Jersey Devil ultimate pop culture thread

Discussion in 'Legends and Lore' started by MikeBickerson, Jul 24, 2015.

  1. MikeBickerson

    MikeBickerson Explorer

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    Thought it might be fun to start a Jersey Devil pop-culture thread. Not concerned with the more scholarly works like the McCloy/Miller books or Bill Sprouse's book, more along the lines of that terrible episode of The X-Files from a million years ago. At worst, I'll just talk to myself here :D

    Anyway, to start it off, I just finished a murder mystery that my buddy lent to me called Who is Killing Doah's Deer? by Jeff Markowitz (2004 - iUniverse, Inc). It's about a widowed reporter for an offbeat magazine (sounds like Weird NJ, but with a massive budget) who spends early mornings driving around a fictional South Jersey town looking for dead deer that have been supposedly killed by the Jersey Devil. Then she writes horribly misleading articles about them (she's supposed to be a crack reporter who went to Princeton, but that part was tough to buy). Somehow, she gets caught up in a story about a local middle school teacher/eco-terrorist who is found dead in the middle of one of these clumps of dead deer. When her best friend is accused of the murder, she takes the case and does some real investigative reporting for once, while still tracking down Siamese triplets, the loch ness monster of the Jersey shore, and other oddity stories.

    As a mystery, the twist at the end got me (I don't read a lot of mysteries, so maybe I missed a common one). The Jersey Devil is definitely a minor side character in the book, but he's portrayed fairly traditionally (horse head, bat wings, etc. Doesn't hurt or attack people, just animals). I also like how the writer pulled in a little of the mystery of the pines (old ghost towns and such) without going too overboard, although he may have gotten in over his head when he took the main character to Chatsworth where she sipped coffee at a cafe on the lake.

    I wouldn't recommend it as a good book, but it was a fun, light book and I was entertained by it.

    Feel free to chime in here. The 13th Child (soooo bad) or The Last Broadcast (I have not seen this one, anyone?)? The Pines by Robert Dunbar or the Jersey Devil comic books by that guy who lived in Stratford whose name eludes me? Go off about the X-Files episode? Other ones that I don't know about?
     
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  2. MikeBickerson

    MikeBickerson Explorer

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    So I rewatched the X-Files episode, figuring that it could not be as bad as I remembered.

    I twas actually worse. The Jersey Devil is a group of cavemen that live in Atlantic City? :beerspill:
     
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  3. MikeBickerson

    MikeBickerson Explorer

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    In an ongoing effort to talk to myself (so, you know, normal day for me) - a book review! Because I just finished reading it!

    The Jersey Devil by J.J. Crane (2015 - no publisher listed? Weird).

    This is a fictional account of a police detective and a reporter (that reports for what pretty much is a weekly Weird NJ magazine that's listed as a newspaper) that get caught up in investigating the same strange occurrences - animals ripped to pieces and horrendous murders. At first, the heroes seem to think that its an escaped person from an asylum doing these acts, but it's revealed to be... THE JERSEY DEVIL!!! Things then take a turn for bizarre as they each survive encounters with the Jersey Devil several times while simultaneously falling in love. They they work their way toward THE EXCITING CONCLUSION.

    In spite of myself, I liked this book. There were parts that really bothered me (the Jersey Devil being a killing machine, the fact that there is this creature out in the pines that is killing people and it takes 130 pages to mention "Jersey Devil" as if that wouldn't be the first thing people thought of when there was a creature in the woods ripping people apart, and the Weird NJ newspaper deal not being well hashed out), but overall it was pretty entertaining. The Jersey Devil was described in what would be accepted as properly (no weird shape shifter, or secretly a Bigfoot, or any of the other weird stuff that tv, books, and movies seem to come up with for our buddy J.D.). They got their local South Jersey geography down pretty well (although I just can't see the pines as being as creepy as all the characters seem to think that they are), the story makes sense, and they do a nice job with Jersey Devil lore. Worth reading if you like mysteries.

    Oh, and thanks for the Christmas present Chuck, good call. :)
     
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  4. manumuskin

    manumuskin Piney

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    I just found out recently I am descended from a Margaret S. Leeds born 5-3-1647 Northamptonshire England died 4-29-1754 Mount Holly,NJ married to Richard Haines who died on ship to America. They were I believe my 10th gr grandparents.
    Yhis may make the Devil my cousin.Judging by some of my other cousins I know I would not suggest a meeting.
     
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  5. dogg57

    dogg57 Piney

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    Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 28, 2015)
     
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  6. MikeBickerson

    MikeBickerson Explorer

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    I love that you can indepently publish these days.
     
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  7. 92 Blazer Jeff

    92 Blazer Jeff Explorer

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  8. MikeBickerson

    MikeBickerson Explorer

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    This book sounds in the same vein as Bill Sprouse's book that came out a few years ago (although likely with less research done in Wawa's at 1 AM - which is massively underutilized way to do research). I'm sure I'll add it to my collection, thank you for the heads up!
     
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    Last edited: Nov 26, 2016
  9. 92 Blazer Jeff

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    You are welcome Mike. If you read it lit me know if it's any good.
     
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  10. MikeBickerson

    MikeBickerson Explorer

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    Finished Devil Leeds by F. Scott Macom this week, which I had bought at Lines on the Pines. This is a fiction book, and definitely NOT for kids.

    The story is different than the usual one, as the birth and setup are all after the Civil War, and involve a first born child planted in a unwed mother during a violent crime, rather than the tradition cursed 13th child. The main story then jumps ahead to the building of the AC Expressway, which was definitely a creative way to go.

    Like most works of fiction, the Jersey Devil is a lot more bloodthirsty for killing humans than you'd find in the McCloy & Miller nonfiction works. And the story has only a handful of "pineys" after the opening chapters (which is good, 'cause they were pretty "Kite Report" type pineys) , focusing more on state troopers, the army, the Boy Scouts, the government in Trenton (the corruption end couldn't really be exaggerated), and a few Lenape Indians, which was refreshing.

    Once you get over the fact that a) this book is NOT following the traditional Jersey Devil motif, b) the geography in the novel is occasionally a little wonky and c) some of the history is waaaaay off (like a Lenape Reservation in the late 1800s New Jersey, almost a hundred years after there would have been such a thing), it's an exciting mystery adventure with some bizarre twists.

    And I've noticed that every Jersey Devil fictional novel seems to have a reporter in it.

    Info - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25840915-devil-leeds
     
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