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Ted Lewis was born in Manchester in 1940, an only child, 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, subsequently retitled Get Carter after the success of the film of the same name starring Michael Caine. This book created the noir school of British crime writing and pushed Lewis into the bestseller list.
Gritty look at the criminal underworld in a northern town, revolving around Jack Carter returning home to look in to the suspicious circumstances surrounding his brothers death. Bleak and cool, grim and dangerous this is a true classic. February 2010 Guest Editor Simon Kernick on TED LEWIS The best British gangster novel of all time, filmed famously as ‘Get Carter’ starring Michael Caine. It’s the tale of a hitman who goes home to Doncaster to investigate his brother’s suspicious death, and it simply oozes with atmosphere and tension. The style is sparse and incisive, and extremely funny at times. It contains some of the best one liners I’ve ever read, many of which were made famous by the film.
Reminiscent of the work of American writers J.D. Salinger and Henry Roth, The Rabbit is Ted Lewis's (Get Carter) most autobiographical work and an emotionally complex portrait of what it was to come of age in post-war England It is the late 1950s and Victor Graves is an art school student whose father manages a rock quarry not far from their home in Lincolnshire. He is the apple of his mother's eye, but Victor's dad thinks his son takes for granted the life he provides.He setsVictor up to work in the quarry for the summer holiday, breaking rocks to harvest flint. It isin the quarrythat the thin, awkward Victor meets Clacker. Tattooed and sinewy, Clacker swings the rock hammer all day and by night kits out in Teddy boy trappings for long bouts of carousing. For Victor he epitomizes masculinity. Yet the always glib Clacker refuses to accept Victor. Desperate to prove himself, the sensitive Victor begins to spend more time in pubs and picking fights. Everything begins to unravel after a disturbing incident at work sends Victor on a dangerous downward spiral. Though known best as one of Britain's most important crime writers, Ted Lewis had the soul of a poet. This powerfully emotional novel is a moving portrait of small town lifethe pubs and the people, the workaday lifeas seen by a young man navigating through the cultural and sexual confusion of 1950s England.
An English art school Casanova wrestles with his personal demons in this jazzy, sexy and seemingly autobiographical first novel by the author of Get Carter Victor Graves is in his last year at Hull Art School. The handsome pianist for a jazz ensemble that plays the local pub circuit, Victor has a way with words and women, but struggles with personal demonsalcohol chief among themthat increasingly get the better of him. But Victor's wildness meets its match in the gorgeous and sensitive Janet, whose hard-to-get routine awakens in Victor a desire to leave-off his rakish ways. But Victor's caddish life as top man on campus comes screeching to a halt after graduation, when booze, lack of focus, and deep-seated insecurities slowly get the better of him. Jobless and increasingly alienated from Janet and his friends, Victor lets his misanthropic tendencies grow stronger, until they are unbearable. All the Way Home and All the Night Through is a stirring portrait of a young man inadvertently tearing down himself and those he holds dear.
A fascinating window in on life in a British maximum security prison, Billy Ragsby the author of Get Carteris crime fiction at its best: lean, mean, and full of startling psychological depth.It's the 1960s and Billy Cracken is a hard man to keep locked up. An austere and troubled childhood has given way to life as a hardened criminal and now status as one of the most feared prisoners in England. He has been moved from one maximum security prison to the next. Guards and inmates alike fear and begrudgingly respect the powerfully-built Cracken. But a life doing his porridge, even if as a minor celebrity, isn't the one he wants.A girlfriend and a child await Cracken on the outside and he'll stop at nothing to get to them. While plotting his escape he crosses a powerful mobster who vows to make Cracken's life hell, and if nothing else succeeds at making his escape all the more difficult, something the ever-rebellious Cracken defiantly relishes.The follow-up novel to the wildly successful Get Carter, Billy Rags is a fascinating look into the lives of British inmates serving time in a maximum security prison. Lewis manages once again to tell an exciting, action-filled story with a souldemonstrated most clearly in a series of brilliant flashbacks to Billy's childhood and in the end conjures a character that will remind readers of both Tom Hardy in Bronson and Lee Marvin in Point Blank.
Brian Plender is a glittering evil on par with Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley or Jim Thompson's Lou Ford. In Plender the author of Get Carter and GBH delivered a tense and psychologically complex tale of revenge and blackmail that rightfully belongs among crime fictions most chilling ranks. Two men share a common history. Growing up together in the small town of Barton-Upon-Humber in Lincolnshire, England,Peter Knott is everything that Brian Plender wishes he were. Knott is suave, good-looking, an exemplary student and popular. The friendship they maintain is asimportant to Plender as it is forgettable to Knott, andthis eventually leads to a lasting humiliation for Brian. Years later Brian Plender is a dangerous man. A private investigator who specializes in extortion, blackmail, and intimidation, Plender is a manipulative psychopath capable of anything. Knott meanwhile is a man adrift. He is beholden to his wife for money, which he makes taking photographing catalogs for her father's large mail order company. His wandering eye, array of fetishes, and a taste for younger women, has led Knott through a series of sordid affairs. The two haven't met in years so Brian is therefore quite surprised to spot Peter at a seedy bar with a girl too young to be his wife and he decides to follow the pair. Plender relives the humiliations of his youth just as Knott finds himself on the wrong side of the law in the most horrific way imaginable. Starting out as a long-lost friend and slowly, carefully, revealing himself to be anything but that, Brian Plender is a brilliantly macabre invention that readers won't soon forget.
Written at a tough point in his career and heavily influenced by Blaxploitation films and cop movies like Dirty Harry, Ted Lewis's lone novel set in America is a nasty and brutal look at police corruption in the United States.Roy Boldt is a bad cop. Corrupt. Violent. An extreme racist with a drinking problem. He is a man alone, outside of all the worlds he inhabits, and respected only by those who fear him. Boldt is too proud to bow down to the mob and too wicked to be a good cop.Roy's brother is the opposite: A seemingly shining light for good and a progressive political candidate. Roy thinks otherwise. He knows his brother too well. But none of that matters when an anonymous threat is handed over to the police. Someone is promising to kill Roy's brother when he stops in town while on campaign.What unfolds is Lewis's most nasty and violent novel. Boldt navigates a brutal chain of night clubs, halfway houses, and mobbed-up hotels in order to find those plotting to kill his brother. In the half-light of this lurid underworld he stumbles onto a conspiracy that will put him at odds with just about everything and everyone.