It's October and I had hoped that I would get to more horror this month. Yes, I still have a week and a grwoing stack of books to read as well. We shall see what happens, eh? Thus far I have managed to read a few. Just lasat week I cracked open Mary SanGiovanni's Found You and noticed that there was a little bit in the book about strange occurrences in New Jersey. Now, this is completely new to me. I'm a southern girl and I guess I always assumed that the south had a corner on weird. I mean, c'mon, New Orleans and voodoo, Mary Leveau, and ghosts galore! I just thought that Mrs. SanGiovanni had a very healthy imagination and hoped this would mean much more to come from this fairly new author.
Today, though, I began reading Robert Dunbar's The Pines. From what I can tell, The Pines was originally published in 1989 under Banner of Truth publishing and then again in 1992 by Leisure. Leisure/Dorchester is reprinting the book and it is due out October 28. Apparently, the tale will continue into a second title, The Shore, listed as coming soon from Dorchester.
Now, I'm not quite finished with this book, but I was intrigued by the fact that it's about the Jersey Devil. I'm 27 and I've never read anything about the Jersey Devil. Not to say I've never heard mention of it, but I never knew what it was or where the legend came from. According to his website, Dunbar is an expert on the legends of Pine Barren, the area in which The Pines takes place.
About a third of the way through the book I decided to come look at Wikipedia. I felt like I was missing out having no real knowledge of the Jersey Devil (not to worry readers, Dunbar does outline the tale in The Pines, but I'm a bit obsessive when curious and so...). A few hours later and now browsing the Weird New Jersey site, I'm wondering how there's not a whole slew of New Jersey based horror authors!!!
Weird New Jersey is a mecca for the weird, wacky, and in some cases truly creepy. If you want to check out the Wikipedia entry on the Jersey Devil, just click here. You can also check out this Weird New Jersey video on the hunt for the Jersey Devil (Dunbar appears briefly).
So, Jersey Devil, hoax or great American myth? You decide. And, next week, run out and buy Dunbar's newly released (and uncut?) The Pines just in time for some great Halloween reading. Check Bookbitch.com early next week for my review.