The Bad Seed" is terrifyingly good, not only because its theme is worked out so powerfully, but because every character is convincing. One has to believe that these appalling things took place exactly as the author says they did."--"The Spectator" (UK) "William March is still the unrecognized genius of our time."--Alistair Cooke

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