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Get Carter (Allison & Busby Classics) [Paperback]

Ted Lewis
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

14 Jan 2013 Allison & Busby Classics
THE NOVEL BEHIND THE CULT FILM STARRING MICHAEL CAINE Doncaster, and Jack Carter is home for a funeral - his brother Frank's. Frank's car was found at the bottom of a cliff, with Frank inside. He was not only dead drunk but dead as well. What could have made sensible Frank down a bottle of whisky and get behind the wheel? For Jack, his death doesn't add up. So he decides to talk to a few people, do some sniffing around. He does, but is soon told to stop. By Gerald and Les, his bosses from the smoke. Not to mention the men who run things in Doncaster, who aren't happy with Jack's little holiday at home. They want him back in London, and fast. Now Frank was a mild man and did as he was told, but Jack's not a bit like that ...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: ALLISON & BUSBY (14 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074901363X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749013639
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'When it comes to dealing you your actual hard men, no one has done it better than the late, great Ted Lewis' Arena 'It's only lately people have started calling him the greatest British hard-boiled writer. Him and Jack, the original hard men' GQ

About the Author

Ted Lewis was born in Manchester in 1940, and died prematurely in 1982 having published seven novels and written several episodes for the television series Z Cars. His first novel All the Way Home and All the Night Through was published in 1965, followed by Jack's Return Home in 1970. This was subsequently retitled Get Carter after the success of the film of the same name starring Michael Caine. The book created the noir school of British crime writing and pushed Lewis into the bestseller list.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jack's Return Home 12 May 2013
First published in 1970 as 'Jack's Return Home', this was re-titled and named after the cult movie made of this, 'Get Carter'. I don't know how many times I have read this story over the years, but it was good to come upon a new edition.

Jack Carter has travelled down from London to his home town to attend the funeral of his brother, Frank. But the way that Frank dies seems suspicious to Jack. Frank never drank whisky, and he wouldn't drive whilst drunk, so how did he die in a drink driving incident, full of whisky? Jack wants answers and being part of the underworld he expects to get what he wants. But it doesn't seem to be that easy, especially as his gangland bosses want him back home in London. Thus Jack has to do some investigating on his own, and he knows violence works.

Causing chaos in only four days, Jack gets to the truth of his brother's death and finds out things he wished he didn't have to.

Still one of the greatest Noir novels to come out of this country this is still highly readable, plus in many ways still quite relevant to today. Always worth reading, this should be in your crime novel collection.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest British gangster novels written 31 July 2013
Originally published in 1970 as 'Jack's Return Home', it's pretty much impossible to read Ted Lewis's cracker of a gangster novel without running the film adapation in your head at the same time, for comparison. Filmed as 'Get Carter', both the book and the film are striking and brutal examples of British noir storytelling at its best.

Anyone familiar with the film will find that the book was adapted pretty faithfully, although there are, inevitably, some differences, such as location, and the outcome for some of the characters is also changed in the film. As a book, Lewis's story must have packed quite a punch when it was first published. It tackles unpleasant themes, uses forceful language, and violence is pretty much the order of the day as Jack Carter dishes out his own brand of justice when trying to unravel the mystery behind his brother's sudden death.

The book also works as a piece of social history. Lewis captures brilliantly the changing nature of the British urban landscape during the end of the sixties/start of the seventies, providing a vibrant and convincing canvas against which to tell his bleak tale.

Good to see the book back in print.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By nigeyb
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having seen the original 1971 classic film version of "Get Carter" umpteen times over the years it was impossible for the film portrayals not to completely inform the story's characters in my mind's eye. This familiarity also meant the story held few surprises (though there are some interesting points of divergence). I would rather have approached this book without these preconceptions.

Like you need me to tell you, this is a classic 'avenging angel' tale, and Jack Carter, the avenging angel, will not rest until there is full restitution for some serious sins.

Putting the film to one side, the book stands on its own merits. What Ted Lewis achieves brilliantly, in common with all great genre fiction, is to say something else about the world. In this instance he evokes the late 1960s, and the Britain I remember vividly as I grew up in the 1970s. A violent, bored, depressed place trying to come to terms with the slow death of traditional industries and pre-War certainties.

Ted Lewis also skewers that ambiguous strata of society where criminality and respectability combine. This a world where very nasty things happen - brutality, exploitation and casual violence are the norm. "Get Carter" nails the grim humour, the squalor, the boozers, the snooker halls, the fights whilst telling his compelling tale of revenge and family loyalty. The reason the film is such an enduring classic is because Ted Lewis wrote "Jack's Return Home" (retitled "Get Carter" after the film was released), a perfect crime novel, and essential reading.

Anyone who enjoys this book, and is looking for something with similar qualities, should read Derek Raymond's Factory novels.

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