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Sleepers: A True Story When Friendship Runs Deeper Than Blood Paperback – 4 Apr 1996

100 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (4 April 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099628716
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099628712
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 152,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A compulsive true story" (The Times)

"Undeniably powerful, an enormously affecting and intensely human story" (Washington Post)

"A brilliant, troubling, important book" (Jonathan Kellerman)

"Compelling" (USA Today)

"Fabulous, unbelievably good" (Entertainment Weekly)

Book Description

An unforgettable true story of friendship, loyalty and revenge, set against the unmistakable backdrop of New York City. Sleepers was adapted into an award-winning film, featuring Hollywood stars Dustin Hoffman, Brad Pitt, Robert de Niro and Kevin Bacon. A moving and shocking coming-of-age story that is a must read for fans of the cult film, Stand by Me.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 July 2005
Format: Paperback
As I'm dyslexic I'm a slow reader so hopefully this review will be of use to anyone in a similar position.
One of, if not the best book I have ever read!!! From start to finish this story is captivating.
I started the book wanting to know the harsh realities of the institutions of the day, but got so rapped up in Lorenzo Carcaterra's account of a child's life in sixties Hell's Kitchen; I really didn't want the story to move on from there.
The author's ability to bring situations and characters to life adds depth to this powerful story of survival and friendship. If Sleepers was a novel, I would commend the writer for the brilliant story line, but to think it is in fact a true story!
The film is excellent! The book is better!!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Scott Wardrope on 1 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
I was interested in this book after seeing the film, with the allstar cast and I was not disappointed. If anything, the book is better, as the reader learns far more detail about the 4 boys childhood lives.
The story is quite shocking and is not for the feint hearted. The ending, though not what you would describe as a happy ending, is still satisfying vengful.
Although its impossible to understand how the abuse effects the boys, without actually experiencing it yourself, the author does a fine job of portraying the shame, stigma and hate associated with child abuse. Towards the end, when the plan all comes together, I could not put the book down, especially knowing that it was all a true story. Recommended
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Mar. 1999
Format: Paperback
The best way to enjoy this book is to consider it purely a novel, a story, the figment of an over enthusiastic imagination . One that has dreamed up the most horrific and inhumane torture and then relayed it in the most graphic and stomach churning detail. Only when you get to the end of this book should you allow yourself the knowledge that this was a true story. For it is only then you can appreciate the suffering and humiliation not only endured throughout the young lives of the characters but also the pain borne in the retelling of this sad but compelling tale without viewing it in a sympathetic way. The author doesn't want your sympathy from page one, he wants to take you there, to experience the fear. He wants to make you feel the hatred that he feels, not just understand it.
This is story telling beyond the greatest of the Horror writers. This is real. Good horror writers can beckon a quickened heart beat, and a compulsion to read further. Sleepers aims deeper than this, it is a book that reaches for the deepest most heartfelt emotions, hatred, anger, disbelief even. How often can a book make you content that one of it's characters meted out a savage murder, and then realise that it actually happened.
I'm happy to say that the film was every bit as good as the book, it follows the book closely without adding any Hollywood magic. The film carried the same realistic and gritty language, the same characters and the same detail as the book. Both the film and the book command and deserve respect, and they get it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By _lornz@excite.com on 8 Nov. 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is an inspirational story of what true friendship can endure. Although horrific in parts, especially due to the fact it is a true story, this book depicts grafically the suffering felt by the young boys as only one who has been through it themselfs would know. The author manages successfully to portray the horrific events that occured in the juvinille centre, and shows how their lives were ruined by these events. He makes the reader feel unbelieveable satisfaction when they manage to inflict revenge upon their tormentors and also the pain suffered by the boys and the saddness that their lives were ruined and cut short by such horrific incidents. I found that I had to keep reminding myself that this was a true story as the torture etc suffered by the young boys seems to horrible to imagine happening in real life. A must read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jasmine (jvalente79@hotmail.com) on 3 May 2002
Format: Paperback
I had already seen the film some years ago now, but when i came across the book i just couldn't put it down. It starts easy enough, nostalgic tales of a happy and not-so-happy childhood, highlights the importance of good friends and feeling like you belong.
Then in a flash its all changed and those friends are your only reason for living. Some of the hardest stuff i've ever had to read. Even knowing what was going to happen (from the film) didn't make it any less shocking.
Its a story or true anguish and pain, thankfully followed by revenge and justice.
So good that i've now read it 7 times!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Jan. 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the autobiography behind the film »Sleepers« - and as cruel the film is, as cruel is this novel. And more.
The reader gets to know much more about the background of the four New York-blokes, and there are more shocking episodes than in the film.
The blokes are in fact quite normal boys but still they ARE from one of New York's less good quarters. Therefore, their pranks sometims cross the limits, and one day it turns out so unlucky that they are sentenced to go to a prisonlike institution.
The sadistic and directly evil guards on the institution turn the ives of the inmates to Hell through psychic, phisical and even sexual abuse.
Years later, two of the four friends have turned into criminals. One day, they bump into one of the guards, and they shoot him. The true revenge from the four friends however, only really begins as the following trial begins...
This book is not for people with weak nerves. It is very direct, sometimes a little philisophical, but at no moment over-moralizing in the American way.
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