Go ahead and add author to Bruce Springsteen's long list of artistic accomplishments.
The 64-year-old is set to release this fall "Outlaw Pete," a 56-page illustrated book based on a song from Springsteen's 2009 album "Working on a Dream." The story tells the tale of a bank-robbing baby who eventually grows up to confront "the roughest edges of adulthood." Publishers Simon & Schuster added in a press release that the main character's exploits further "become a meditation on sin, fate, and free will."
While several media outlets are describing the work as a "children's book," Springsteen wrote it to appeal to people of all ages. His inspiration for the main character came from a children's book "Brave Cowboy" that his mother used to read to him as a kid. "Outlaw Pete is essentially the story of a man trying to outlive and outrun his sins," Springsteen writes.
Jonathan Karp, president of Simon and Schuster, added to the NY Times: "Outlaw Pete is a quintessentially Springsteen character, brought to life here, and like the song, it’s a meditation on fate. Pete is robbing banks at a very young age, and he does a lot of things he regrets, but as the lyric says, you can’t undo the things you’ve done."
Writer and cartoonist Frank Caruso conceived of turning the song into a book and also provided the illustrations.
"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."
"Outlaw Pete" is set to be released on November 4th. You can listen to Springsteen perform the song below.
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