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Jack's Return Home
Ted Lewis
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Jack's Return Home

(Jack Carter #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  841 ratings  ·  119 reviews
Famously adapted into the iconic film starring Michael Caine, Get Carter—originally published as Jack’s Return Home—ranks among the most canonical of crime novels.

With a special Foreword by Mike Hodges, director of Get Carter

It’s a rainy night in the mill town of Scunthorpe when a London fixer named Jack Carter steps off a northbound train. He’s left the neon lights and mo
223 pages
Published (first published January 1st 1970)
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3.93  · 
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 ·  841 ratings  ·  119 reviews

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Dan Schwent
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, 2016-books
When his brother dies in a drunk driving accident, Jack Carter comes back to his home town for the funeral. Since his brother never drank, Jack is suspicious and digs into his brother's final days to figure out what happened.

Get Carter is a dark murder mystery. Set in 1960s England, it features a bad man in a world of other bad men, looking for his brother's murderers. It was adapted into a classic movie in 1971 starring Michael Caine and a lackluster movie starring Sylvester Stallone in 2000.

Oct 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
2.5 stars
Classic British noir; properly titled Jack's Return Home. I understand why the film version is Get Carter; much snappier. It was written in 1970 and is actually set in Scunthorpe; my hometown, which is why I read it (the blurb is wrong, it's not Doncaster, Jack just changed trains there).
The plot is fairly similar to the film, with a few variations. It is very much a book of its time and some of the dialogue is a little obscure ("she was a bit Harrison Marks"; I had to look that one up
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hard-man Jack Carter returns home to Doncaster following the unexpected death of his brother Frank. Straight away the scene doesn't seem on the level; firstly, the cause of death (Frank, drunk, allegedly drove his car of a cliff) doesn't fit given Frank hardly touched the hard stuff, secondly, Jack's bosses, the criminally inclined Les and Gerald don't want Jack putting noses out of joint down in Doncaster for fear of him endangering their criminal enterprise.

What follows is a rampage of violen
James Thane
This book was originally published in 1970 as Jack's Return Home. Then in 1971, it was filmed as Get Carter starring Michael Cain, and the book was subsequently re-released with the new title. This is a very dark, hard-boiled novel and it is credited with helping start the noir school of British crime fiction.

The main protagonist, Jack Carter, works for a pair of dodgy blokes named Gerald and Les who skate along the edges of the law. Jack is skating right out there with them on ice that's even t
Jul 23, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
It has more to do with the introduction to the book, written by Mike Hodges who directed the Michael Caine film classic of this, but I couldn’t stop hearing, “In a costal town, they forgot to shut down….Come Armageddon, Come Armageddon Come” in my head over and over again while reading this.

The novel opens with a lone man travelling into a city. He’s returning to the town (ok I said city, but I have my reasons) he grew up in. Why? Don’t know, but this will unfold fairly soon. Instead it opens w
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night
Tell him. Tell him, I'm f*cking coming!

Originally titled Jack's Return Home this 1970 novel from Ted Lewis is the story of Jack Carter and his return to Doncaster from London after the death of his estranged older brother. Jack is certain that it was murder and will have his vengeance in this life or the next.

Taking place between Thursday Night and Sunday morning there's no time to blink let alone breath as Carter tackles his problems at an unrelenting pace. Having as much in common with kitchen
Israel Montoya Baquero
"Carter" es, por decirlo finamente, como si alguien te golpease los cojones con un bate de baseball...varias veces. Un libro duro, lleno de tipos duros, donde ocurren, duras. Y no esperéis que los desgraciados que pueblan estas páginas sean el prototipo hollywoodiano de "gánster simpático y con principios morales y blablablabla", aquí solo hay gente jodida, que hace cosas jodidas y que terminan jodiendo la vida de los que les rodean.

Y, si, imaginarse a Michael Caine como Jack Car
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime
Psycho runs amok in a northern English town (not Doncaster) to revenge his brother’s death. Satisfyingly grim but I missed some leavening wit or intelligence. Good read but no Red Harvest.
May 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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, wi
Mar 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Considering the movie adaptation of this novel is one of my favorite crime films, it's hard to give the book that inspired the movie anything less than 5 stars.

That said, the book (originally published as "Jack's Return Home") is a hell of a fun read. Violent and morally complex, the action plays as character study to a man who is on the edge of losing his humanity.

Great characters, dialogue, and a strong sense of place. This book deserves to be rediscovered as a hard-boiled classic.
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, reviews
Imagine The Revenger's Tragedy set in Scunthorpe in the 1960s – a corrupt society, a cast of villains, and here’s Jack Carter, the biggest villain of the lot, back home from London and out to avenge his innocent murdered brother. Very Jacobean and very atmospheric. When he arrives, Jack’s home town is encircled by the flames of furnaces – and his descent into hell begins. There are wonderful descriptions of people and places. Here’s our introduction to one of the local Mr Bigs:

Cyril Kinnear was
Feb 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Set in Doncaster in the Seventies, this book is in the great tradition of the It's Grim Up North school, where gritty kitchen sink dramas ground people's noses into the squalour. Jack Carter, eponymous anti-hero of this novel, likes to literally grind people's noses into the sink, or anywhere else handy, in an effort to find out who killed his brother. Refreshingly utterly non-PC, Jack flits around the town back-handing women (because they like it, secretly), being handy with a shooter, remarkin ...more
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un muy buen libro!
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, a brilliant book to which one can truly apply Hobbes's description of life in the state of nature: "nasty, brutish, and short". (A Hobbesian book, too, in its depiction of the war of all against all.) Misogyny, both 0f the characters and, I'm afraid, in its totally uncritical portrayal of that, of the book itself, is like a punch in the gut and makes the book hard to read. (Also a very nasty description of the one gay character.) But the book is, undeniably, brilliant - taut, compelling, fl ...more
Ugotthemoney Igotthesoul
“La Velvet Underground no sólo fue el primer grupo punk de la historia sino también el más punk que ha existido. Lo mismo sucede con ésta, la primera y más negra novela británica, oscura desde la ambientación de suburbio siderúrgico inglés hasta la atormentada y ulcerosa alma de los personajes.”
“Vertiginosa. Apasionante. Demoledora. Prueba fehaciente de que calidad y entretenimiento pueden ir de la mano. La novela que más regalaré este año.”
“Qué maravilla. Con la buena literatura vuelas imagin
Apr 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir
Gritty nihilistic British with a furious pace and bad attitude. The industrial backdrop is especially effective. I think I prefer the movie version (the Michael Caine original not the unspeakable remake), especially in regards to the ending. The heir to this in tone is Derek Raymond’s Factory novels.
Oct 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ted Lewis' uber-British Gangster novel of revenage and.... Cooliness. I am addicted to British gritty crime novels and "Get Carter" is one of the better one's out there.
Jiří Pavlovský
"The rain rained."
Jo, už z první věty románu je vidět, že tady se na velká slova hrát nebude. Že to bude literární destilát, vylouhovaný na to nejzákladnější. A taky že jo. Ostatně, k průkopníkovi žánru brit-noir by se ani nějaké opulentní věty a popisy nehodily.
Zajímavé je, že staccatovým stylem to připomíná knihu, kterou jsem četl předtím: Náhlý návrat násilí od MacKaye (taky anglána... nebo skota). A nádherně to dokládá to tvrzení o tom, když dva dělají totéž. Zatímco McKay má sice úderné v
Teresa Alonso
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sólo quiero decir que es una auténtica novela negra. No he visto aún su adaptación al cine (me refiero a la primera, Get Carter de 1971), pero he podido imaginarla claramente.
Apr 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
GET CARTER. (1992). Ted Lewis. ****.
This novel was originally published in 1970 in the UK under the title, “Jack’s Return Home.” It was an iconic novel among mystery fans at the time, and introduced British noir into the mainstream. There were also two film versions made from the book, neither of which I have seen, but I find that the original production starring Michael Caine is most recommended over the remake starring Sylvester Stallone. It’s the story of Jack Carter, a hit man working for th
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Get Carter aka Jack Returns Home.
English mob enforcer Jack Carter returns to his home town to investigate his brother's murder. It is a classic setup, and used brilliantly here. The book covers roughly three intense days from a Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. Jack digs through his past, meeting old friends and old enemies. He gets closer to the truth of his brother's death. His bosses send people to order Jack to stop his activities. When he refuses, these friends are told to bring him back
Cosmic Dwellings
Set over a weekend period in October, 1970 this eye-popping piece of underworld anarchy by Ted Lewis, hits the sweet spot of every twist and turn and satisfyingly delivers the goods. Jack Carter returns to the North East to attend the funeral of his elder brother, Frank and his suspicions are gradually confirmed to be true when he uncovers the sordid revelations behind a connected porn racket. The original title of Lewis' novel was 'Jack's Return Home' and years later was retitled 'Get Carter' t ...more
Roger Cottrell
Oct 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is the book that became the movie GET CARTER and it's terrific for its fusion of social realist themes derived from the kitchen sink tradition with the pace and structure of an urban thriller or urban western. This was the stuff that made 1970s crime fiction so great. Lewis also invented the regional crime drama. He was the first!
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
From BBC Radio 4:
Gangland enforcer Jack Carter returns to his hometown of Scunthorpe to investigate the suspicious death of his brother. Nick Perry's dramatisation of Ted Lewis's crime classic.
Diego González
Suelen gustarme las novelas cuyo título es el nombre o apellido del protagonista (o el alias, tanto da). Suelen presagiar personajes intensos, cincelados con la navaja de cortar cuellos que todo buen matón lleva encima siempre, por si acaso. Carter (el título original de la novela es "Jack's Return Home", convertido después en "Get Carter" por la magnífica peli basada en el libro) es un tipo con una misión: descubrir qué le ha pasado a su hermano y, llegado el caso, castigar a los responsables. ...more
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit-noir
Impecable historia de venganza con una narración seca, lacónica; un personaje carismático e inolvidable; un retrato del paisaje urbano excelente que se convierte en un personaje más de la historia... Un gran "noir".
Paul Finch
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing

It’s the late 1960s in Scunthorpe, and Jack Carter is coming home.

Jack, born and raised in the northern steel town, left home quite some time ago to make his fortune in London, and, being a handy lad and inclined towards pitiless immorality, he eventually found his place as a mob enforcer. Since then, Jack has done all kinds of awful things at the behest of his employers, East End racketeers, Les and Gerald Fletcher, and in so doing, has earned himself a real reputation
Sep 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, thriller, crime
I'd never read the 1970 novel before, but saw its 1971 film adaptation many years ago. I remembered it as a brisk, hard-boiled crime flick, and remembered Michael Caine's take on the protagonist in particular. This is not Batman's courtly Alfred; this is not the charming rogue (whatever his name was) of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Those later Caine parts, vs. Jack Carter, are like Roger Moore's James Bond vs. Daniel Craig's.

I can now say that Caine's remembered performance, in other words, matched
Sep 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Get Carter" reads just like a fast-paced crime/action thriller; scene by scene, the reader can easily picture the set-up, the characters and the culminating "tipping point" of the moment. Although this is not a book I would have picked up on my own (it's my book club's September choice), I found Ted Lewis' writing refreshing simply in that it is so different from most of what I've read recently (or ever!?). The British references certainly contribute to that, but there's a rough-and-tumble, Hob ...more
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Ted Lewis (1940 – 1982) was a British writer born in Manchester, an only child. After World War II the family moved to Barton-upon-Humber in 1947. He had a strict upbringing and his parents did not want their son to go to art school, but Ted's English teacher Henry Treece, recognising his creative talents in writing and art, persuaded them not to stand in his way.

Lewis attended Hull Art School for

Other books in the series

Jack Carter (3 books)
  • Jack Carter's Law
  • Jack Carter and the Mafia Pigeon
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“door slams. Time passes and I carry on staring up into the sky. The pain went a long time ago.” 1 likes
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