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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.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
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.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful
It has ruined audible for me because I will never find a gem like this again. It was a magical experience like almost listening to the wind whisper spells in your ear. The emotions were felt not merely listened to . With moments of light, love, darkness and despair this book will not leave me as it s echo resignatated deep within my soul. Damien Echoll's is the only man to author and narrate such a mesmerizing piece of literary art.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Watch Paradise Lost and West of Memphis before you read this book. You will then understand how a somewhat geeky 18 year old fought a fight, not just against the Arkansas criminal justice system but himself and won the latter and continues with the former. Hard to comprehend how any human can survive such a travesty of justice and brutality that's off the scale to. He is the top of my I'd like to have a coffee with list. I was disappointed when the Epilogue ended.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful