Simon & Schuster has acquired world rights to Outlaw Pete, an adult picture book based on Bruce Springsteen's song of the same name about a bank-robbing baby. Cartoonist and writer Frank Caruso will provide illustrations to accompany Springsteen's lyrics from the song, which appeared on his 2009 album Working on a Dream. S&S will publish the book on November 4.
"When Bruce wrote Outlaw Pete he didn't just write a great song, he created a great character,” said Caruso. “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."
Both the song and the book were, according to S&S, inspired by a children’s book, Brave Cowboy Bill (Simon & Schuster, 1950), which Springsteen’s mother read to him as a child. “Outlaw Pete is essentially the story of a man trying to outlive and outrun his sins,” Springsteen writes.
“This book will be treasured by anyone who appreciates Bruce Springsteen’s unique gifts as a storyteller,” said Jonathan Karp, president and publisher of Simon & Schuster. “Frank Caruso’s illustrations vibrantly capture the spirit of Springsteen’s work.”