Tuesday 17 June 2008

Comment: The Wolfman by Nicholas Pekearo

I came across this sad story while browsing on Westeros.

Nicholas Pekearo's debut novel, The Wolfman, was accepted for publication by Tor last year. Just days after reaching the agreement with editor Eric Raab over dinner in Greenwich Village, New York City, Pekearo - an auxiliary police officer - was killed in action.

Displaying some genuine decency that some would argue is often lacking in publishing these days, Tor honoured the deal (even though no contract had been signed) and released The Wolfman on 13 May 2008.

The novel has already drawn some very positive reviews:

"The too-short life of Nicholas Pekearo was both triumph and tragedy. He died a hero's death, sacrificing his own life to save others. And now comes The Wolfman, a brilliant, insightful, overpowering debut from a writer who studied, listened, and learned before he took his shot...and centered the bulls-eye. Published posthumously, this "debut" novel is a triumph."--Andrew Vachss

It's a tragedy that an aspiring writer, who had just fulfilled his dream, lost his life just days later and will never see that dream come to fruition.

I think it would be great to honour Pekearo's memory by purchasing a copy of his one and only novel.

NY Times article

Amazon entry


Mark Newton said...

That really is quite touching for a publisher to do that. Good on 'em.

James said...

My thoughts entirely. It clearly meant a lot to his family to see the book published.

Kendall said...

Thanks for the info and link to the NYT story! I knew the basics of Pekearo's sad, untimely demise, but not some of the details (like that he hadn't signed a contract).

I bought the book a little while back (as soon as I could find it in a bookstore) because it sounded interesting to me.

In fairness, while Tor is great and all that (grin)...but they are a business. They'd already accepted it; somehow, publishing it posthumously doesn't seem like a stretch to me, given that they'd already decided it was worth publishing. (I mean no disrespect to Tor or anyone here.)

James said...

Kendall: good comment. When viewed from the commercial perspective, perhaps it's not so much of a stretch. However, I like to think that the editor knew how much it meant to Pekearo and decided to fulfil his ambition for him, even if he wasn't around to see it.

Perhaps that isn't the real case, but it's nice to think of it that way.

Kendall said...

I do think that's very reasonable and possible; I just meant that the final decision ultimately made sense anyway and was a business one.

But if I'm right, it still doesn't preclude what you're saying--that the editor felt that way, etc.--as well. I didn't mean to make it sound completely soulless, sorry. :-)