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.
francium, May 8, 2007 (view all comments by francium)
This book is riveting and well written. It transports the reader into the center of the maelstrom, both for the original incident and as well as during the authors' various excursions back to Oregon in an effort to solve this baffling mystery. It is a suggested read for those interested in true crime but also for those who are beguiled by how human beings interact and react; a treatise on 'why we do what we do' under such horrific circumstances. It does ramble a bit but that seems to be more of a reflection of the real world consequences of dealing with such a tragedy and its aftermath encountered at such a young, idealistic age.
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alwalker1, May 8, 2007 (view all comments by alwalker1)
I have not read the book yet. I am looking forward to it. What happened to Terri was terible has been in my mind sinse I was 3 years old. And to this day when I go camping I think of that night. I was very scared as I was only 3. And my parents were very scared too. We were camping in the area, my mom says at that site, but I could not know for shure. I hope that reading this book will help me to move on and let it go. As it is not my best childhood memory.
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Picador USA -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"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.)
by Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City: A Memoir,
"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."
by USA Today,
"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."
by Vanity Fair,
"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."
by Los Angeles Times,
"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."
by Harlan Coben, author of No Second Chance,
"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."
by Melanie Thernstrom, author of Halfway Heaven,
"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."
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.
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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