Getting Carter: Ted Lewis and the Birth of Brit Noir
Hardback | Feb 2018 | No Exit Press | 9781843448822 | 320pp | 234x153mm | Stocked item (a few) | GEN | AUD$34.99, NZD$42.99
The story of Ted Lewis carries historical and cultural resonances for our own troubled times
Get Carter are words that bring a smile of fond recollection to all British film lovers of a certain age. The cinema classic was based on a book called Jack's Return Home, and many commentators agree contemporary British crime writing began with that novel. The influence of both book and film is strong to this day, reflected in the work of David Peace, Jake Arnott, Russell Lewis, and the likes. But what of the man who wrote this seminal foundation work?
Ted Lewis is one of the most important writers you've never heard of. Born in Manchester in 1940, his life is best described as a cycle of obscurity to glamour and back to obscurity, followed by death at only 42. He sampled the bright temptations of sixties London while working in advertising, TV, and films, and encountered excitement and danger in Soho drinking dens. He wrote widely and had some nine books published. Alas, unable to repeat the commercial success of Get Carter, Lewis’s life fell apart and he returned to Humberside and an all too early demise.
Getting Carter is a meticulously researched and riveting account of the career of a doomed genius. Long-time admirer Nick Triplow has fashioned a thorough, sympathetic, and unsparing narrative. Required reading for noirists, this book will enthral and move anyone who finds irresistible the old cocktail of rags to riches to rags.
Reviewed in Pulp Curry here.