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Hardcover Sleepers Book

ISBN: 0345396065

ISBN13: 9780345396068


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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - The extraordinary true story of four men who take the law into their own hands. This is the story of four young boys. Four lifelong friends. Intelligent, fun-loving, wise... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Stunning! I don't know of any other word that would fit.

To me, the hallmark of a good book is that you, the reader, are transported towards a logical conclusion and that the "ride" contains enough surprises along the way. The goal, and the path, are not necessarily obvious at the outset; indeed a really good book reveals itself as you read it.You could very well describe Sleepers that way. Four friends in Hell's Kitchen in the 1960s; kids trying to stay out of trouble but not succeeding altogether. The way the local priest looks out for them and their friends is heartwarming, and the way the everyday life is portrayed is both believable and scary. But about halfway through the book the BIG EVENT almost hits you in the head and leaves you breathless. What follows is so dark that you would prefer to believe it is not true. The latter part, several years later, is perhaps not up to the same standards as the rest of the book.For those who enjoyed the description of life in Hell's Kitchen, Carcaterra has also written "A Safe Place". Not as good as Sleepers, but it adds to understanding what poor people in New York endured and how they endured it.Don't miss out on this one!


I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this was one of the best books I've ever read in my entire life. Perhaps I feel so connected to it because the four boys involved grew up in the city of New York as did I, although for me it was Brooklyn but what's a few miles. It also is about growing up in the 60's, so I can relate to the time period as well. But the absolute connection for me was the reference to playing stickball and using the sewer lengths to decide who was good and who wasn't. We played the same game but it was called punchball and if you could punch the ball more than 2 sewers, you were unbelievable. Carcaterra brings back many memories as he refers to turning on the "johnny pump" to get relief from the heat in the summer and using a "SPAULDEEN" when playing stickball or off-the-point. No pensy pinkies for these boys.This is the story of 4 boys growing up in Hell's Kitchen in Manhattan. They have "no money, no summer camps, no vacations...nothing except one another". Theirs was the truest of friendships the meaning of which will never be betrayed by any of them. Michael is considered the brains, John the heart and Tommy the soul of the group. While Lorenzo never credits himself with any qualities throughout the book, he is definitely a combination of all three of these traits. He is also the youngest of the group and not yet a teenager when the story enfolds. They live their life with the Catholic church as their central point of focus and find a friend in Father Bobby. As you're reading this book, you can just picture Robert DeNiro in the title role as the priest in the movie. They do everything that young teenage boys who lived in the city did in the 60's -- play stickball, read comics, listen to Yankee games on the radio, trade baseball cards and play pranks on unassuming people. They never played these pranks, however, on those they perceived to be weaker than them.One day, one of their pranks proves disasterous and their lives will never be the same. They are sent away to a juvenile detention center called Wilkinson Home for Boys for a year. When they return to Hell's Kitchen after doing their time, they will never be the same. They are haunted by the 4 guards who were assigned to them in the home. Years pass and they are now grown. One becomes a reporter, another becomes a lawyer and the other two become killers. But, they still have one thing in common -- they will always be friends. They say REVENGE is sweet but nothing as sweet as what happens in this book.Needless to say, I was mesmerized by this book from beginning to end. As soon as I finished it, I rented the video and was mesmerized once again. I have since purchased Carcaterra's other two books and I understand he has another one coming out in January called Gangsters. Yes, I have become a fan. This is a non-fiction book that reads like a novel in the hands of a master storyteller like Carcaterra. I know there was some controversy whe

Sleepers was the most powerful book I've ever read!

Sleepers portrays a story of four boys living in Hell's Kitchen, who are charged with the attempted murder of a man named Caldwell. It is very vivid in details, and Carcaterra does a great job getting right to the point. I had a hard time putting this book down. I believe this is a true story, because without experiencing this first hand, Carcaterra couldn't have described is so well. It didn't lack in exciting events! A great book! I would definetely recomment this one!

I didn't want to do anything but keep reading it!

Some people might say that this book goes too deep for a mere teenager to understand, but I would say the opposite, I think that many teenagers around the world can possibly relate to this, and that's what is so mystifying about this book, that this same thing may have happened to THEM. It's sad to think of it that way. After I put the book down, I sat and thought, with my tear stained eyes, about what I had just read. It was a little hard to believe in the beginning, could people's lives really be this hard? Then you realize, it's very possible. The lives of Shakes, John, Michael, and Tommy touched me. I liked how the author described the troubled life of each person and how he didn't hold back, he told the story with out censoring what was true. The descriptions, especially when they are in the "Home for Boys" haunted me, and I kept remembering the part when John is in Shakes' room, his tortured soul ready to give up. He had no other way out, and it's a shame he had to turn out the way he did. I think the movie did well telling the stories of these four boys, and the actors did a great job, but the book took me deeper, it described more about the life of a teenager in Hell's Kitchen, and the misery of innocent souls in a correction center they shouldn't have been sent to. I'm glad there is at least one book that can touch me in the way this it did. I think people should read this book because it will inform people of what really happens outside of their sheltered lives. (some of them) Lorenzo Caraterra did a wonderful job writing this book and thank you for doing just that. -K.F.


Sleepers left me absolutely breathless. It takes you into the lives of four boys growing up in Hell's Kitchen. Their childhood games, their favorite pastimes, their unusual role models. Four young boys whose fate was sealed one disastrous summer day by a seemingly harmless prank that went wrong, and would unkowingly change their lives forever. Sleepers made me laugh and cry. It angered me and later on pacified me. It stirred in me so many emotions in the way that few books can. It touched my soul. It made me realize that there are so many things in this world that we take for granted. The chance to have a pizza, to lie down in a park and look at the sky, to just be with the people you care about. Carcaterra's pain is evident. So is his love and loyalty to his friends. It takes courage to come to terms with one's inner demons as Carcaterra agonizingly does through his words. The book wonderfuly comes full circle. It introduces you to four young boys. It takes you into their lives. Just as you begin to care for them, they are swallowed up by a system so disgusting it tears you apart inside. In the end pleasure of revenge however is the best catharsis. A poweful entertaining story told with such passion and pain, Sleepers is not to be missed.
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