... a more universal story is also in this book. It is not as explicit as it might be ... Sheff tells us he is not a Buddhist but that nonetheless he admires Masters. The suggestion is of appeal that transcends religion. But we don’t get this story, or at least not without work ... The story about religion matters, but the underlying, understated and perhaps more interesting human story of essential human interconnection is needed more.
Journalist and memoirist Sheff...chronicles one man’s time on death row and his use of Buddhist practices to discover hope and healing ... Sheff’s highly readable account of Masters’ experiences offers readers an inspirational story that also functions as an introduction to Buddhist principles.
Applying the same mix of empathy and journalistic integrity demonstrated in Beautiful Boy...Sheff conveys Masters’ transformative jailhouse exchanges with Buddhist masters, family members, and special friends with poignancy and profound emotional power ... An indelible portrait of an incarcerated man finding new life and purpose behind bars.
Sheff...draws from research and personal correspondence to tell the stirring story of Jarvis Jay Masters, a convicted murderer awaiting execution on California’s death row who converted to Buddhism and has found a kind of freedom despite the death sentence looming over him ... This Buddhist Dead Man Walking will pull at the heartstrings of any reader.