Dr. Seuss’ ‘bad guy’ book turns 65

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Courtesy of Penguin Random House

Thursday marks the 65th anniversary of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” was first published in book form.

The classic holiday story, written by Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, was originally published in 1957, shortly after the author completed “The Cat in the Hat”.

The tale has since been adapted into films, television specials and a musical. Perhaps the most famous adaptation is the beloved 1966 animated special which featured Boris Karloff’s iconic voice as narrator along with his vocabulary-rich theme song.

File, 1957: Theodor Seuss Geisel at work on a drawing of a grinch, the hero of his next book, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (Photo by: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The inspiration for the Grinch would have been none other than Geisel himself. Citing various interviews over the years, Biography reports that Geisel was fed up with the commercialization of Christmas and felt very Grinch-like as his wife battled health issues.

“Something had gone wrong with Christmas, I realised, or more likely with me,” he said in a 1957 interview with Redbook, which first published the tale. “So I wrote the story of my embittered friend, the Grinch, to see if I could rediscover something about Christmas that I had obviously lost.”

The biography noted that an easter egg hidden in the story hinted that Geisel was, indeed, the main character. The Grinch’s line “Why, for 53 years, I put up with it now” – referring to the Whos “noise, noise, noise” – matched Geisel’s age at the time.

Less subtle was another clue: The author later got a vanity license plate that simply said “Grinch.”

Courtesy of Penguin Random House

Since the book’s publication, “grinch” has entered the English language as a household word, defined by Websters as “a grumpy person who spoils other people’s fun”.

The 1966 television special is set to air again this year on NBC, Friday, November 25 at 8 p.m. ET.

This story was reported in Tampa, Florida.

. Seuss bad guy book turns

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