Outlaw Pete, by Bruce Springsteen and Frank Caruso, is the book based on the celebrated song about a bank-robbing baby whose exploits become a meditation on sin, fate, and free will. Read the full afterword from Bruce below.
“The story of Outlaw Pete flows from many sources. The wild,
colorful characters of my second record, The Wild, the Innocent
& the E Street Shuffle, every Western (spaghetti or otherwise) I’ve
seen since I was a kid, and probably all the way back to the bedtime story
Brave Cowboy Bill my mom used to recite from memory to me a s a child.
Outlaw Pete is essentially the story of a man trying to outlive and outlast
his sins. He’s challenging fate by trying to outrun his poisons, his toxicity.
Of course, you can’t do that. Where we go, they go. You can only learn to
live with it. How well or poorly we do that gauges how much grace we can
bring into our lives along with our level of fortitude in body and soul.
It’s not easy and I’m not sure this is a children’s book, though I believe
children instinctively understand passion and tragedy. And, a six-month-old,
bank-robbing baby is a pretty good protagonist.
I want to thank Frank Caruso for bringing this book to me and for his
wonderful art. Working with him was a pleasure. I also want to thank you,
the reader … and wish you well as you ride.”