Peter Dexter Books


Franklin Library Peter Dexter books

Brotherly Love - signed first edition - 1991
The Paperboy - signed first edition - 1994

 

Writer Peter Dexter

Peter Dexter, born on July 23, 1943, in Pontiac, Michigan, was an American novelist and journalist known for his gritty, often noir-style fiction that explored the complexities of human nature and the darker aspects of American society. Dexter's writing career spanned several decades, during which he garnered critical acclaim and established himself as a distinctive voice in contemporary literature. Dexter's early life was marked by a series of diverse experiences, including work as a cab driver, factory laborer, and professional boxer. These encounters with the raw realities of life would later influence his writing, infusing his work with a sense of authenticity and a keen understanding of the human condition.

His debut novel, God's Pocket (1984), brought him widespread recognition. Set in a working-class neighborhood in Philadelphia, the novel explores themes of crime, morality, and the struggle for survival. Dexter's unflinching portrayal of the characters and their harsh realities earned him the National Book Award for Fiction. Following the success of God's Pocket, Dexter continued to produce a series of novels that delved into the darker corners of American life. Paris Trout (1988), for which he won the National Book Award for Fiction for the second time, examined racism and violence in the Deep South. Dexter's works often featured flawed and morally ambiguous characters navigating the complexities of their environments. In addition to his novels, Peter Dexter was an accomplished journalist and screenwriter. He contributed to publications like Esquire and Playboy, showcasing his versatility as a writer. Dexter's journalistic background lent an investigative quality to his novels, grounding them in a gritty realism. His novel The Paperboy (1995) further solidified his reputation as a master of Southern Gothic literature. The novel explores the consequences of a young journalist's investigation into a murder in Florida and delves into themes of family, corruption, and the impact of violence on a community.

Peter Dexter's impact extended beyond literature; his novels were adapted into films, and he collaborated on screenplays for movies such as Mulholland Falls (1996) and Michael (1996). Dexter's storytelling, marked by its sharp prose and keen insights into human behavior, continued to resonate with readers and critics alike. Peter Dexter passed away on April 1, 2016, leaving behind a body of work that captures the complexities of American life with a dark and compelling edge. His novels, characterized by their vivid characters and unflinching exploration of societal issues, remain influential in contemporary American literature.

 

Brotherly Love

In the City of Brotherly Love, a car skids off the ice and ignites a chain of events that changes everything for eight-year-old Peter Flood. Peter’s father is a powerful man, a union boss with mob connections, but all the power in the world is useless to a grieving son. Raised by his uncle, Peter tries to distance himself from the casual brutality of the family business, gravitating instead toward a small South Philly gym. Peter’s cousin Michael his “brother” moves in another direction: into small-time intimidation and the trappings of a union prince. Neither, however, can outrun the logic of violence as they’re dragged into a world of bad blood and a chilling cycle of betrayal and retribution.


The Paperboy

The sun was rising over Moat County, Florida, when Sheriff Thurmond Call was found on the highway, gutted like an alligator. A local redneck was tried, sentenced, and set to fry.

Then Ward James, hotshot investigative reporter for the Miami Times, returns to his rural hometown with a death row femme fatale who promises him the story of the decade.  She's armed with explosive evidence, aiming to free and meet her convicted "fianc√©."

With Ward's disillusioned younger brother Jack as their driver, they barrel down Florida's back roads and seamy places in search of The Story, racing flat out into a shocking head-on collision between character and fate as truth takes a back seat to headline news...

 


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