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A tough tale for older teens…

An American Library Association/YALSA Best Book for Young Adults
A Publishers Weekly Flying Start
A New York Public Library Best Stuff for the Teen Age selection
Named to the TAYSHAS (Texas) High School Reading List
A Junior Library Guild selection

Gentlemen_Front Cover

“[A] lean, muscular story.”

“Northrop’s first novel is creepy, yet it has what can pass for a happy — or at least satisfying — ending.”

* BOOKLIST, starred review
“This is a rare sort of book that may work just as well for reluctant readers as it will avid ones . . . A riveting thriller? Yep. A nuanced examination of morality? Yep again. What’s amazing is that they never get in each other’s way.”

* PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review
“Northrop’s debut is one dark ride . . . The brutal narration, friendships put through the wringer and the sense of dread that permeates the novel will keep readers hooked through the violent climax and its aftermath.”

* JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD selection for May 2009
Gentlemen is a suspenseful and thoughtful mystery that explores the darkest reaches of three students’ imaginations.”—JLG Monthly

* Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) pick, February 2009
“Michael Northrop’s debut novel is suspenseful, darkly humorous, and strikingly real.”—ALAN Online

* GUYS LIT WIRE, August 21, 2009
“Dark, thought-provoking and genuinely creepy, this story will grab you in a second, and leave you thinking when your reading marathon is done.”

* THE BOOKSHELVES OF DOOM, October 20, 2009
“A Hulk-sized double thumbs-up.”

* THE COMPULSIVE READER, January 4, 2010
Gentlemen is a unique and chilling novel that examines not only morals and crimes, but the darkness that may exist in any one person, making for a unique and thoughtful book that reluctant readers will be able to enjoy.”

Gentlemen is my first novel. You can find it at your local bookstore, on Amazon, at Barnes&Noble, and random places like flipkart in India, where it costs 919 rupees and is paired with Slumdog Millionaire. I hope you will pick up a copy, and if you do, I very much hope you enjoy it.

Micheal, Tommy, Mixer, and Bones aren’t just from the wrong side of the tracks—they’re from the wrong side of everything. Except for Mr. Haberman, their remedial English teacher, no one at their high school takes them seriously. Haberman calls them “gentlemen,” but everyone else ignores them—or, in Bones’s case, is dead afraid of them. When one of their close-knit group goes missing, the clues all seem to point in one direction: to Mr. Haberman.

Gritty, fast-paced, and brutally real, this debut takes an unflinching look at what binds friends together—and what can tear them apart.


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  1. Chandler Guill / Apr 14 2011

    this book is really good! i read it for an english project and i really enjoyed reading it! thanks for being another great author out in this world to help another student get a good grade in class! 🙂

  2. Michael / Apr 15 2011

    Thanks, man! I’m really glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Justin Cice / Apr 23 2011

    what was the theme of this book? It was great though

  4. Caira / Apr 25 2011

    yeah i did it for an english project as well. i loved doing it! thanks for the awesome read. 🙂

  5. Michael / Apr 26 2011

    Thanks! It’s very cool to think of my first novel being used in English class, and even cooler that you enjoyed it!

  6. kelly / May 10 2011

    this book was amazing. the has to be a sequel 🙂 there has to be a sequel to trapped too! i loved them both 😀

  7. Michael / May 10 2011

    Thanks x 2! I may quote you on that to my publisher—or heck, to anyone who asks 🙂

  8. Nathan / May 16 2011

    I honest feel that the book was bit of a disappointment really.

  9. Michael / May 16 2011

    But only a “bit of” one, right? Still pretty good! Haha!

  10. Macee / May 21 2011

    Our sophomore class chose this book to read a week ago, i couldnt put it down! My final exam is on a scrapbook of the book, and there is going to be alot of detail!!! Loved the book!!

  11. Michael / May 21 2011

    Thanks, Macee! That is awesome. That is the first scrapbook of Gentlemen I’ve heard of—so cool! I’m really glad you enjoyed it.

  12. Aisha / May 25 2011

    Haven’t finished it yet but i am so impressed with how riveting and terrifying GENTLEMEN is I literally had to create a safe haven in which I remind myself that I am not in the story and that I am safe. I’m amazed and left constantly in awe of your talent to compel the audience to keep reading. I love this boook and am so affriad I cannot sleep. You are truely the embodiment of a profound writer.

  13. Michael / May 26 2011

    Wow, thanks so much, Aisha. I really appreciate that—and I definitely hope you like the rest of the book just as much. (Sorry about the lost sleep, though!)

  14. austin / Jun 25 2011

    haha this book is great one of my fav books thanks 4 this book man ur good at this stuff 🙂

  15. Michael / Jun 26 2011

    Thanks, Austin!

  16. Francisco / Jun 27 2011

    This is book is one the only books I’ve actually finished. It was such a great story, very modern and to date. It’s suspense and connection to the teenage kid today is what keeps us age group in it. I also used this book for an English project and it was a success and even got one of my friends to read it and trust me we don’t read much. Thanks MR. Northrop

  17. Michael / Jun 29 2011

    Thanks, Francisco! That’s awesome in about eight different ways. I’m really glad you enjoyed the book, and I definitely appreciate you sharing it with your friend. I hope you’re having a great summer!

  18. Nic / Jul 4 2011

    Thanks for writing this book. I’m doing a project in summer school on it and I really liked reading it. You really captured the thoughts of teenagers at that point especially the ones who are like micheal and bones and them. I actually have a friend we call bones and he thought it was funny his name was in your book.

    Excellent book 🙂

  19. Michael / Jul 5 2011

    Thanks, Nic! I’m really glad you enjoyed the book. That’s very cool about your friend. He’s the first real Bones I’ve been told about!

  20. Matt / Jul 5 2011

    Im 11 and read Trapped and I am almost done reading Gentlemen and you are the best author i have ever heard of!

  21. Michael / Jul 5 2011

    Wow, thanks! I may quote you on that 🙂 Another cool thing: You have the same name as my brother.

  22. Brandon / Aug 26 2011

    A very impressive book Mr Northrop. I have to say, it has a very nice “eerie” kind of feel to it. Realistic as well. As a high school student, the characters are pretty much accurate to the types of hoodlums you’d see in a regular high school.

    I’m currently doing a “fan trailer” for a school project on the book. Hope it goes well..

  23. Michael / Aug 26 2011

    Thanks, man. I really appreciate that. “Accurate hoodlums” would make a great blurb… I’m definitely looking forward to checking out the trailer, too. Please let me know when it’s ready!

  24. Upper Darby High School / Sep 22 2011

    Have your seriously considered adding some social bookmark buttons aimed at your web site? Not less than add one for Digg and we can digg you up!

  25. Michael / Sep 22 2011

    Thanks for the suggestion. I just added a social media bar to my posts and pages. It was long overdue, so I appreciate the kick in the butt. Go, Royals!

  26. Samantha / Oct 20 2011

    I never got to finish it and i have a book report tomorrow. Is Tommy killed? do they find him?

  27. Sasha / Oct 20 2011

    This book was just amazing! I couldn’t put it down. I love your writing style, their dialogue and thoughts are very believable the way you wrote it. Like using the word “like”, because that’s how teenagers talk- the story and everything it was perfect. It’s hard to believe it’s your first novel, keep up the great work! Now I’m off to get Trapped. 😀

  28. Michael / Oct 21 2011

    Samantha: Sorry, I just saw this. Hope you managed to finish your report.
    Sasha: Wow, thanks! I really appreciate that. Yep, my first novel: I’ll always have a special place in my heart (probably in the back row, near the windows) for Micheal, Mixer, and the boys.

  29. James / Dec 1 2011

    I LOVED this book. It was very suspensful and a very good read. It was also very scary. I had to remind myself that it wasn’t real a few times!

  30. Michael / Dec 2 2011

    Thanks, man! I’m glad you liked it—and I even scared myself a few times writing it!

  31. kendall / May 3 2012

    Is there a sequel to trapped???????

  32. Michael / May 4 2012

    Hi, Kendall. Thanks for writing, but you are on the wrong page! You got to the right site but then probably took a left turn at Albuquerque or something. Anyway, there’s plenty of discussion of that over on the Trapped page, but I can’t say any more here (Gentlemen gets a little jealous).

  33. Bill / May 11 2012

    Is it bad if this book reminded me of Catcher in the Rye? Like, too much?

  34. Michael / May 11 2012

    I’m not Holden it against you! Seriously, though, that’s cool. Pretty much every book with a troubled/sullen/moody teen boy narrator gets compared to Catcher in the Rye, but mine is usually compared to books with more of a group dynamic, like The Outsiders. As far as I’m concerned, all of those comparisons are extremely flattering.

  35. Sue / Jul 12 2012

    I’m reading the book, Trapped’ Now. Got it from library today. Am just wondering. What state or what part of New England does this story take place in? I”m Guessing Maine,or New Hampshire only because it mentions a nor’easter coming thru the state.

  36. Michael / Jul 13 2012

    Hi Sue! I hope you enjoy the book. It actually takes place in Southern New England, along the CT/MA border. Nor’easters travel up the coast, and this one hit there first.

  37. Sue / Jul 13 2012

    Hi, Michael, Thanks for the quick reply! I kinda figured it was somewhere around Massachusetts and Connecticut. but i also guessed Maine. but it was too far North. I looked up the town of Canton, found one in Ohio(i knew that wasn’t it. so figured on Connecticut. It’s a good story. I’ve been snowed in when we ‘ve had severe snowstorms here in Miami,OK. One year. think it was 2011 winter. we had ‘snowmageddon.! two whole weeks! long time to be stuck inside. thanks Sue

  38. Michael / Jul 14 2012

    Hi, Sue. Yeah, 2011 was a very snowy winter in a lot of places, not just in the U.S. but over in Europe too. Fortunately for me, that’s the year Trapped came out (Feb. 2011)! A lot of people sent me links to news stories about all the snowstorms happening at the time. There was one that stranded a group in a British pub!

  39. David / Aug 12 2012

    Michael, I got very intrigued by Gentlemen, and was more than pleased with it. Well done! One question: did you name the protagonist after yourself, at least to a degree?
    Thanks for the novel!

  40. Michael / Aug 14 2012

    Thanks, David! I’m really glad you enjoyed it. My answer: kind of. With every debut novel, people are going to wonder if the main character is autobiographical to some extent (especially when the main character is the same gender and from the same kind of town as the author). I wanted to turn the dial up on that expectation by giving the narrator the same name as me. There are definitely some autobiographical elements in the book, so I thought it would be interesting to play with that line a little.

  41. Jux / Dec 5 2012

    I’ve been wondering that the deeper meaning of this book is. Oh, so great author, do you mind telling me what that is? I’d also like to say that your book was wonderful and could not have guessed the ending.

  42. Michael / Dec 10 2012

    Hey, Jux. Thanks for writing. I’m really glad you enjoyed the book! I’d like to think it has a deeper meaning, and I could tell you what I intended it to be when I wrote it, but that was a long time ago, and I really think it’s up to each reader now. Just a quick example, if I type: “a big dog,” everyone who reads it pictures something a little different. Maybe it’s a different breed or color, a real dog they’ve seen or an imaginary dog they’ve conjured . . . And that’s just three words. Imagine what happens after almost 60,000! I really believe that language is an interpretive object. As an author, I can shape that object and tell a story, but the final interpretation is up to the reader.

    That idea—that different people can see/interpret the same words very differently—is actually a big part of Gentlemen. (At least that’s the way I see it!)

  43. Jake / Jan 13 2013

    They should make a movie. It would make a great movie I would go see it.

  44. Michael / Jan 14 2013

    Thanks, Jake! Man, that would be awesome. I’d definitely go see that movie, too. In fact, free popcorn for everyone on this page!

  45. Charlie / Mar 21 2013

    Ooooo free popcorn I’d take any day I’m flying down to NY today

  46. Michael / Mar 21 2013

    NYC should hand out free popcorn at the airport. Hope you have a good trip, man!

  47. Alec / Nov 4 2013

    I recently had to do a book report for my speech class and noticed how interesting the cover of the book was. When i opened the book and started reading however, I was instantly addicted.I felt related to the character since I’m not the coolest kid in school myself. thanks for giving me a great journey, Michael!!

  48. Michael / Nov 5 2013

    Thanks, Alec! I’m really glad you enjoyed the journey!

  49. Simon / Jan 14 2014

    Great book!
    I love it.
    Greetings from Germany !

  50. Michael / Jan 14 2014

    Vielen Dank! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I hope you’re having a great week!

  51. Leslie / Nov 15 2014

    I just finished trapped in one day!! I loved it!! I can’t wait to read more of your books

  52. Michael / Nov 16 2014

    Thanks, Leslie! That’s awesome. I’m glad you enjoyed my first book so much—and I hope you like the others!

  53. Ants in my pants / Jan 31 2015

    Is this like trapped

  54. Michael / Jan 31 2015

    Nope, this book is a little darker than Trapped, and is meant for readers who are a bit older.

  55. Bella / Jun 19 2015

    Just finished reading Trapped and I cant wait to start reading this, once I buy it of course. 😛 I honestly might just buy the rest of your books while I’m at it. You’re such a great author! 😀

  56. Michael / Jun 21 2015

    Thanks again, Bella! This is a very different book in a lot of ways (my first novel and pretty gritty), but I hope you enjoy this one too. And thanks for the kind words, too—a great author? Wow! ☺️

  57. James / Sep 4 2015

    Can you please tell me how then book gentlemen relates to you in anyway

  58. Michael / Sep 4 2015

    Hi James, I can’t believe you’re making me do homework on a holiday weekend! 🙂 Normally I avoid this sort of thing, but I guess I can offer a quick answer. Gentlemen was my first novel and there are some elements that are similar to my real life. Like the characters, I grew up in a small town in New England, and a lot of the places in the book (the towns, the school, the lake, and so on) are similar to ones I knew well. It is all fiction, of course, but it includes some bits and pieces of real life. And of course, Crime and Punishment is a real (and really good) book.

  59. Brenton THomas / Oct 13 2015

    I’m in 6th grade thought it was a little inappropriate but hey who cares sometimes a really great read.

  60. Michael / Oct 13 2015

    Hi Brent. I’m glad you liked it. Yeah, Gentlemen was my first book. It isn’t middle grade, like my newer ones are. It is “older YA” (young adult) for kids who are 14-15 or older. I guess you are ahead of the game!

  61. Austin / Nov 3 2015

    Loved the book Mike! I’m using it as a multi-genre paper and I really hope I get a good grade on this. Keep it up man with the good work because I really love your writing and word choice!!

  62. Michael / Nov 6 2015

    Thanks, Austin! I am really glad you enjoyed the book so much. Best of luck with the paper. I am sure it will be awesome—after all, you have such great taste in books! 🙂

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