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The Last Pentacle of the Sun: Writings in Support of the West Memphis 3 Paperback – October 1, 2004


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The Last Pentacle of the Sun: Writings in Support of the West Memphis 3 + Blood of Innocents: The True Story of Multiple Murder in West Memphis, Arkansas + Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three
Price for all three: $31.17

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1551521628
  • ISBN-13: 978-1551521626
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 6.1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #571,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

... the stories are all good reads.... The most striking inclusion, however, is an open letter to Stephen King and Anne Rice written by Mara Leveritt, asking why they've not voiced their support for the West Memphis Three who, after all, were persecuted for reading their books. Good question. Maybe they're waiting for volume 2?
Rue Morgue Magazine (Rue Morgue)

This is a definite must-read book for fans, et al.
FAMILY & friends (FAMILY & friends)

From the Publisher

The Seventh and last Pentacle of the Sun from the Key of Solomon is for freeing those unjustly imprisoned: If any be by chance imprisoned or detained in fetters of iron, at the presence of this Pentacle, which should be engraved in gold on the day and hour of the sun, he will be immediately delivered and set at liberty.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Craig Clarke VINE VOICE on March 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
"The Seventh and last Pentacle of the Sun from the Key of Solomon is for freeing those unjustly imprisoned: If any be by chance imprisoned or detained in fetters of iron, at the presence of this Pentacle, which should be engraved in Gold on the day and hour of the Sun, he will be immediately delivered and set at liberty."

In 1993, three eight-year-olds were found dead in the Robin Hood Hills of West Memphis, Arkansas. For months, the police had no leads, until a local "expert" decided that the murders looked similar to a Satanic ritual. Instantly, the police began to seek out suspects fitting that description. Enter Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley, Jr., the teenagers who would come to be known as the West Memphis Three. Due to their preference for black clothing, and their interests in heavy metal music, horror novels, and the occult, they were branded as Satanists.

After an intense twelve-hour interrogation, Misskelley confessed to the killings and pointed the finger at Echols as the ringleader (he later recanted). No physical evidence of any kind was ever entered into evidence, or even sought, and what little physical evidence there was at the scene was destroyed. (Read Burk Sauls' "California to West Memphis in Ten Years" for full details; Sauls is a co-founder of Free the West Memphis Three.)

There, but for the grace of God, go I.... In fact, almost any writer could empathize. Writing is by its nature a "weird" profession. After all, why would someone want to be alone with their own thoughts -- on purpose! -- and then presume that someone else would find those thoughts interesting enough to pay money for them?
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Kaufmann on December 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
LAST PENTACLE is a compelling mix of fiction and non-fiction, with all money going to the West Memphis Three Defense Fund. Among the standouts were Michael Marano's "Changeling", Paul G. Tremblay's "All Sliding to One Side", Simon Logan's "You Have to Know This" and Scott Nicholson's "Carnival Knowledge". Pick this one up. Not only is it a great read, it supports a good cause.
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Format: Paperback
I read a novel recently by Brett Alexander Savory, which led me to look for previous books by this author. This is an odd one for sure. In contrast to reviewer Charles Rector I find the exact opposite is true, that the nonfiction pieces far outshine the fiction offerings on display here. As for Clive Barker's drawings, they are not to my taste especially, yet they're not bad and one comes to admire him for allowing his wokr to be published in this context.

Arkansas firebrand Mara Leverett opens up a whole can of worms with her open letter to Stephen King, Anne Rice and Dean Koontz, who have not supported the West Memphis Three in any way apparently, and Leverett rips them each a new one for their policy of staying mum and rich. They could have testified at any time and yet they were too busy!

I also enjoyed hearing the true life accounts of other accused of horrible crimes who it turned out, they were railroaded. Stepping back from the immediate now, author Philip Jenkins ponders on the origin of the witch cult myth in the USA, showing how a handful of pulp writers paved the way towards making Americans believe that such cults lie in our bosom. Another good essay is by Michael Oliveri, whose memoir shows us how any high school kid who's the least bit different immediately becomes a suspect in our cookie cutter society; his own addiction to rock music and flirtation with the occult would have had his butt in jail for the West Memphis killings in an instant, and yet, he was just a crazy mixed up kid and needless to say, completely innocent.

Editors Savory and Anderson mix it up to a certain extent but even they will probably admit, the collection is peculiar and finally begs the question of, do any heavy-metal Satanist teens ever actually commit any crimes? No?
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Erin on July 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book to use for a paper and never received it. I had high hopes for it but sadly I can't make a good assessment of it.
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5 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Charles J. Rector on February 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
Last Pentacle is an anthology of excellent fiction and generally lackluster nonfiction. Setting the pace for the fiction is eight pages of horror artwork by Clive Barker. There are excellent stories by such leading horror authors as Poppy Z. Brite, Gerard Houarner, Simon Logan and Peter Straub.

On the other hand, the nonfiction is generally poor. This is because this volume was intended as advocacy for a trio of convicted murderers. Generally, the nonfiction writers are off the mark in that they portray the convicted trio as being framed because they had strange lifestyles and interests. In reality, they were arrested first due to eyewitness reports, a confession and other evidence.

Although it is not legally mandated for prosecutors to prove a motive, the prosecutors chose to use the 3 defendants interest in Satanism as their motive for killing three little boys. Basically, the prosecution charged that the boys were slain in a Satanic ritual and there was evidence at the scene that lent credence to the notion that the killing was part of a Satanic ritual. An outside expert was brought in and his analysis confirmed the prosecutor's suspicions.

However, there is one excellent nonfiction piece in this volume. This is Philip Jenkins's piece on 1920's pulp horror fiction. Jenkins argues that modern ideas of Satanism derive more from horror stories by such writers as Herbert Gorman and H.P. Lovecraft than from the historical record or religious writings.

Basically, this is a volume of excellent fiction coupled with nonfiction that basically misses the mark. Due to the high price of this volume, you would be well advised not to buy it at its cover price, but to look for it at your local library or second hand bookshop.
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