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Life After Death

by

Life After Death Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The New York Times bestselling memoir by Damien Echols of the “West Memphis Three,” who was falsely convicted of committing three murders and spent eighteen years on death row.

In 1993 teenagers Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr., known as the West Memphis Three, were arrested for the murders of three boys in Arkansas. The ensuing trial was rife with inconsistencies, false testimony, and superstition. Baldwin and Misskelley were sentenced to life in prison. Echols was sentenced to death. In a shocking reversal, all three were released in August 2011, and now Echols shares his story: from abuses by prison staff to descriptions of inmates and deplorable living conditions to the incredible reserves of patience and spirituality that kept him alive and sane for nearly two decades. A brilliant writer, Echols conveys tragedy and irony in equal measure, describing his anger and outrage toward the American justice system, and providing a window into life on death row in agonizing detail.

Review:

“[Echols] has written a haunting book, and the story it tells is hardly over. He is living out a sequel that is no less strange and magickal than what he has already been through.” Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Review:

"[A] tale of romance, resilience, and the power of the written word." O, the Oprah Magazine

Review:

“Damien Echols spent eighteen years on death row for murders he did not commit. Somehow, in the depths of his unspeakable nightmare, he found the courage and strength not only to survive, but to grow, to create, to forgive, and to understand. Life After Death is a brilliant, haunting, painful, and uplifting narrative of a hopeless childhood, a wrongful conviction, a brutal incarceration, and the beginning of a new life.” John Grisham

Review:

“Wrongfully imprisoned by willfully ignorant cops, prosecutors and judge, Damien Echols draws on all his wits and his unique view of humanity to survive eighteen years on death row. My admiration for him, and the strength of his spirit, increases with every page.” Sir Peter Jackson, Academy Award-winning director, producer and screenwriter

Review:

“I am in awe of Damien's ability to write so beautifully, with such ease, humor and honesty — this is inspired storytelling, a wonderful book!” Fran Walsh, Academy Award-winning screenwriter, composer and producer

Review:

“The life of Damien Echols is a journey similar to that of the metal that becomes a samurais sword. Heated and pounded until it becomes hardened, it can hold its edge for centuries. It is incredible that Damien endured and survived one of the most tragic miscarriages of American justice, and emerged such a centered, articulate and extraordinary man and writer. Life After Death proves that he paid dearly for his wisdom.” Henry Rollins

Review:

“Exceptional memoir by the most famous of the West Memphis Three. [B]are facts alone would make for an interesting story. However, Echols is at heart a poet and mystic, and he has written not just a quickie one-off book to capitalize on a lurid news story, but rather a work of art that occasionally bears a resemblance to the work of Jean Genet. A voracious reader all his life, Echols vividly tells his story, from his impoverished childhood in a series of shacks and mobile homes to his emergence after half a lifetime behind bars as a psychically scarred man rediscovering freedom in New York City. The author also effectively displays his intelligence and sensitivity, qualities the Arkansas criminal justice system had no interest in recognizing during Echols ordeal. Essential reading.” Kirkus Reviews (starred)

Review:

“[Echols'] case garnered worldwide attention, but [his] memoir is about as far away from a publicity-seeking I-was-wronged story as possible. The author opts for a meatier, and certainly more haunting, account of his life behind bars, coupled with flashbacks to his childhood....Echols is a talented writer, and when the book dips into his own spiritual and philosophical beliefs...it achieves the kind of emotional resonance that many similar books lack....A tragic and often disturbing story." Booklist

Review:

“[T]his is an eloquent, even bitterly lyrical, portrayal of how an innocent man can slip through the cracks of the legal system and struggle to survive. Compelling and deeply moving, in the tradition of Helen Prejean's Dead Man Walking and Norman Mailer's The Executioners Song, this memoir will appeal to a wide audience.” Library Journal (starred)

Review:

“In this searing, finely wrought memoir, Echols recalls his poverty-stricken childhood, the trial of the West Memphis 3, and the harsh realities of life on death row....The most affecting sections are Echols's philosophical musings on all he has lost, his thoughts often influenced by Zen Buddhism...a heart-wrenching and simple commentary on American prison life.” Publishers Weekly (starred)

Review:

“[A] tale of romance, resilience, and the power of the written word.” O, The Oprah Magazine

Review:

“Echols is a writer whose talent is commensurate with the task of telling this story....The man who has emerged from death row at last is not quite a hero, but hes something far more interesting: an artist — and, most definitely, well worth meeting.” Laura Miller, Salon.com

Review:

“Gripping…Echols has already lived a remarkable life, one forged in tragedy and all manner of iniquity. That he is able to write so movingly about the many trials he endured speaks volumes about his intellect and character.” The Boston Globe

About the Author

Damien Echols and his wife, Lorri Davis, live in Salem, Massachusetts.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780142180280
Author:
Echols, Damien
Publisher:
Plume Books
Subject:
Biography - General
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20130531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.56 x 0.99 in 0.87 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Literary
Featured Titles » Biography
Featured Titles » Staff Picks
History and Social Science » Crime » General
History and Social Science » Crime » Prisons and Prisoners

Life After Death Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.95 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Plume Books - English 9780142180280 Reviews:
"Review" by , “[Echols] has written a haunting book, and the story it tells is hardly over. He is living out a sequel that is no less strange and magickal than what he has already been through.”
"Review" by , "[A] tale of romance, resilience, and the power of the written word."
"Review" by , “Damien Echols spent eighteen years on death row for murders he did not commit. Somehow, in the depths of his unspeakable nightmare, he found the courage and strength not only to survive, but to grow, to create, to forgive, and to understand. Life After Death is a brilliant, haunting, painful, and uplifting narrative of a hopeless childhood, a wrongful conviction, a brutal incarceration, and the beginning of a new life.”
"Review" by , “Wrongfully imprisoned by willfully ignorant cops, prosecutors and judge, Damien Echols draws on all his wits and his unique view of humanity to survive eighteen years on death row. My admiration for him, and the strength of his spirit, increases with every page.”
"Review" by , “I am in awe of Damien's ability to write so beautifully, with such ease, humor and honesty — this is inspired storytelling, a wonderful book!”
"Review" by , “The life of Damien Echols is a journey similar to that of the metal that becomes a samurais sword. Heated and pounded until it becomes hardened, it can hold its edge for centuries. It is incredible that Damien endured and survived one of the most tragic miscarriages of American justice, and emerged such a centered, articulate and extraordinary man and writer. Life After Death proves that he paid dearly for his wisdom.”
"Review" by , “Exceptional memoir by the most famous of the West Memphis Three. [B]are facts alone would make for an interesting story. However, Echols is at heart a poet and mystic, and he has written not just a quickie one-off book to capitalize on a lurid news story, but rather a work of art that occasionally bears a resemblance to the work of Jean Genet. A voracious reader all his life, Echols vividly tells his story, from his impoverished childhood in a series of shacks and mobile homes to his emergence after half a lifetime behind bars as a psychically scarred man rediscovering freedom in New York City. The author also effectively displays his intelligence and sensitivity, qualities the Arkansas criminal justice system had no interest in recognizing during Echols ordeal. Essential reading.”
"Review" by , “[Echols'] case garnered worldwide attention, but [his] memoir is about as far away from a publicity-seeking I-was-wronged story as possible. The author opts for a meatier, and certainly more haunting, account of his life behind bars, coupled with flashbacks to his childhood....Echols is a talented writer, and when the book dips into his own spiritual and philosophical beliefs...it achieves the kind of emotional resonance that many similar books lack....A tragic and often disturbing story."
"Review" by , “[T]his is an eloquent, even bitterly lyrical, portrayal of how an innocent man can slip through the cracks of the legal system and struggle to survive. Compelling and deeply moving, in the tradition of Helen Prejean's Dead Man Walking and Norman Mailer's The Executioners Song, this memoir will appeal to a wide audience.”
"Review" by , “In this searing, finely wrought memoir, Echols recalls his poverty-stricken childhood, the trial of the West Memphis 3, and the harsh realities of life on death row....The most affecting sections are Echols's philosophical musings on all he has lost, his thoughts often influenced by Zen Buddhism...a heart-wrenching and simple commentary on American prison life.”
"Review" by , “[A] tale of romance, resilience, and the power of the written word.”
"Review" by , “Echols is a writer whose talent is commensurate with the task of telling this story....The man who has emerged from death row at last is not quite a hero, but hes something far more interesting: an artist — and, most definitely, well worth meeting.”
"Review" by , “Gripping…Echols has already lived a remarkable life, one forged in tragedy and all manner of iniquity. That he is able to write so movingly about the many trials he endured speaks volumes about his intellect and character.”
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