From Publishers Weekly
Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen, summer 1967: "a place of innocence ruled by corruption." John "The Count," Tommy "Butter," Michael "Spots" and the author, "Shakes, " went to parochial school, stole anything that wasn't nailed down and ran errands for the local mobster, King Benny. It was all fun and games, but that ended the day a childish prank went wrong, a man almost died and the kids became "sleepers"?inmates of the Wilkinson Home for Boys in upstate New York. The boys were brutalized by sadistic prison guards; beatings, rape and sodomy happened daily. The author and his pals survived Wilkinson, but their lives were permanently scarred by their detention. John and Tommy became mobsters. One evening in 1980, they happened upon their chief tormentor and shot him dead in a Hell's Kitchen pub. At trial they were prosecuted by their old friend, Michael, now a district attorney, who would purposely lose the trial, and in the process exorcise their childhood demons. Although the author uses fictitious names to protect identities, this is a riveting story delicious with revenge as he details how every guard that brutalized them was exposed. In a memoir that reads like a novel, Carcaterra (A Safe Place) mixes horror, laughter and pathos to show that justice, like love, is in the eye of the beholder. Movie rights to Propaganda Films; author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A book with a punch equal to its publicity hype! Journalist Carcaterra tells with gripping force of his days growing up in the tough New York City neighborhood of Hell's Kitchen in the 1960s (the names have been changed to protect the innocent and
the guilty). He and his three closest buddies engaged in petty crime until the day their tricks got out of hand and escalated into a major offense, for which they were sent to a juvenile home in upstate New York. They were tormented during their months there, not by other young inmates but by their adult guards, who brutalized them relentlessly in a program of horror and torture that included rape. Once out, once grown up, one of the boys became a lawyer, and through a bizarre twist of events worthy of being turned into a movie (in fact, the movie rights have been sold, with Barry Levinson lined up as director), he, Carcaterra, and the other two friends expose the horrible wrongs they suffered in that detention home. Both difficult to read and difficult to put down, this book will garner lots of attention, and as a result, readership demand will be high. Brad Hooper