Simon & Schuster announced today a major new book coming November 4, 2014: Outlaw Pete by Bruce Springsteen and Frank Caruso, based on the celebrated song about a bank-robbing baby whose exploits become a meditation on sin, fate, and free will.
Both the song (from Springsteen’s 2009 Working on a Dream album) and the new book Outlaw Pete were inspired by a children’s book, Brave Cowboy Bill (Simon & Schuster, 1950), which Bruce Springsteen’s mother used to read to him as a child. “Outlaw Pete is essentially the story of a man trying to outlive and outrun his sins,” Springsteen writes.
Frank Caruso, a cartoonist and writer, conceived of making the song into a book and created the illustrations to accompany Springsteen’s lyrics. “When Bruce wrote ‘Outlaw Pete’ he didn’t just write a great song, he created a great character,” Caruso said. “The first time I heard the song this book played out in my head. Like Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, Dorothy Gale and for me, even Popeye, Outlaw Pete cuts deep into the folklore of our country and weaves its way into the fabric of great American literary characters. “