First and foremost, I am a supporter of the West Memphis Three and I believe in their innocence. I tried to read the first iteration of this book when it was called "Almost Home". I put it down because the more I read it, the less I liked Damien. It felt very much like Damien just loves Damien a little too much. I've had friends like that and I stopped spending time with them because absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that. I purchased this audiobook to see what else Damien had to say for himself and found myself a little disappointed to find that this book is essentially a rehashing (at least in the beginning). Damien is a wonderful writer and certainly knows how to paint a picture with words but the pictures he paints are of clearly realized total non-events. I realize that Damien wrote this book to paint a clear vision of his own memories, likely to keep them for himself and I'm okay with that and imagine it'll be an interesting read for some. I just kind of feel like he's talking about stuff we've all experienced and refusing to go into any of the reasons why we purchased this book in the first place. I'd imagine that this book will be the first in a series about his life and that this book is mostly about his time prior to his conviction but I find it boring. Damien has a really nice voice and I enjoyed listening to him tell his story but sometimes he seems a little too proud of himself about things that don't matter like his taste in clothes or food or holidays. It just kind of seems like the stuff a teenager would write about. I'd imagine that there is likely a part of Damien that is stunted in emotional development having had his youth taken from him. The same happens to addicts and I've seen it happen so I don't judge him for that. In fact, I commend him for being self-taught in a variety of subjects while living under such harsh circumstances.
What made me shut the book off in the second part was his disgust for fat people. Over and over again he describes how disgusting he finds someone's "fat belly" or infers how much "fried chicken" someone eats but then he goes on to brag about his own appetite for junk food. Somehow he's above criticism? I shut the book off at exactly the point where he says that women in West Memphis are "not smart enough to take care of themselves so they don't turn into sexless blobs". Just why? I also found it abhorrent that he constantly has to talk about how little he cares for Domini and how he just brushes his sister's molestation under the rug as an alleged non-issue. I just see no compassion for others in Damien. His concerns are with him alone. He shows little to no compassion for anyone and only revels in how other people feel about him. I kind of feel like "he doth protest too much" when it comes to his turns in the psych ward or his arrests. I understand the "Satanic Panic" that was going on in the early 90's and have sympathy for how that has impacted this case. I have a lot of friends who are "unique" in the same exact way that Damien is and I would hate for that "individuality" to throw any of them on death row.
I wouldn't read another book by Damien because this just wasn't interesting. At at this point, I've given him two shots. I think he would be successful at writing fiction and I would love to listen to him narrate another book that someone else wrote as I found his voice to be quite pleasant.
I want to make it clear that I wish Damien well and am so happy that he was released. If Jason Baldwin writes a book, I will definitely read that. I am really into Jason's positive attitude and I would love to hear his side of things. Good luck in the future if any of you (WM3) ever read this!
I love Formula One, Comedy, Films, and TV! The best thing to listen to on here are Bio's read by the person themself.
After listening to this you feel sickened by what was done to Damien, Jason & Jessie. His tales of his first moments of being imprisoned on Death Row when he was only a teenager are terrifying. Sitting in solitary for so long like he did, and the awful conditions of his "exercise area". Definitely a must read (listen) for anyone. Everyone can learn something from this great book by Damien Echols.
The raw honesty shared by Damien.
No, this is his first book. But I have read other West Memphis Three books. This is better than them because it's a personal account, and you get the true incite from the man who went through everything personally.
Life After Death
I Love to read and I am all over the place. From Fantasy to Non Fiction to True Crime. Sadly even some Romance novels which I never thought I would read but they turned out to be not bad some even good as long as they had some fantasy in them
This book was more personal I remember the killings and how this boys died, and how the other boys life were wrongly ruined.
The entire book hard to pick a scene, s o many touched my heart, some broke it some made it soar.
Yes. I did twice since I bought it, on the second listen now
I am oldd enough to remember this from its beginning even watched it on cout tv if I remember correctly watched all the HBO doc's on them the websites even set what little money to help. This was during the satanic craze many states went through but even to people with common sense could see these kids were innocent. I feel just as horrible for the children's families, and emotions were running high but the full confession they got from Jesse who they showed only had an IQ of 68. I think something should be done cause these boys were not acquitted this still protects the ones that did this to them. I don't blame them at all for doing it at all I would have if I were in there shoes. But exposure is the only way to show how easy its done to the misfits or to those that don't count as they say, the ones that would not be missed. This is not a one time occurrence it happens all the time of that I have no doubt
Despairing mystery pureness
Knowing Damien survived it
Damien pure at heart
I couldn't help but fall in love with the three wronged young men! I watched and read everything I could about their situation ! The best book I've ever read it makes me weak at heart to think how set up they were. I grieved for the children who died that day but worse was knowing the news made it look like Damien Jason and jessy did it! This case will change history in my book!
Life trumps fiction (or Modern-Day Witchhunt)
That the author was so articulate and real, that he was able to take the worst of situations and learn more from it than most of us learn in a lifetime of freedom.
Every chapter had a favorite scene....
I listened over a period of about a week. It was very intense, and each night I'd be digesting what I just wrote. It was hard to believe this could happen to another human being in this time and age.
This book was fantastic. It left me reeling and is one of the best books I have ever read. I tried to start another book afterward and had to stop. I found I couldn't pay attention because I was still thinking about this book and all the thoughts swimming through my head. You know a book is exceptional when you find you are changed forever after having read it. I am not the same person I was when I first picked it up. I had to give myself at least 24 hours to recover and digest before I could even consider another book. Superb. Please read this book if you can.
Also, the author narrated the story himself, which made it even more real, and his voice is deep and soothing, very calming.
Riveting, Shocking, Provocative
Hearing it from the author himself is incomparable. There's no way it would've had the same impact as words on a page. Damien Echols invites you into his life in such a unique way - it's truly difficult to describe in words. I am so thankful I stumbled upon it in audiobook form instead of reading the book.
Do you believe in our justice system? Do you think you are entitled to a system that's fair? Do you want to see and hear the truth?
A current example of a true survivor, brilliantly written under impossible circumstances. Thank you Damien.
The writing was just so patronizing. Seemed like every sentence was stretched to add vocabulary that just seemed fake and overly "cool". Everything was eye rollingly exaggerated (not the story, the writing). Over used adjectives to the point I turned it off. Clearly needed a writer to come on and co write this with him.
He was ok and read it in his voice but it was hard to follow at times as his accent and tone just felt too soft. Not a knock here just my experience.
If you are a loyal fan of Damiens you will like this book. If you buy this blindly I can't see anyone enjoying it for it's own merit as a story.
I followed and supported Damien for a very long time. I donated to the site to help his cause, but the way he's acted since getting out of prison has just turned a lot of us off. He only seems to have time for the famous and seems to have turned on Jason for wanting to tell his story as well. He comes off as a selfish kid who thinks only he was the wm3. Jason has every right to claim some of the light cast on this case as he ultimately went to jail for Damien and refused a plea deal to get out of jail for Damien and now because he's involved in a movie about the case Damien turns on him? So many came together to support the WM3 but now many have started to doubt Damiens sincerity as he has turned into Mr. Hollywood. It's a shame. I gave this book a chance hoping Damien could give me some sincerity and make me believe in him again. He failed.
Having corresponded with inmates for more than 30 years now, I thought I had heard it all, but Damien gives an entirely new meaning to the prison industrial complex and the corruption and ethical problems that exist in the entire justice system (be it attorneys, judges, correctional officers, etc.).
Damien (and his two friends) certainly may have fallen victim to the most egregious wrongful conviction to date in the United States. Yet, Damien never gives up and stays strong during some very horrible circumstances.
Damien's poetic, gritty, and honest portrayal of prison life and the unjust murder case against him (and his two friends) should enlighten every man, woman or child who reads (listens to) this compelling book!
I am a miracle worker. Doing what I can to choose love over fear.
The honestly. I never heard of his case.Still this book alongside "The end of your life book club" and "The help" have a special place in my heart his warm voice
Makes me shiver. This man is a modern Mandela. The difference? He is not ready to forgive yet. His narration is perfect and raw.
Damien and jason.
His raw and calm honesty
His story about the priest on a motorbike.
You.need this audiobook.