This is the true 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 horrible 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 has become 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.
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. Brilliantly written, 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. It will leave you breathless.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Every so often a manuscript hits the office and causes incredible buzz right from the start. I remember that we didn't circulate many copies of the mansucript, but as each person read it and passed it on to the next person who was clamoring for it, the commitment to SLEEPERS grew.
I will always remember taking my turn with the bound mansucript: I was on a Metro-North train on my way home to Connecticut. I was reading the most harrowing parts of the story, where the young boys were repeatedly raped and beaten and isolated. I was close to tears right there on the train; but what put me over the edge was a conversation I overheard at one point when I had come up for air. Several youngish broker types were chatting about nothing, and one of them said, "You know, the guys in my office are always complaining about how tough life is, how hard it is to make ends meet. I'm just sick of hearing it." By comparison to the experience of the boys in SLEEPERS, this smug bastard had life handed to him on a silver platter and it still wasn't good enough. Life was so good for him that he was simply beyond hearing about someone else's reality. That contrast caused the tears, and I only wish I'd had the courage to say something.
I should also say, and maybe I shouldn't, that while the movie had its good points, reading the book is a far more satisfying experience, tears and all. I don't think that anyone who reads Sleepers can come away unchanged. It isn't for the weak of stomach, but in the same sense that SAVING PRIVATE RYAN is a tough movie to watch, imagine having to live through it. That's why we read, and that's why some of us come to publishing.
Sheila Phelan, Director of Circulation
Lorenzo Carcaterra is the author of A Safe Place: The True Story of a Father, a Son, a Murder. He is married and has two children.
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Book Description 1996-12-05., 1996. Book Condition: New. Arrow Books Ltd. New edition. Paperback. Book: GOOD. 373pp. . Bookseller Inventory # NF-1658105
Book Description 1996-12-05., 1996. Book Condition: New. Arrow Books Ltd. New edition. Paperback. Book: GOOD. 373pp. . Bookseller Inventory # NF-1719431