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4.19  ·  Rating details ·  11,347 Ratings  ·  588 Reviews
Die wahre Geschichte einer glücklichen Jugend und einer teuflischen Rache.

Unzertrennlich sind vier Freunde, die im New Yorker Stadtteil Hell's Kitchen aufwachsen. Sie sind die Könige in ihrem Viertel und denken nicht an morgen. Bis sie eines Tages beinahe einen Menschen töten. Sie werden für ein Jahr in das Erziehungsheim Wilkinson Home eingewiesen, wo die Brutalität der A
Paperback, 382 pages
Published 1997 by Goldmann (first published 1995)
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Paul Lloyd Yes. I got a cassette tape version from my local library.

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Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
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.

Long time back, a movie buff friend had highly recommended the movie Sleepers. I never got around to watching the movie but remembered the name. While book hunting in a second hand book shop I came across the book and realized that the movie is based on this book.

The book presents a tale of friendship,
I read this once when I was younger and have not read it since. I remember reading this shortly before the movie came out (which I had only seen about once or twice itself) and the events stayed with me ever since then.

The story was a harrowing one exploring the effects of how life can change in an incident with a minor mistake of childhood play. After a childhood prank that ends in the death of a local vendor, the four friends of the book are sentenced to a brutal juvenile prison where the pris
Jun 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book many years ago when I was in high school and I wanted to re read it to see how I felt about it this many years later. It was still a very hard read. The first part of the book describes the relationships and friendship between the four boys, we get to know their personalities and characteristics and have some insight as to how each of them will cope in this hideous environment. The boys end up in some mischief which has dire consequences, they are sent to a reform school where t ...more
Possibly the most disturbing book that I have ever read. After I finished it (I was fifteen), I walked around my house in shock muttering "oh my god" over and over. Originally I had picked it up out of a bookshelf without knowing what it was about, so the subject matter was more of a surprise than if I had known what to expect. I actually feel somewhat horrible giving this five stars, but it was an utterly engrossing and captivating book. Honestly, I wouldn't recommend this for most people I kno ...more
Nov 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was the summer of '97 and I got grounded for sneaking out of my bedroom window (again) to meet up with friends to drink warm, pilfered beers and smoke mexican ditch rat-weed (probably).
So while I'm grounded I read this book and I can't put it own. Because I read it so quickly, I still have a week to kill with nothing to do. So i read it again. I had friends come over to try and get me to sneak out again but i blow em off and say 'nah, im good actually, got this book im reading'. That's about
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Atidėliojau šios apžvalgos rašymą kuo įmanoma ilgiau. Perskaičiau knygą ir nenorėjau prisiminti, grįžti, vėl išgyevnti, vėl įsijausti. Bet juk tai neįmanoma. Perskaičius kažką tokio, žinant, jog tai tikra istorija - tu negali pamiršti. Tu negali susitaikyti ir tu negali apsimesti jog tokie dalykai nevyksta. Tokios knygos kaip "Pragaro virtuvės vaikėzai" priverčia tave pamiršti savo šiltą lovą, karštus pusryčius. Jos prievarta atgrežia tave į "mažesnių žmonių" kasdienybę ir priverčia suvokti savo ...more
Nandakishore Varma
The book is very well written and graphic in its portrayal of violence and sex, but I had a sneaking suspicion it may be mostly fiction even while I was reading it years ago. A quick search on the net now convinces me that there is a huge controversy regarding the veracity of the story.

If it's a true story, it rates five stars.

If it's fiction paraded as truth, it rates only one star.

Since there is no way of establishing the truth, I plumb for three stars.
Oct 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author, Lorenzo Carcaterra in his book, "Sleepers" tells the story as himself reflecting back to when he was a boy growing up in Hell's Kitchen (a city in New York) in the 1960's, and a place he and his three other friends were forced to go to after pulling a stupid prank that almost kills someone. This place is a juvenille facility that they soon find out will change their lives forever. There they endure unnecessary verbal, physical and sexual abuse from the guards that watch them.
Later as
Jul 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, favorites, 5-stars, 2017
Nuomonė visiškai nepakito perskaičius antrąsyk, praėjus septyneriems metams.
Esma Tezgi
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Suskunlar bir süredir elimde idi nihayet okuyabildim. Kitap 1960'larda Amerika'nın sorunlu bir mahallesinde yaşayan dört arkadaşın dramatik hayat öyküsünü konu alıyor. Sorunlu bir ortamda ve sorunlu ailelerin arasında birbirine sığınan bu dört küçük çocuk, istenmeyen bir olay yüzünden hapse giriyorlar. Başlarından bir çok kötü ve akıl almaz olay geçiyor, yazar bunları okura aktarırken olayları daha dramatik hale getirmeye çalışmıyor. Hatta genel olarak yaşandığını kısa bir kaç cümle ile belirtip ...more
Nov 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ivana Azap Feješ
Jul 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
I have cried so much... I don't know how can people be so evil - we are talking about the boys here!!! I cannot stand that - the idea that everything here is probably true (for this author), that this kind of thing really happens all around the world, is sooo heart breaking, I, I, I.... I cannot... The book is so good written, and of course Mr. Carcaterra implies that the book is based on a true story.... So many good descriptions of emotions, and characters, and places, and the horrific happeni ...more
Qualche anno fa avevo visto il film tratto dal romanzo che a sua volta dovrebbe essere tratto da fatti realmente accaduti all’autore, mi era piaciuto ma me lo ricordavo solo vagamente.

Sparo subito il lato negativo: questa storia nelle mani di uno scrittore con più abilità avrebbe potuto essere da cinque stelle. Non che sia scritta male, ma nemmeno così bene e lo si nota soprattutto nella prima parte dove si salta un po’ da palo in frasca.

Mentre leggevo la prima parte, che racconta dell’infanzia
Essence Michelle
I absolutely fell into the pages of this book. I enjoyed every vivid characters and smiled at the fact that they were at one point real people. The story definitely provides a strong sense of reality that only one who has been abused can relate to. The author was able to convey such images to the reader that could bring one to tears.
The thing I enjoyed the most in this book was the love shared between friends. The main characters knew that no matter what happened in the world or how life changed
I read this book a number of years ago and believed every word. This time around I found myself skeptical. It reminded me of James Frey's A Million Little Pieces. It was too stylized and unlikely; I could believe it may have had its roots in truth but that doesn't make the story a full truth. The court case seemed particularly unlikely. It is a pretty well-written story but I don't see it as THE TRUTH, just a version thereof most likely. It could, in fact, be lies from beginning to end, but ther ...more
Feb 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
This is a true story but it reads as fluidly as fiction.
A gritty account of young boys sent to a detention home and the brutality they endured from the guards. Hard to read at times, but compelling.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars
A MUST read.
*** There is talk that this "based on a true story is just that.....a story! But I'm going on what I read, and that its a telling a real part of a real mans past.

I had been intruded to this movie YEARS ago (I believe 1995-1996) and I knew it had a book on the topic but just never got around to getting it...Fast forward to present time, and I'm walking out a book store and there on a .25cents cart there it is!!!(so I get it!) I knew the premise of the story, as I said I seen the movie before, I
Aug 23, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I pretty much read this book because I had seen the movie a few years ago. I can't really say it was good because of the horrific subject matter, but the author did a great job of telling the story. I could almost see the city, hear the accents spoken. I got emotional at the things happening to the boys, and I cheered when the vengeance came.
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime, memoir
This is going to be the book to beat this year for Best Read. It's a rich, involving memoir of growing up in Hell's Kitchen and learning to negotiate the ins and outs of that world. From there the rug is yanked out from underneath the author and his best friends and they end up in a whole new nightmare. What follows is apparently also a true story, but to me -- a revenge-minded grudge-holder from way, way back -- it reads like the unlikeliest of fairytales. Beautifully written. My only unanswere ...more
Elsa Joseph
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first non-fiction book I've read that has made me ANGRY!!! I can't believe the author and his friends were abused for twelve month and no-one did anything about it!

That being said, I've given this book a Goodreads rating of five stars because I found it to be a compelling read. I was surprised at how fast I finished reading it to be honest. I should warn you that it's not an easy read because of the sensitive subject matter but don't let that put you off.

Sleepers is the true story of
Sep 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
קרקטרה לורנצו – "ישנונים"
מעריב, 352 עמ'

זהו סיפורם של ארבע נערים צעירים, לורנצו, מייקל, טומי וג'ון שהיו חברי נפש בניו יורק של שנות ה- 60.

הם גדלו באחת השכונות המסוכנות והידועות לשימצה של ניו יורק : מטבח השטן. שכונה של מהגרים עניים שמחד סיפקה אווירה של אלימות, פשע וסמים אבל מאידך סיפקה סוג של ביטחון לילדים שגדלו בה. בטחון שנבע ממערכת קשרים, אמנות והסכמים חברתיים שבשתיקה. אבל שום דבר מכל מה שחוו במשך ילדותם, לא הכין אותם לחוויה שעברו במשך שנה במוסד לנערים ווילקנסון.

לפי האתר של קרקטרה, הספר מהווה אוט
I remember going to see the film of this when it first hit the cinemas, so wanted to read this to understand the story some more. It's a tough tale to read. Four friends, growing up in Hells Kitchen, are mainly harmless and spend their childhood roaming free in the neighbourhood. But when one of their pranks goes wrong and a man is seriously injured, they are sent to a Reform School for Boys. Although their sentence is only for a few months, what they find inside is a group of guards determined ...more
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lives-of-others
This book was gripping and vividly depicted without superfluous detail.

The characters become very real, you want to reach out to them. I was immersed in the scenery. Even if you'd never been to Hell's Kitchen in the 60s you can be there in this book.

Written by one survivor of abhorrent abuse within a New York juvenile detention centre in the 1960s, this book depicts his life - and the lives of his three friends - before, during and after incarceration in the Wilkinson Home for Boys.

This is not a
Mar 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a riveting read and it kept me engaged throughout.

I looked at my bookshelves and realized that I had not added this book. It is a story of four boys growing up in Hell's Kitchen. One day, a prank goes wrong and they end up killing a man by accident. They are sent to the Wilkinson Home for Boys as punishment. It is there that their horrific abuse at the hands of some guards takes place. After being released, they deal with their abuse in different ways.

Years later, two of the boys see o
Sep 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Put Stephen Kings Shawshank Redemption in one hand, and his The Body in the other. Now put your hands together and you'll have Lorenzo Carcaterra's Sleepers; an allegedly true story of four boys who are united through life by solid friendship, never leaving each others side. An eye opener to what went on behind the bars of justice in the 1960's New York, and the 'wrong side of the law'. A gruesome story of what freedom really meant.
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh man, how do I even begin to rate or review this book? I'll start with a synopsis, to buy some time ;)

Four boys from a grittier part of NYC in the '60s, the best of friends, have a rough-but-happy childhood. At some point in the story a prank goes wrong (someone almost dies), and the 4 wind up in a juvenile detention center upstate, where they are brutalized regularly by a quartet of guards. Fast forward 10-15 years, the two boys that turned to a life of crime happen to bump into one of the mo
There is speculation whether this is based on true events or not. I'm not going to get into the argument either way but if it is true, then what happened in this book is abhorrent and unforgiveable. If this is fictionalised, then the events are still abhorrent and could perhaps open up discussions about what could possibly be occurring, or occurred, in these types of homes/prisons.

This is a decent read, and despite the violent and graphic content, it is also quite a quick read. The writing isn'
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely gripping based around 4 boys growing up in Hell's Kitchen (an underlying message that not all bad/horrendous experiences will destroy your life or affect your successes- not always). Based on a true story and extremely disturbing story of raw revenge and trauma. What an exciting book to read.
Marilyn F
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maybe not quite a 5 but I needed a good book today and this was it ... did not like the start of it all that much, seemed maybe a little more like a documentary or travelogue, but moved into a good well-told story
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Return of the Rog...: Sleepers by Lorenzo Carcaterra 10 5 May 11, 2018 11:15AM  
Adaptation: Book ...: Lorenzo Caracattera - 'Sleepers' Controversy 6 15 Jan 18, 2016 11:53PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Combine editions 2 77 Feb 05, 2014 09:07AM  
What Was Your Favorite Scene? 1 21 Nov 09, 2013 10:34PM  
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Number-one New York Times bestselling author Lorenzo Carcaterra's highly successful career spans more than 25 years of writing for the diverse fields of fiction, non-fiction, television, and film.

Born and raised in New York's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, Carcaterra landed his first job in the newspaper business as a copy boy for The New York Daily News in 1976. He worked his way up to entertainmen
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“The night and the streets were ours and the future lay sparkling ahead.
And we thought we would know each other forever.”
“Live then, beloved children of my heart, and never forget that, until the day God deigns to reveal the future to man, the sum of all human wisdom will be contained in these two words; Wait and Hope.” 8 likes
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