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We champion the weird, the unwieldy, and the unclassifiable.
Maverick Jetpants in the City of Quality
By Bill Peters
"Writing like this hoists Maverick Jetpants in the City of Quality above the level of most first novels and confirms — along with the ending’s faint echo of that greatest of coming-of-age narratives, "Huckleberry Finn" — that Bill Peters belongs in the ranks of serious literary artists." — The New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice

Rochester, New York, 1999: An arsonist is loose on the streets of a city in decline. Gone are the days of Rioting in the Vomit Cruiser, searching for a possible Tokyo Rocking Horse. In this hilarious, wildly original debut novel, Nathan Gray and best friend Necro live by the code of Joke Royalty, a system of in-jokes known only to a select few. But as the reality of full-time employment, possible spouses, and Neo-Nazis encroaches, their friendship unravels, threatening their dreams of becoming Kodak Park Winjas.

Among the gravest Hellstacheries: Necro’s strangely vicious drawings and his sudden interest in a group of weapons enthusiasts who may or may not be responsible for the fires erupting through downtown. With no Holy Grail Points left to his name, Nate ventures into Rochester’s strangest corners to find out if his best friend is a domestic terrorist Pinning Bow Ties on the Dead or simply Maverick Jetpantsing on with his life—perhaps even beyond The City of Quality.

Bill Peters

Bill Peters grew up in Rochester, New York, and has received fiction fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the University of Massachusetts. He works as a copy editor for the New York Times News Service, the wire service for the New York Times, and lives in Gainesville, Florida. This is his first novel.

Press Highlights
  • "Peters proves himself adept at wordplay through the wildly inventive language of the characters." — The Coffin Factory
  • "It is a novel that speaks to our common experience in coming of age and our common fears of being left behind by those closest to us. ... Maverick Jetpants in the City of Quality announces the arrival of a powerful and innovative young voice in American fiction." — Literate Man
  • "The novel that's going to put Rochester on the map...by turns funny and moving, this debut richly captures life in a decaying American city..." — Publishers Weekly

  • "One of the most inventive novels published this year." — LAReview
  • "Maverick is both funny and poignant, tragic and trite: its somewhat alien language mimics both the bewildering landscape of adulthood and the cultural wasteland of a declining Rochester [...] With all the elements of the best coming-of-age novels, Maverick offers a voice and a story that could connect with someone of just about any age, as long as they have the appreciation for nimble, far out and witty repartee." — ForeWord
  • "Peters has done something just this side of insane with this book; he's created a character that speaks in a voice everyone will recognize, even while half the words he says allude to things none of us were part of." — Bookslut
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