The definitive memoir by Damien Echols of the "West Memphis Three", who was falsely convicted of committing three murders. Hear this unforgettable account of his 18 years on death row.
©2012 Damien Echols (P)2012 Penguin Audio
As an only child, books were my world. I love to read and audiobooks are essential in my world today. I must admit I am somewhat dependent (addicted?) to audible audiobooks. Too easy. Too good!
Prior to reading this book, I had no knowledge of the tragic murders in West Memphis. I was drawn into this incredibly well-written book, by Damien Echol's natural ability to tell a story. I was drawn to the person he was and the person he grew to be during his years in prison. Since reading this book I have watched all of the HBO documentaries that portray how easy it is for justice to be miscarried, when media, fear, and ignorance are in the mix. What I found most fascinating and refreshing about this book is the fact that Damien Echols did not allow himself to be swallowed by fear and self-pity at the prospect of being executed for a crime he did not commit. He wrote a book that told a story about life on death row-the lessons that he learned as he came of age behind bars.
I have followed the case of Damian Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jesse Miskelley since 1996, when the documentary Paradise Lost came out. This memoir breaks my heart, as I listen to an innocent man go through the tortures of prison and death row- and before that of poverty and community ignorance. Through it all, Mr. Echols maintains poise and dignity. Listening to the story in Echols' own voice brought home the emotion and loss of the tragedy.
I personally was glad that there was little or no mention of the gruesome details of the murders and the new suspect arising from DNA tests, all of which is available in the many documentaries about the case and the websites supporting the West Memphis Three. This narrative is the story of Mr. Echols' life so far, which shines a bright light onto the inhuman conditions that we allow to exist in our prisons. A truly excellent memoir, which breaks your heart over and over again.
Points of light outshining seemingly overwhelming darkness
Damien ... courage ... perseverance ... truth
Author's narration ... excellent!
Author of Stitch Alchemy
When I read Law & Disorder by John Douglas, I became interested in the West Memphis 3 and watched the Paradise Lost documentaries. What a treat to learn that Damien Echols had just published his memoir. I immediately grabbed the Audible edition, which has Damien reading his own words. It would be difficult to approach this book without feeling compassion for what Echols has been through, but if I thought that the reaction to this book was predicated on how people felt about the case, I was wrong. It's gotten high praise and reviews and for good reason. This story is beyond amazing. Not only is Damien's tale of life behind bars riveting, but it's well written. Poetic and full of insight. He's an elegant writer with spare prose that's reflective of his approach to life. I avoid mainstream memoirs which unabashedly play on the heartstrings--they are common and dull. This is nothing like that. I was elevated and transformed by Damien's experience, told in his own words. It made me love my own life and appreciate all life a little bit more. Life After Death is a living poem. I could not stop listening. Insight after insight pours from the soul of this wrongly convicted man. Impossible not to savor, like a living poem. Thank you Damien for this wonderful gift.
Yes. I've followed Damien Echols's story for many years; finally hearing what it was like for him in his own voice was a humbling and amazing experience.
Damien Echols has a very distinct accent and manner of speech. Getting to hear him read his own words made the story all the more real and moving.
Damien's story is an amazing one. He is completely open in this book and completely lets the readers into his life in a very brave way. I found myself laughing and smiling as I listened to the book and even tearing up at points. No matter if you have heard of his story before or not, this book would be well worth a listen.
Yes. The inspiration that Damien Echols gives is heartbreakingly beautiful and powerful. His reading/narrating of this book is the best I've heard.
His passion and lyrical way of describing what could have only been hell for him.
As I mentioned, I believe his performance is easily the best I've ever heard on audible. Hire him!
I've followed this story for years. I've been moved to tears each and every time I hear more of what was endured. But this is a story that needs to be heard. Screamed from the rooftops even. Justice was not done here. These men were robbed.
The in depth description of poverty and coming of age in a world so different than my own.The idea of how a person overcomes life in prison and finds a way to cope. And I loved that Damien read his own words...powerful!
The fact that Damien found a way to stay sane in an insane circumstance.
Scene after scene of difficulty for Damian proves that I can hold onto hope in my reality.
This book is a must read! I think all professors dealing with social issues should require everyone to read this. A real eye opener of poverty, the prison system, the justice system, religion and spirituality.
Having seen the 3 Paradise Lost documentaries, and West of Memphis, I was eager to hear from Damien Echols himself.
Needless to say, his story gives an insight into the corruption, injustice and barbarity that exists in the American "justice" system, and that confirms what we all really suspect, but in terms that I've never.....felt, in such a way before. Echols is just as intelligent, soulful and true as he seems in the documentaries, and there's something about his articulate southern drawl that soothes and is without a hint of pretension. He is indeed who he says he is. He speaks of things anyone with a childhood, a sense of nostalgia, of despair, and love and friendship, can relate to. Walking along the riverside listening to Damien, I feel like i'm almost in conversation with him. And if you're anything like me, I suspect you'll feel the same.
I remember in one of the documentaries, him saying he always knew he'd be famous. I think he would have had these tragic events not fallen upon him. He's just one of those people who was destined to make an impact on the world, one way or another.
I think some people will recognize this, and some will not. There's a difference between those two types of people.
I loved this audio book. Of course, watch the documentaries first.
I wish him and his wonderful wife the best.
What an intelligent and thoughtful man Damien Echols is. His story at times made me weep, but ultimately it was his triumph of will and spirit that dazzled me. I would be honored to have someone like Damien in my life. Thank you for sharing your life so openly. Nothing but the utmost respect to you, Laurie and everyone who believed in your innocence. Happy life to you and yours Damien!
This was beautifully written. A gut wrenching story of personal triumph over the evilness of this world. Narration by Damien was magical!
'had a reasonable understanding of the WM3 history, route & scenario & in this I found opportunity to reflect some more on the meaning of all of it from Damien's perspective. 'excellent narration.
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