Award-Winning Reporter Mike Sager and The Sager Group Partner with Digital Publisher NeoText

SHAMAN, An Illuminating Investigation Into the Mysterious Life and Impeccable Death of Carlos Castaneda, is the First Joint Release Mike Sager, the best-selling author, award-winning reporter, and esteemed writer for […]

SHAMAN, An Illuminating Investigation Into the Mysterious Life and Impeccable Death of Carlos Castaneda, is the First Joint Release

Mike Sager, the best-selling author, award-winning reporter, and esteemed writer for Esquire for more than thirty years, and his company The Sager Group, are partnering with digital publisher NeoText, to release updated, expanded, and remixed versions of some of Sager’s classic reporting, as well brand new pieces of journalism written and developed by Sager. The debut joint release in this new partnership is Sager’s SHAMAN, an illuminating deep dive into the life and death of controversial figure Carlos Casteneda.


“I first encountered Mike Sager’s work through his famed Rolling Stone piece ‘The Devil and John Holmes’ and immediately knew I was in the presence of a master reporter and storyteller,” says NeoText’s co-founder John Schoenfelder. “Since then I’ve read everything of his I can get my hands on, and I believe that Mike’s work is nothing short of a key link within the evolution of narrative journalism as a whole. He’s a relevant heir to masters of the field like Tom Wolfe, Hunter Thompson and Gay Talese, and it’s a supreme honor to work with him.”


Sager is a practitioner of a form of journalism that some have called “literary anthropology”; he has lived with teenage pit bull fighters in the Philadelphia barrio; Palestinians in the Gaza Strip; heroin addicts on the Lower East Side; Aryan Nations troopers in Idaho; U.S. Marines at Camp Pendleton; Tupperware saleswomen in suburban Maryland; and more. In SHAMAN, Sager turns his incisive reporter’s eye on Castenada in a year-long investigation into Castaneda’s mysterious life and impeccable death—the first of its kind—as told by his wife, his adopted son, his mistresses, and his followers. 


SHAMAN, which will feature four all new spot illustrations by WBYK, explores the life of Carlos Castaneda. Some say Castaneda was a breakthrough academic and visionary shaman. Others say he was a sham. Either way, he shaped a generation of mystical thinkers and magic mushroom eaters when in 1968, at the height of the psychedelic age, Castaneda published The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, the first of twelve books describing his apprenticeship to an Indian shaman and his journeys to the “separate reality” of the sorcerers’ worlds. Over time, The Teachings of Don Juan and its sequels became essential reading for legions of truth seekers. Castaneda himself became a cult figure—seldom seen, nearly mythological, a cross between Timothy Leary and L. Ron Hubbard. But although Castaneda had more than ten million books in print in seventeen languages and made the cover of Time magazine, he lived in anonymity for 30 years. And upon his death in 1998, things became even more murky as the stories Castaneda built his reputation on began to unravel. 


“Linking up with NeoText represents to me the way the universe can reward an artist when they continue to put in honest creative effort over a long and sometimes difficult haul,” says Sager. “Over the last ten years, as the publishing landscape has morphed, I’ve worked to create a boutique content brand and publishing house, The Sager Group, that would complement and expand my reach (and that of others) as a narrative writer whose books and stories inspire movies and television shows. With the assets and expertise NeoText brings in the areas of books and film, I feel like I’ve been awarded a golden ticket. It sounds kinda sappy, but their strengths are my weaknesses, and my strengths are what they seek. I’m not a person who believes in wishing, but if I was, I’d have wished for a place in this budding relationship. Can’t wait to see the developments of the projects we’ve already got upcoming.”


Illuminating, engrossing, and brilliantly told, SHAMAN will be available digitally on September 29th for $2.99.

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Mike Sager is a best-selling author and award-winning reporter. A former Washington Post staff writer and contributing editor to Rolling Stone, he has written for Esquire for more than thirty years. Sager is the author or editor of more than a dozen books, including anthologies, novels, a biography, and textbooks. In 2010 he won the National Magazine Award for profile writing. Several of his stories have inspired films and documentaries; he is editor and publisher of For more information, please see


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