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Strange Piece of Paradise

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Strange Piece of Paradise Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the summer of 1977, Terri Jentz and her Yale roommate, Shayna Weiss, make a cross-country bike trip. They pitch a tent in the desert of central Oregon. As they are sleeping, a man in a pickup truck deliberately runs over the tent. He then attacks them with an ax. The horrific crime is reported in newspapers across the country. No one is ever arrested. Both women survive, but Shayna suffers from amnesia, while Terri is left alone with memories of the attack. Their friendship is shattered.

Fifteen years later, Terri returns to the small town where she was nearly murdered, on the first of many visits she will make "to solve the crime that would solve me." And she makes an extraordinary discovery: the violence of that night is as present for the community as it is for her. Slowly, her extensive interviews with the townspeople yield a terrifying revelation: many say they know who did it, and he is living freely in their midst. Terri then sets out to discover the truth about the crime and its aftermath, and to come to terms with the wounds that broke her life into a before and an after. Ultimately she finds herself face-to-face with the alleged axman.

Powerful, eloquent, and paced like the most riveting of thrillers, Strange Piece of Paradise is the electrifying account of Terri's investigation into the mystery of her near murder. A startling profile of a psychopath, a sweeping reflection on violence and the myth of American individualism, and a moving record of a brave inner journey from violence to hope, this searing, unforgettable work is certain to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

Review:

"The author was a Yale student biking cross-country during the summer of 1977 when she and her roommate were attacked by an axe-wielding cowboy while camping in Oregon. Jentz escaped with a gashed arm, while her friend was nearly blinded from head injuries. Fifteen years later, in 1992, Jentz returns to the scene of the attack to repair the psychic wound and attempt to close the case. Dogged in her pursuit of the truth (though largely abandoning the subtitle's promise of introspection), Jentz interviews the witnesses who saw her stumble out of Cline Falls State Park that June night; she scrutinizes police files and discovers the halfhearted investigation of suspects, learning about several horrific killings that took place in Oregon then. Jentz even befriends the former girlfriends of one suspect who becomes frighteningly plausible as the culprit. She finally tracks down the local cowboy known for carving his initials into his axe handle; though he can no longer be prosecuted for the attack, the satisfaction of seeing him convicted for another offense is a bittersweet vindication. While a thorough, forthright detective, screenwriter Jentz tends to meander and includes unnecessary detail. Still, her story is chilling and will enthrall true crime readers." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"In this memoir Terri Jentz grapples with the deep subconscious of America, as well as its flesh and blood. Her writing has the weirdness and gravitas and beauty of life." Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City: A Memoir

Review:

"Part true crime, part memoir, part a profile of a stone-cold psychopath and part an exploration of violence and its effect on people and communities, Jentz's book is tough to read — and even tougher to put down." USA Today

Review:

"As if to perform reconstructive surgery on her psyche...Jentz returns to the scene of the crime to conduct an epic investigation as shadowed in grief and as stricken by violence as Truman Capote's Kansas in In Cold Blood." Vanity Fair

Review:

"The strongest parts of Jentz's story...are the connections she forged with her newfound allies — women who were beaten and abused...police officers who lived in the community and dealt with violence daily, and who genuinely wanted to bring closure to an old case." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Strange Piece of Paradise is a haunting, lyrical journey through one woman's nightmare. Terri Jentz's debut is harrowing, gripping and poignant. The impact lingers long after the final page is turned." Harlan Coben, author of No Second Chance

Review:

"An extraordinary story about the scars of the spirit and how they heal, Jentz's epic American journey is both heart-rending and heartening, devastating and redemptive." Melanie Thernstrom, author of Halfway Heaven

Synopsis:

In the summer of 1977, Terri Jentz and her Yale roommate took a cross-country bike trip. As they lay sleeping in the central Oregon desert, a man in a pickup truck deliberately ran over their tent and proceeded to attack them with an axe. The horrific crime was reported in newspapers across the country, but no one was ever arrested. Fifteen years later, Jentz returns to the small town where she was nearly murdered and makes an extraordinary discovery: the violence of that night is as present for the community as it is for her. Shockingly, many say they know who did it, and he is living freely in their midst.

 

Powerful, eloquent, and paced like the most riveting of thrillers, Strange Piece of Paradise is a startling profile of a psychopath, a sweeping reflection on violence and the myth of American individualism, and a moving record of Jentz's brave inner journey from violence to hope.

Synopsis:

Powerful and fast paced, this is the electrifying account of Jentz's investigation into the mystery of her near murder. A startling profile of a psychopath, and a moving record of a brave inner journey, this unforgettable work is certain to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

About the Author

Terri Jentz is a screenwriter and lives in Los Angeles. This is her first book.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

Suze R, October 10, 2011 (view all comments by Suze R)
A woman and her friend were cycling the Bike Centennial in 1977,starting in Oregon.They only made it to Cline Falls State Park near Redmond.The book is about the brutal axe attack when they were camping there and the writer's journey 15 years later to heal through going back to the past.The crime had never been solved,but most people in the town thought they knew the person responsible.
This is not an easy book to read but well worth it.An amazing story.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
tamara_failor, January 2, 2010 (view all comments by tamara_failor)

Engaging is too mild; mind-blowing is more accurate. The perfect mix of interesting local history, murder-mystery intrigue and well-crafted memoir. A long tome that deserves every page.
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Catherine Williams, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Catherine Williams)
This true story reads like the very best of murder mysteries.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 6 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312426699
Author:
Jentz, Terri
Publisher:
Picador USA
Subject:
Other Miscellaneous Crimes
Subject:
Women's Studies
Subject:
Criminal investigation
Subject:
Violent crimes
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Women's Studies - General
Subject:
BIO026000
Subject:
Violent crimes -- Oregon.
Subject:
Criminal investigation -- Oregon.
Subject:
Crime - True Crime
Subject:
General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20070331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes 17 bandw illustrations througho
Pages:
752
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects


Biography » General
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Crime » General
History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime

Strange Piece of Paradise Sale Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.98 In Stock
Product details 752 pages Picador USA - English 9780312426699 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The author was a Yale student biking cross-country during the summer of 1977 when she and her roommate were attacked by an axe-wielding cowboy while camping in Oregon. Jentz escaped with a gashed arm, while her friend was nearly blinded from head injuries. Fifteen years later, in 1992, Jentz returns to the scene of the attack to repair the psychic wound and attempt to close the case. Dogged in her pursuit of the truth (though largely abandoning the subtitle's promise of introspection), Jentz interviews the witnesses who saw her stumble out of Cline Falls State Park that June night; she scrutinizes police files and discovers the halfhearted investigation of suspects, learning about several horrific killings that took place in Oregon then. Jentz even befriends the former girlfriends of one suspect who becomes frighteningly plausible as the culprit. She finally tracks down the local cowboy known for carving his initials into his axe handle; though he can no longer be prosecuted for the attack, the satisfaction of seeing him convicted for another offense is a bittersweet vindication. While a thorough, forthright detective, screenwriter Jentz tends to meander and includes unnecessary detail. Still, her story is chilling and will enthrall true crime readers." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "In this memoir Terri Jentz grapples with the deep subconscious of America, as well as its flesh and blood. Her writing has the weirdness and gravitas and beauty of life."
"Review" by , "Part true crime, part memoir, part a profile of a stone-cold psychopath and part an exploration of violence and its effect on people and communities, Jentz's book is tough to read — and even tougher to put down."
"Review" by , "As if to perform reconstructive surgery on her psyche...Jentz returns to the scene of the crime to conduct an epic investigation as shadowed in grief and as stricken by violence as Truman Capote's Kansas in In Cold Blood."
"Review" by , "The strongest parts of Jentz's story...are the connections she forged with her newfound allies — women who were beaten and abused...police officers who lived in the community and dealt with violence daily, and who genuinely wanted to bring closure to an old case."
"Review" by , "Strange Piece of Paradise is a haunting, lyrical journey through one woman's nightmare. Terri Jentz's debut is harrowing, gripping and poignant. The impact lingers long after the final page is turned."
"Review" by , "An extraordinary story about the scars of the spirit and how they heal, Jentz's epic American journey is both heart-rending and heartening, devastating and redemptive."
"Synopsis" by ,
In the summer of 1977, Terri Jentz and her Yale roommate took a cross-country bike trip. As they lay sleeping in the central Oregon desert, a man in a pickup truck deliberately ran over their tent and proceeded to attack them with an axe. The horrific crime was reported in newspapers across the country, but no one was ever arrested. Fifteen years later, Jentz returns to the small town where she was nearly murdered and makes an extraordinary discovery: the violence of that night is as present for the community as it is for her. Shockingly, many say they know who did it, and he is living freely in their midst.

 

Powerful, eloquent, and paced like the most riveting of thrillers, Strange Piece of Paradise is a startling profile of a psychopath, a sweeping reflection on violence and the myth of American individualism, and a moving record of Jentz's brave inner journey from violence to hope.

"Synopsis" by , Powerful and fast paced, this is the electrifying account of Jentz's investigation into the mystery of her near murder. A startling profile of a psychopath, and a moving record of a brave inner journey, this unforgettable work is certain to be one of the most talked about books of the year.
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