The Sleep of Reason: The James Bulger Case

Front Cover
Faber & Faber, Jan 2, 2018 - Children - 336 pages
For fans of Serial, Making a Murderer and The Keepers

"Dramatic and disturbing . . . his evidence, used judiciously and presented without comment but with an undertone of urgency, is a damning indictment." - Anita Brookner, Observer

Friday, 12th February, 1993. Two outwardly unremarkable ten-year-old boys began the day by playing truant and ended it running an errand for the local video shop. In between they abducted and killed a two-year-old boy, James Bulger. In search of an explanation, award-winning journalist David James Smith looks behind the misinformation, misunderstanding, and sensational reporting to an exact account of the events of that day. A sensitive and definitive account, The Sleep of Reason achieves a unique understanding of the James Bulger case, and comes as close as may ever be possible to explaining how two ten-year-olds could kill.

Originally published in 1994, this new edition features a new preface which considers the release and rearrest of one of the convicted.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Brenda63 - LibraryThing

The author portrays a gripping story of the events surrounding 2 ten year old boys killing a 18 month old child. Every part of the book screams "How could this happen?" The author points out at the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jamieschecter - LibraryThing

A very, very thorough account of the murder of James Bulger and the context of children's criminal justice in Britain. I enjoyed the book, but at times it felt a bit clinical and detached. Some of the ... Read full review

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About the author (2018)

David James Smith was born in south London and wrote for Esquire before joining the Sunday Times Magazine, for whom he travelled around the world writing cover stories, investigative articles, reportage and profiles, winning several awards for his feature writing. An article for the Magazine led to his second book, All About Jill: The Life and Death of Jill Dando (2002). The acclaimed Supper with the Crippens followed in 2005, then came One Morning in Sarajevo - 28 June 1914 (2008), a reconstruction of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Young Mandela, his influential biography of the early life of Nelson Mandela was published in 2010. More recently, David has served as a Commissioner at the Criminal Cases Review Commission investigating miscarriages of justice.

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