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Street Boys

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  832 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
Naples, Italy, during four fateful days in the fall of 1943. The only people left in the shattered, bombed-out city are the lost, abandoned children whose only goal is to survive another day. None could imagine that they would become fearless fighters and the unlikeliest heroes of World War II. They are the warriors immortalized in Street Boys, Lorenzo Carcaterra's exhilar ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 29th 2003 by Fawcett Books (first published January 1st 2002)
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Aug 12, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The more popular novels I read, the more I realize how few ideas are circulating via vox populi. This amateurish opus has fewer than most. I did not listen to the last CD of this audio book. Why bother? The previous CD's were steaming piles of WWII derivative fantasy "inspired by" a legend involving children's resistance to the German Army in Naples, Italy, in 1943. This novel, which uses many sources, from "Saving Pvt. Ryan" to "Sleepers", is utterly unrealistic. The plucky street urchins are l ...more
Jim B
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action, war-fiction
This World War II action novel purports to tell the story of how a couple hundred boys in Naples under the leadership of an American soldier fought off the Nazi army intent on destroying the city as it retreated from Italy. I think that teenage boys especially might enjoy the story which moves from one battle to another in which the boys are hopelessly outnumbered but using elements of surprise and street smarts (together with the military strategy of an American soldier and an Italian veteran) ...more
May 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes kids-in-control scenarios, or crime/war/strategy.
It was a good story of adults (minority) helping, rather than leading or simply 'saving' children and youth (the majority).
Lots of action and strategy going on.
Definitely a good read.

At the same time, this book makes me think: If you're against child soldiers, would you enjoy this book, and would your opinion or stance be different, before and after reading?

With regards to that fact/fiction pingpong going around about this book: I admit it's 99% fiction and 1% fact - while the story is inspire
Nov 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
There's some history that this story is based on, I'm told, but I'm also told that it's very loosely based on that history. Still, all in all, fantasticly presented!

The orphaned children that have been left behind in Naples to fend for, and ultimately defend, themselves are written to convey their bravery and at the same time their vulnerability. The boys and handful of girls are at once determined to stay alive, and afraid of what their future will bring them.

I couldn't help falling for these k
Oct 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
this is not my nornal type of read but once i started i could not put it down, these kids were so brave and went through hell against a german tank division in Naples after being left behind to fend for themselves. Although it says boys girls were involved also, it shows the enthusiasm of children left behind and the determination of self survival.

Brilliant read .
May 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is a dreadful book-in fact it's not a book it's a kids comic.
Only gave it 1 star as zero wasn't an option.
Devoid of literary style, repetitive on the incidents described,no characterisation,no meaningful dialogue, and cynical in the way it moves us round the city of Naples with little narrative justification just to allow the writer to introduce us to the most superficial of trip- advisor snapshots of the history of this great city's buildings and historic sites .
A computer could have produ
Harry Casey-Woodward
I’m surprised the events of this novel aren’t more well known and have inspired more books and films. It’s a great story. I think the writer could have cut down on the over-emotional dialogue and some war story cliches. I think in the hands of a writer like Louis de Bernieres say this book could have been a masterpiece.
The weaknesses in the writing, however, are made up by the second half of the novel, which is just non-stop, street-fighting children vs Nazis action. It would make a fantastic m
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Carcaterra tells a good story...
May 19, 2017 rated it liked it
PL recommended after we read the Ferrante series in Naples. I have to imagine they've made this book into a movie.
Donn Lorber
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A surprising story of street kids in 1943 fighting the Nazis in Naples.. a fictional version of real events.. well done
Apr 11, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war, thriller
This book starts out with a great premise (a few hundred street kids protecting their city from an invading Nazi regiment), and then wastes every opportunity to fully take advantage of it. The end result is like an uncomfortable marriage between Inglorious Basterds and a Disney cartoon: It's violent and completely out of touch with reality. For example, a kid kills Nazis by intentionally kicking a soccer ball directly onto a land mine, an old woman appears out of nowhere and throws a knife into ...more
Priyanka Das
Aug 06, 2014 rated it really liked it

The story of the arrival of the World War II which brought a brutal halt to the childhood dreams, passion, innocent smiles, daily chores and forces the people of Naples awaken to the darkest nightmare.
The destruction of the Naples was designed by the Nazis in phases, first phase was to evacuate anyone with the strength to walk out of the city and phase two was to have a night time firing and bombing to destroy everything that could be used as haven by the enemies.
Somewhere in the middle of this
Otis Chandler
Feb 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
A very interesting WW2 book that chronicles how a gang of street orphans fought the nazis. I love to hear different perspectives, so this was very enjoyable.
Pamela Mclaren
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was immediate attracted to the description of this book but for a long while I was not eager to start it. Once I did, however, I couldn't stop reading. This is an amazing story that draws you in from the beginning. You are drawn to the main characters and you will root for them to succeed but its not sappy or anything like that. I found myself hugely satisfied after reading it and wanting to know more about this period of history.

The book opens in the fall of 1943. The Germans know, at least t
Ambar Nepomuceno
Feb 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Se dice que los héroes no nacen, se hacen. Y durante cuatro fatídicos días del año de 1943, esos héroes, se hicieron en Italia. Al escribir este relato, Lorenzo Carcaterra se inspiró en su propia vida en las calles, no como huérfano en Nápoles sino como niño en uno de los barrios más peligrosos de Nueva York. Tanto Nápoles, destruida durante la guerra, como la leyenda de los temerarios niños de la calle que enfrentaron a los nazis, constituyen una parte imborrable de la infancia de Carcaterra, e ...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life

"A gang of street urchins and an American soldier fight to liberate the city of Naples from the German army Naples, late September, 1943. The war in Europe is almost won. Italy is leaderless; Mussolini already arrested by anti-fascists. The city has been evacuated, but the German army is moving towards Naples to finish the job. Their chilling instructions are: if the city can't belong to Hitler, it will belong to no one. No one but the children. Orphaned or hidden by parents, abandoned or
Apr 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People who love war stories
Shelves: historical-novel
First off this is a novel but based loosely around the truth about 300 children taking on the Nazi's during WWI for their home Naples. I read it because of the children and I couldn't imagine children being able to do such a thing. Although I gave it 3 stars due to not being able to put it down - it's a heavy heart story as you can imagine. I think I've had my fill of war stories after reading this book. But if you're a man/woman who loves war stories then by all means this book is for you. I re ...more
Dec 08, 2014 rated it liked it
This book interested me as it was where one of my Uncle's was based for a time in WW2, this was the primary reason I persevered with this book as I find the All-American Hero act a bit grating after a time. This being said the main adult character, Steve Connors, was generally well constructed and the relationships between him and the young rebels of Naples was well conceived. This book was a mixed read sometimes enjoyable, sometimes tragic or shocking and other times it just felt drawn out and ...more
Megan Blood
Mar 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
This was 100% a stereotypical 'guys' book. I am not kidding when I tell you the battle scenes in this book played out just like they would in a Rambo film. None of the characters have any depth, and the street kids are virtually indistinguishable from each other.

That being said, it was based on a true story that I knew little about--a group of Italian orphans holding out while the Nazis leveled Naples. The part that will stick with me is the Nazis dropping candy laced with poison all over the c
Anthony Bracciante
Jan 06, 2017 rated it liked it
The important thing to remember in reading this book about a group of Italian street children, with the aid of an American corporal, battling a crack German Panzer division in the ruined streets of Naples in World War II is that it is a work of fiction. It is not realistic, is definitely one sided but it is still a good read that is full of action. The heroes always seem to escape death at the last possible moment and the "Nazis" never learn from their mistakes. This is a comic book version of w ...more
Feb 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
seeing pictures of naples because of where my family came from in italy this book holds a special place especially because it shows that even the smallest of people can hold the fort against one of the worst terrors in all of europe. it makes you want to be on the street standing next to the little boy holding the automatic gun toward the nazi soldiers or running up with a group of kids from the sewers throwing bottle bombs at tanks.
Jun 27, 2010 rated it liked it
I have read quite a few books by this Author and I have to say this book is my least favourite, it was not a bad story line and the characters were interesting and well developed but there was a little too much unnecessary descriptions and some parts were just too boring so I skipped over them. All in All not bad.
Apr 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
If you're looking for a good crime fiction read, do pick up Lorenzo Carcaterra's books. Street Boys is another gripping plot with non-stop action. But a group of street boys outsmarting the horrible and intelligent Germans at every turn is definitely quite stretched. Nevertheless, I am still awed by his storytelling abilities.
Supposedly based on fact, this is not bad but writing is average and characters are a little standard. After awhile the constant repetitions of engagements and 'ingenious' escapes became a little weary. As a result the last quarter seemed to drag.

Sort of like 'Home Alone' set in WWII Naples.
A group of children, with the help of a few adults, make fools out of the mean Nazis.
Oct 05, 2009 rated it liked it
In 1943 a group of children in Italy destroy one of the most powerful tank divisions of the Nazi war machine. The idea of this book is great but I found the events a little unbelievable. The author says that the book is loosely based on real events. I imagine so, although I enjoyed this book I found the events and the outcomes more fantasy than reality.
Feb 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: WWII history buffs or readers who love books about Italy
I enjoyed this book a lot. It's about a group of kids that defended Naples from the Germans at the very end of WWII. Lots of pathos, drama, all that good stuff. I'd recommend reading it before a trip to Naples, which in my opinion is one of the most interesting cities in Italy; Lots of history and urban decay.
Sue Getman
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1943
1943 WWII, Mussolini is already arrested by the anti-Fascists, German army has evacuated Naples but Hitler wants the city destroyed so the allies can't benefit from it. The German tanks and army are repelled by a gang of street boys and one US soldier. Another little known story from WWII based on fact.
Hazel M Bear
Jul 02, 2009 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the general idea of this novel, a soldier gaining allies in children who will do anything to protect their home from the Nazis. However, it did feel a bit more rushed than necessary, though other parts seemed to drag on a bit too long. Considering making this a BookCrossing/Bookmooch/PaperBackSwap book. But there were cute parts, including a dog, so maybe I'll keep it.
Aug 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding fiction based on facts. In Italy during WWII a group of abandoned children not only survive, but become fighters who save their city with only one adult as support. I continue to think about those children long after having read the book and often wonder what kind of life they had.
Nancy Mure
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was a wonderful read. Not only was it a marvelous story told about wartime in Italy. It was written so visually and provided so much unknown history. Each time I visit Italy I recall this book.
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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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“We do many things we shouldn’t in the course of a life. It doesn’t make them right or wrong, just a part of who we are.” 11 likes
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