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I Am the Central Park Jogger

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  798 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
Shortly after 9:00 P.M. on April 19, 1989, a young woman jogs alone near 102nd Street in New York City's Central Park.

She is attacked, raped, savagely beaten, and left for dead. Hours later she arrives at the emergency room -- comatose -- with a fractured skull, an 85-degree body temperature, and she has lost so much blood that her doctors believe it's a miracle she's st

Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 13th 2004 by Scribner (first published April 18th 2003)
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Community Reviews

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K.D. Absolutely
Apr 01, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs
Trisha Meili is called the Central Park Jogger. She was attacked, raped, sodomized, savagely beaten and dumped for dead in a ravine in Central Park on April 19, 1989. She was 29 years old, a fast rising career woman in Wall Street. During her trial, the New Yorkers as well as the whole nation, awaited and followed her stories normally found on the front page of New York Times with simply “JOGGER” as the header every time something juicy about her and the case had happened.

Incidents like this hap
Mar 08, 2013 Annelisa rated it did not like it
I cannot get behind this at all. No one is denying that what happened to this woman was wrong, and that she went through an ordeal. It is always a good and inspiring thing when one is able to rise above such circumstances. But those five teenage boys went through an ordeal as well, one that cost them their innocence, their childhoods, their standing in society. Their lives were destroyed as well, and the worst part is that people still refuse to apologize, offer sympathy to them and their famil ...more
Jun 26, 2015 L.A. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another book toward my ASR mini-goal count. I forgot to point out the second one, but oh well.

I had mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, it WAS very inspiring to read of Meili's amazing comeback. On the other hand -- and this says more about me than the book -- I kept reading it with an eye to the fact that she had a strong family, access to excellent medical care, financial resources, etc. I'm glad she got well, I thought she was brave, and I wondered whether we, as a society, would
Mary Ronan Drew
Jun 20, 2011 Mary Ronan Drew rated it liked it
Trisha Meili, the woman who was attacked and raped in Central Park in April 1989, wrote this book in 2003, making her name well known for the first time. Her motive was to talk about the process of recovering from a head injury so severe she was not expected to live or to be able to function well cognitively or physically again.

She defied the odds and with a tremendous amount of work she recovered sufficiently to go back to her job at Salomon Brothers and to be able again to go running, though n
Jul 02, 2009 Cherie rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, running
While Meili's story is fascinating, it's not the best written. The story drags on a bit, but it is a really intensely emotional story (which is why it was hard for me to be critical abt her story, but it's not that engaging). The way she was attacked..horrifying - but a miracle she recovered.
Cynthia Sillitoe
Sep 17, 2016 Cynthia Sillitoe rated it really liked it
This is an amazing story of survival, but also reinventing one's life. It's not so much about getting justice for the crime (which she does not remember) but recovering from her injuries. Anyone interested in traumatic brain injury should consider reading this book.
Lydia LaPutka
Jun 13, 2013 Lydia LaPutka rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book for its message of hope and resilience. I truly believe that many people would not be able to survive the injuries Trisha Meili did. She had many things going for her: physical fitness; spunk; public support; prayer; incredible medical personnel; and perseverance. Ultimately her decision to focus on healing and a bright future kept her from wallowing in depression and misery and succumbing to her injuries. I loved that her focus in the book is on the help of others. This was ...more
David Ward
Apr 18, 2013 David Ward rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, crime
I Am the Central Park Jogger: A Story of Hope and Possibility by Trisha Meili (Scribner 2003) (Biography) is the autobiography of one of the most famous crime victims of all time - and one of the oddest criminal cases of all time as well. In 1989 a young woman was attacked, raped, beaten, and left for dead in New York City's Central Park. Five young men aged fourteen to sixteen were interrogated by the police and confessed to the crime, much to the relief of the city's populace. However, the boy ...more
Feb 22, 2012 Anne rated it it was amazing
Trisha Meili is a truly amazing and inspirational person. I saw her speak at a brain injury association conference last year. I was fascinated by her story and I purchased the book to use for group therapy sessions I sometimes run for brain injured adults. But frankly, I can't use most of Tricia's book. There is very little in her book that most of my clients can relate to.

In the 17 years I've been working with people who have brain injuries, I have not encountered anyone with such a positive a
May 25, 2014 Rossy rated it liked it
2.75(?) stars
Although the book was not great, it was likeable, but as Trisha's story is such an inspiration, I feel it could have been so much better.
I am amazed at how this lady found the courage and strength to recover so much and in such a short time, and it's remarkable how she gives hope to everyone who has suffered brain damage or injuries similar to hers.
I really liked how she started this book. She was writing it as if it happened to a stranger because she really had no direct memory of it so had to go by media reports and conversations that took place. It is a fast read and it shows how she survived this horrible event and was able move forward.
Dec 18, 2015 Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story of perseverance and overcoming challenging odds.
Jun 13, 2015 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's a quick read. Everybody knows about the Central Park Jogger incident (27 year old woman savagely beaten and raped, 5 innocent males incarcerated for the crime); the writer has broken her anonymity to tell the story as she knows it. At the beginning she speaks as if it happened to another person as she has zero memory of the attack. The story describes her physical and mental therapies/recoveries, her job, her personal life, her supporters, her love life, and the trial.

I was let down that th
Anant Mittal
What happened to Ms. Meili was highly unfortunate and is a reflection of the dark world we live in. However, although her prose is simple yet well put, but her story itself is amazing. Her rise from the ashes like a phoenix after the attack and her constant endeavor to better herself and maintain a positive outlook is commendable. The book not only talks and teaches one about how one should respond to contingencies in life but it also reflects how we humans, being social characters need the love ...more
Anna Engel
This is what every woman is told to fear, right? Being beaten and raped while jogging alone in the dark. Stay off the trails! Don't go anywhere alone! If you do, carry mace! As much as I don't want it to be true, the fear is there. I walk home alone from the subway each night. I go for long rambling walks through secluded neighborhoods in and around Boston. I've never taken a self-defense class and I don't carry mace. And despite the story of the Central Park Jogger, I think, "It won't happ
Dec 14, 2007 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had much more to do with the resiliance of the human spirit than it had to do with the event. I was too young to remember the Central Park Jogger incident but I can understand how it gripped the nation. This was such a horrible act and unbelieveable how people on this earth have no understanding of the value of a human life. But, past the actual event this book was more about Trisha rebuilding her life and regaining herself again. Essentially she had to learn how to live again from the ...more
Nov 11, 2012 Alexandria rated it liked it
This book was less the story of the Central Park Jogger and more the story of Trisha Meili's recovery as the Central Park Jogger.

I got this book a while back to find out more about the Central Park Jogger, and I enjoyed hearing Meili's perspective as a survivor who remembers generally nothing about her attack. This first-person account of her healing process (something which continues to be in progress) focused on her emotional and physical recovery, and lays a narrative timeline for how she li
Dec 05, 2007 stephanie rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2008, memoirs
interesting story of a woman who is known to the world as "the central park jogger" and her decision to become something more, to reclaim her identity as a person other than the moniker.

there is no doubt that trisha is an extremely dedicated and hard-working soul. her persevering strength gave her the courage and resources needed to survive such an attack.

but nothing really struck me as memorable, except, that when she said near the end that there was someone she respected that she got the cou
Dec 04, 2008 Noelle rated it really liked it
Became interested in reading this after hearing of the book while speaking to a Brain Injury group.
Fabulous book. It was like reliving my rehab struggles again.
A certain spot where she talked about finally having a bit of balance and the joy of being able to shave her legs. I completely know that....In rehab I decided to do the same thing. Chad came in a went into a panic seeing me trying to catch my balance, shave my legs and keep from passing out at the same time. And the simple joy that ca
Aug 24, 2009 Kristen rated it liked it
I remember the horror of this event when it happened back in 1989. It was natioanl news, a young woman out for a run through Central Park in New York gets attacked by a gang and raped, beaten, and left for dead, but miraculously, she survives. This is her story of recovery and healing. What an ordeal this woman has been through! Her own words of relearning to talk, walk, and live a normal life after being in a coma for five weeks and suffering not just physical injury, but brain damage as well. ...more
Jul 26, 2015 Roxanne rated it really liked it
This is the true story of Trisha Meili known as the Central Park Jogger. She went out jogging in Central Park in 1989 at 9 p.m. (not safe to do for sure) and she was attacked and raped. She had serious injuries that took a long time to recover from. The wrong people were convicted but then the person confessed who did do it. After her recovery she went back to work at a financial company but she was not happy there any longer. She wanted to make a personal difference in the world. She fell in lo ...more
Feb 13, 2015 Renee rated it it was ok
Memoirs are sometimes much more enjoyable in the voice of their author. This was definitely the case here.

Hers is an interesting story and an impressive recovery, but the mind-body healing stuff gets a little repetitive if you've already long-since made that connection and/or been sold that particular bill of goods. Also, she glosses over the racial layers of the court cases and her own position of wealth and privilege as it relates to how people responded to her. That's her right, of course, bu
Jun 19, 2011 Maryellen rated it liked it
I read a synopsis in the Boston Globe of a recently published book- The Central Park Five and knew that I had Trisha Meili's book on my bookshelf unread. A very interesting read and amazing recovery story. While the truth of the story lies in the fact that the author has no recollection of her brutal attack, the legal ramifications of the five accused "wilders" make this story even more compelling. I am now intrigued to read this new book by Sarah Burns, daughter of the filmmaker Ken Burns, abou ...more
Aug 04, 2009 Kelly rated it really liked it
I am listening to this on audio. Let me warn those who do listen to it on audio that when the music plays on the CD it does not mean change the CD. I thought that's what the music meant so I changed the CD and then at CD 5 I was left hanging, wondering where the ending was. So now I'm back to disc 3 listening to much that I missed.
I was a teen when Trisha Meili was attacked in Central Park, and lived in Canada, but even so I do remember this event. I didn't know specific details, however. I'm en
Diane Killion
Mar 06, 2014 Diane Killion rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a well told account of the author's horrific brain trauma caused by a brutal rape which she has no memory of. The story is more about the suffering and recovery of the TBI (traumatic brain injury) and less about the actual rape. My brother suffered a TBI from a motorcycle accident that his doctors were surprised he survived. I am thinking about recommending for him to read. Recovery from TBI is a rest-of-life process. Not sure he would learn anymore about TBI than he has already rea ...more
May 03, 2009 Julie rated it really liked it
Recommended to Julie by: Noelle
I read this book because of a relative's experience with traumatic brain injury. He was comatose for 6 weeks and not expected to live, or live in a permanent vegetative state. Today he is working and living on his own.

I admire the courage of Trisha Meili and her ability to reclaim her life after the horrific, violent attack she experienced. She is a real inspiration to those who have suffered brain injury.

I also learned a lesson from her: Just because it is different, doesn't mean it's worse.
May 16, 2008 Kristina rated it really liked it
My very special aunt Michelle gave me this book! She saw her speak in MN and got me an autographed copy.

I feel so special as I have never rec'd an autographed copy but more special b/c from what I have read this lady is a miracle story coming thru the adversity she has...will see how it all plays out as I begin to read it.

Very good book...a good read for anyone that needs to read an inspirational read in regards to brain injury and / or rape. She is a strong woman and has come a long way in lif
Jan 31, 2016 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This would have been read in a week but other books with time limits came available on my kindle via my public library. I run in central park often so it is crazy and scary to me but i honestly believe my parents early "dont run at dark, run in the open, etc) warnings probably truly was part of my life due to this attack! She shows great strength which i imagine is comes from the "blessing" of having no memory of the attack!
Nov 12, 2008 Lennie rated it really liked it
Trisha Meili writes about her assault (and eventual recovery) while she was jogging in Central Park. I remember when this story made headlines in 1989. It was shocking because the crime was so violent. Trisha was raped and beaten so badly that she was left in a coma. At the time, her identity remained hidden, so I'm glad she came forward and wrote a book about her experience. Hopefully, it will help other rape victims.
Mar 21, 2013 Sabrina rated it it was ok
Trisha Meili was and is a very smart, successful, driven person. It was very interesting to read about who she was before the attack, why she was jogging in Central Park at night and how she healed. Its a short book, easy read. The reason I gave it a 2 is that it was poorly written and could have been so much better. I understand the author had a brain injury who went through hell but I'm just saying I think it would have been much better if someone had written it for her in the 3rd person.
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