Peter Leroy recalls his childhood affection for the Larry Peters series of adventure books. As a boy, he entered the world of the books so completely that he went from wanting to be Larry Peters to believing, sometimes, that he was. As Larry, he relished the company of his wisecracking sister Lucy and his square-jawed and capable pal, Rocky King. Later, when he had become a grownup, circumstances led to his taking his place as the last in a line of pseudonymous authors of the series, so that, in a way, he really did become Larry Peters.
In one especially funny [novella], Call Me Larry, Kraft mocks the very notion of serial books by relating the convoluted plotline of the Larry Peters books, an adventure series for teenagers featuring Larry, his shapely sister, his best friend, and his family's bric-a-brac business. All the plot lines center on sex and evildoers trying to get hold of next year’s plans for bric-a-brac. —Judith Rosen, Boston Sunday Herald
Reviewing the original edition of the novellas in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on March 5, 1985, John Stark Bellamy II wrote:
Eric Kraft has not only created a wonderfully touching and mythic childhood of the 1950s; he has also managed the difficult feat of fabricating brilliant parodies of many of the most sacrosanct monuments of American and world fiction. And so deftly has he done it, that one doesn't even have to pause during the chronicle of Peter's droll misadventures and dime store epiphanies to revel in the uproarious sendups of Twain, Proust, Melville, Shakespeare, and other writers that litter the pages of Peter Leroy like so many casual crash-and-burns on the roadway of world literature.
Cover illustration: Joshua Reynolds, “The Reading Boy” (1777?)