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!
Articulate & well written Damien Echols takes us through his difficult experience. Somehow he kept hope alive through it all. "Hope is the thing with feathers" as Emily Dickinson said. It is a fragile thing that somehow stays alive despite the storms of life. I don't know how he kept hope alive. I don't think I could of, I really don't. That feathered bird would have been stomped out in the first year. If Damien writes another book, I'm reading it.
When the lawyer asked "will this make Lorri Davis leave me alone?" I cheered. Yea Lorri!
I'm a busy mom who loves to listen to books. Mostly I listen on my way to and from work.
Absolutely! It was so powerful and uplifting.
The fact that he read it. It felt like you were sitting down next to him while he told you an unbelievable story.
I have not but if he has more I definitely will.
Just like the book. LIfe after Death. I did like his idea of a mini-series because there is so much to tell a movie would not do it justice.
Thank you for sharing your story.
I love audiobooks!
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!
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?