Play Book Tag discussion

The Bad Seed
This topic is about The Bad Seed
17 views
January 2020: Thriller > The Bad Seed by William March - 4 Stars

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Olivermagnus (last edited Jan 20, 2020 07:26AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

 Olivermagnus (lynda214) | 1952 comments The Bad Seed is a classic novel of crime and suspense about a sociopathic young girl named Rhoda Penmark. It's narrated by her mother, Christine, who is trying to come to grips with the secret of her past. Rhoda Penmark is an odd child. She rarely shows affection and gives great attention to detail. When she wants something, she's going to get it, one way or another. Her playmates dislike her, but adults love her because she is such a sweet and precocious little girl.

March builds his narrative cleverly and precisely. It is fascinating to read how Christine wrestles with herself over what she must do. The author does a great job of demonstrating Christine’s complicated web of feelings about her only child. Christine’s husband is working overseas and she has friends, but they don't see what she sees in her daughter. What mother can bear to admit that she knows, in her heart, that her child is a killer? And then, there’s the horrifying genetic component that Christine discovers. When she researches her own family history, she comes to understand that Rhoda has not come by her particular brand of psychopathy randomly, but might have originated from a "bad seed".

When I needed to read a book published in 1954 I wondered if this would have "aged well". Absolutely! The author has made Rhoda much more menacing in the book than she ever was in the movie. There is no way this can end well, and it doesn't. But it makes for riveting reading along the way.


message 2: by Joanne (last edited Jan 20, 2020 07:35AM) (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7244 comments This looks pretty darn intriguing Oliver! Sometimes those older books can surprise you. I have a few oldies lined up for Bingo (if I ever get a number called) and a few for Polls.

Nice review and by the way, it is great to see you back posting on a regular basis ;)


message 3: by annapi (last edited Jan 20, 2020 08:13AM) (new)

annapi | 4914 comments I have a fondness for this story, because it was the very first play I ever saw when I was young, in Repertory Philippines. My mom took me to it, and I don't even remember how old I was, but I was captivated by Lea Salonga's performance as the little girl. She was only about 8 or so at the time, I believe. I still remember it, especially when I see videos of her in Miss Saigon.

I did read the book several years ago, but can't remember much of it. I doubt it was as good as the play, though!


message 4: by Joanne (last edited Jan 20, 2020 08:22AM) (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7244 comments annapi wrote: "I have a fondness for this story, because it was the very first play I ever saw when I was young, in Repertory Philippines. My mom took me to it, and I don't even remember how old I was, but I was ..."

I just love when a book brings back memories of real life! This always happens to me when I see Mark Twain's name. Huckleberry Finn was the first live theater I attended.


back to top