Shelf Control #8: Sleepers by Lorenzo Carcaterra (1995)

Shelf Control is a weekly book meme @ Bookshelf Fantasies in which we write about one book that we want to read and already own. Read our hostess Lisa’s choice for this week over here.

Sleeper (colloq.): 1. out-of-town hit man who spends the night after a local contract is completed. 2. A juvenile sentenced to serve any period longer than nine months in a state-managed facility.

This is the story of four young boys. Four lifelong friends.

Intelligent, fun-loving, wise beyond their years, they are inseparable. Their potential is unlimited, but they are content to live within the closed world of New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen. And to play as many pranks as they can on the denizens of the street. They never get caught. And they know they never will.

Until one disastrous summer afternoon.

On that day, what begins as a harmless scheme goes horribly wrong. And the four find themselves facing a year’s imprisonment in the Wilkinson Home for Boys. The oldest of them is fifteen, the youngest twelve. What happens to them over the course of that year — brutal beatings, unimaginable humiliation — will change their lives forever.

Years later, one becomes a lawyer. One a reporter. And two have grown up to be murderers, professional hit men. For all of them, the pain and fear of Wilkinson still rages within. Only one thing can erase it.

Revenge.

To exact it, they will twist the legal system. Commandeer the courtroom for their agenda. Use the wiles they observed on the streets, the violence they learned at Wilkinson.

If they get caught this time, they only have one thing left to lose: their lives.

SLEEPERS is the extraordinary true story of four men who take the law into their own hands. It is a searing portrait of a system gone awry and of the people — some innocent, some not so innocent — who must suffer the consequences. At the heart of SLEEPERS is a sensational murder trial that ultimately gives devastating, yet exhilarating, proof of street justice and truly defines the meaning of loyalty and love between friends. Told with great humor and compassion, even at its most harrowing, SLEEPERS is an unforgettable reading experience. (Goodreads)

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I had seen the movie (think it stars Brad Pitt and Robert DeNiro) so when I saw this book at a book sale I picked it up. I hadn’t particularly liked the movie but books about friends and friendship appeal to me. Will get to it one day but right now there are other books that I am much more keen to read.

Have you read the book or watched the movie?

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If you want to participate, you could do it over here.

4 thoughts on “Shelf Control #8: Sleepers by Lorenzo Carcaterra (1995)

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