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The Domestic Life of the Jersey Devil Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
There is some excellent material on the New Jersey Pine Barrens and the much maligned Pineys who inhabit them. Sprouse portrays them in a kinder and more enlightened light than has often been the case. There are also other interesting aspects of New Jersey history and culture that are treated here.
If your sole interest in reading this work is to find out what it says about the Jersey Devil, at times you may get frustrated by the writer's side trips into his personal history and other events. However, if you are searching for evidence that there is more to the story of the Jersey Devil than just the name for a hockey team, then this is must reading.
It's hard for me to classify this book. It's partly a touching memoir of the relationship between a guy and his grandmother. It's partly a nostalgic memoir of the relationship between a guy and the weirdest state in the nation. It's partly the best researched, footnoted book on the subject. He hits all the sources a Jersey Devil researcher knows -- McPhee, the Atlantic, etc. It's partly a sketch of some of the more colorful characters in the small world of Jersey Devil fans. And it's well documented account of the new theory that the legend arose out of a feud between Daniel Leeds and other Quakers/Benjamin Franklin.
I think maybe it struck a nerve with me because it's written from a perspective that I share -- a guy who does not believe there is such a creature as the Jersey Devil, but who is fascinated with the folklore.
I love it. I'm going to read it again.
Yeah, the parts with Daniel Leeds are a little dry. It's hard to make Quakers that interesting. And I really wish he had been able to include photographs because he describes some paintings/photographs I have not seen in my research.
McCloy and Miller were *the* Jersey Devil book. I don't think this one dislodges them from the top spot -- but it's really, really close.
If you are at all interested in the Jersey Devil or a fan of Weird NJ, pick this up.
I usually try to read several books by the same author to examine their writing and see how it evolves over time. I'd love for Sprouse to write more so I can see how he refines his work.
I will admit that I'm not from the area and so the historical elements of the book were less interesting to me. That said, the author's writing kept me going. I wouldn't let the location or history sway you from giving it a go.
It’s hard to pin down exactly what “type” of book this is and that might be one of the things I most enjoyed about it. It is part memoir, part historical analysis of the people and culture of southern Jersey, part editorial commentary on modern society, and part ghost story.
It is a great analysis of the simultaneous evolution of myth and people (including the author). Oddly enough, I found that it evoked a strong sense of nostalgia in me for things and people I have no reason to be nostalgic about- Pineys, Wawas, flying monsters, etc. I highly recommend it.
I thought the Wawa interviews were great and I enjoyed reading about familiar locales of Egg Harbor.
Highly recommend this to anyone interested in Jersey Devil lore.