Publication date
September 2022
Format info
320 pages



We are kittens raised by dogs.

Dad had no reason to drink, and he had every reason to drink. The world breaks- but also fills our hearts. He had his reasons, but they’re not mine.

I’m not Pete.

A tender and hopeful novel about class, addiction and the search for an absent father.

Thirty-year-old Ville is living his best life with a dream job, love, friends – everything in his life is perfect. But like a tattoo on the soul, his father, Pete’s death troubles him. Ville is told that he looks and moves just like his father. Ville sets out on a quest to find out who Pete really was. Through the accounts of others’ memories of Pete, Ville builds a portrait of his absent father to realize that he is neither Pete nor an addict, with some surprising turns along the way.

Taking a deep dive into themes of humanity, addiction, The Simpsons, white trash, Kurt Cobain’s mind, family relationships and the essence of who we really are, PETE is a tender and deeply philosophical autobiographical novel about addiction, the search for a better life and a father who died in uncertain circumstances told with a disarming openness, directness, and warmth. With his working-class roots and autobiographical and unflinching narrative that draw comparisons to Who Killed My Father, Ville Verkkapuro represents a refreshing, new voice from Finland with this acclaimed debut novel.


Finnish original
English sample translation 30 pp
Author letter
Editor’s note

Prizes, nominations

Nominee – Helsingin Sanomat newspaper’s Best Debut of the Year Award 2022


‘The twists in the narrative are sometimes unexpected, and towards the end, the novel expands into an essay that deals with drugs, addiction and self-knowledge from perspectives that are fresh to the reader. Even as a novel, Pete is open to surprises and new forms, making it one of the year’s most inspiring debuts.’ – Helsingin Sanomat Debut Prize jury

A Helsingin Sanomat ‘Critics Choice of 2022’ selection

‘A very good and even surprising book. It’s not an indictment, but rather a work full of love moving towards understanding and reconciliation. Thought- and feeling-provoking. Recommended!’ – Juha Itkonen, author

‘An impressive read.’ – Helmi Kekkonen, author

‘Verkkapuro has such strength as a narrator that I would like to read more works by him. A unique book which, in addition to being very much for our times, is also an excellent conversation-starter on a subject that is rarely spoken about – the defense of a sustainable, humane substance abuse policy.’ – Mitä luimme kerran blog, Finland