Strange Piece of Paradise

Jentz, Terri

Book - 2006
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Strange Piece of Paradise
In 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, then attacks them with an ax. The crime is reported in newspapers across the country. No one is ever arrested. Both women survive, but Shayna has amnesia, while Terri is left alone with memories of the attack--their friendship is shattered. Fifteen years later, Terri returns to the town and makes an extraordinary discovery: the violence of that night is as present for the community as it is for her. Slowly, her interviews with the townspeople yield a revelation: many say they know who did it, and he is living freely in their midst. Terri then sets out to discover the truth, and ultimately finds herself face-to-face with the alleged psychopath.--From publisher description.

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780374134983
Branch Call Number: 364.1555 J54s 2006
Characteristics: 542 p. :,ill. ;,24 cm


From Library Staff

In 1977, two young women set out to cross the country by bicycle, but got only as far as Central Oregon, where they were violently attacked by a stranger.
Terri Jentz returns to the small community 15 years later to answer some questions about her attacker, and discovers that many of the townsp... Read More »

In 1977, two Yale roommates began the bike trip of a lifetime, hoping to ride from the west to the east coast of the U.S. In the Central Oregon desert they pitched a tent for the night. Their lives would never be the same. Fifteen years later one of them struggles to find the truth of what happen... Read More »

In 1977, two young women biking across the country are randomly attacked and seriously injured by a man while in Central Oregon. The author tells the story of her return to the area 15 years later, and how her life was changed by that event.

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Mar 20, 2015
  • bette108 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Beautifully written and too scary to read alone in bed at night. A moving and courageous memoir.

Dec 06, 2014

I read this book when it came out, and remember it vividly. I agree with the above comment that it starts out slowly, but for me, the pace reflected the buildup of fear. And the author's attention to detail is an essential part of her determination to understand her experience. And thank you, Fionaenzo, for telling me about the documentary!

Dec 30, 2012
  • Fionaenzo rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Very slow in the beginning, but picks up - hang in there. Way too much biographical information about herself before her assault - not interesting. Informative as to a dynamic healing process. She needed a better editor to help her focus on her message. This is connected with the documentary, "Forgiveness." Recommend the documentary highly. so powerful -- cannot get this book out of my mind. it is a sociological observation - resultingfrom her tireless research and interviews - of community dynamics. why do we stay silent expecting authorities to do their job when it is apparent they are not and community through inaction allows an evil person to violate women, children, men, pets year after year. amazing story as she tried to heal through action to obtain answers.

Dec 20, 2012
  • ThelmaPickles rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

Insufferable! This book needed to be edited an half of it's content tossed out. An Amazon Reviewer said it well so I'm quoting: The most terrifying thing about Jentz's "Strange Piece" is its painfully overwritten, amateurish, self-indulgent literary style. Although Jentz's real life ordeal was profound, she manages to beat every angle of her story to death, making the reader care less and less about the eventual outcome. What could have been a spell-binding 250 page account of the author's experience and, in larger context, a worthy criticism of the statute of limitations for attempted murder is turned into a heavy handed, repetitive narrative about a night (and a suspect) you come to know way, WAY too well.


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