It’s a cool rainy evening here in Bucks County, the perfect kind of night to curl up with a good book. Unfortunately, this isn’t one of them. Edmund Schiddel’s The Devil in Bucks County is so bad that it’s basically unreadable. I browsed it trying to pull a quote and couldn’t find anything worth repeating.
“They came flocking into Bucks County like locusts,” the back cover states, referring to the artists and writers who moved to the area from New York. Too bad Schiddel was one of them. In 1959 he published The Devil in Bucks County, which takes place in a town that loosely resembles New Hope.
Some of the locals have old Bucks County names like Stackhouse, Hibbs, and Satterthwaite, but Schiddel’s portrayal of New Hope is about as out of touch as M. Night Shymalan’s portrayal of Newtown in Signs (remember the scene in which the owners of the bookstore tell the children, “We keep those books for the city folk!”).