Born in Manchester, England, Ted Lewis (1940-1982) spent most of his youth in Barton-upon-Humber in the north of England. After graduating from Hull Art School, Lewis moved to London and first worked in advertising before becoming an animation specialist, working on the Beatles' Yellow Submarine. His novels are the product of his lifelong fascination with the criminal lifestyle of London's Soho district and the down-and-out lifestyle of the English factory town. Lewis' novels pioneered the British noir school. He authored nine novels, the second of which was famously adapted in 1971 as the now iconic Get Carter, which stars Michael Caine.
Praise for Get Carter
A Philadelphia Inquirer Best Book of 2014
"Aristotle, when he defined tragedy, mandated that a tragic hero must fall from a great height, but Aristotle never imagined the kind of roadside motels James M. Cain could conjure up or saw the smokestacks rise in the Northern English industrial hell of Ted Lewis's Get Carter."
--Dennis Lehane, author of Live by Night
"The book [Get Carter] gave readers a brutal look at hitherto hidden English sleaze and seediness. "It ripped off the rose-tinted glasses through which most people saw our mutual homeland," writes Mr. Hodges. Forty-four years later, the book... still has the power to jolt."
--Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal
"Sums up the hard-boiled ethos as well as anything I've ever read... As far as classic hard-boiled fiction, Get Carter is sui generis, the place where British noir begins."
--David L. Ulin, The Los Angeles Times
"Rereading all three books, I was struck by the influence Lewis's novels have had on so many current hard-boiled writers whose main characters are hard cases (certainly Lee Child's Jack Reacher is a literary son). Written in first person and present tense, Lewis' trilogy has an immediacy that belies its age."
--Carole Barrowman, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
"Masterful... Lewis had a shrewd eye for the shifting class politics of late-'60s England, the point at which the austerity of the postwar years had melted away and prosperity was slowly creeping into the regions, creating a new middle class."
--Los Angeles Review of Books
"The year's big event in international noir is the republication of the Jack Carter Trilogy by England's Ted Lewis. Few crime writers could inject menace and desperation into small talk the way Lewis did, and he had a fine eye for period detail."
--The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Incomperable scene-setting and eloquent descriptive prose."
--Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
"Among crime-novel aficionados, it's generally accepted that Ted Lewis established the noir school of writing in Britain, and one novel in particular got it going: Get Carter."
"Lewis remains a sharp social anatomist of the hopelessness and soul-sucking dinginess of his era. Starting with [Get Carter], Lewis sketched the horror of a Britain where home was the kitchen sink, the sodden bar towel, the decrepit industrial landscape: a kingdom from which Carter and his like cannot escape."
--Barnes and Noble Review
"One of the very best tough guy novels of all time."
"Get Carter is one of the most influential works of crime fiction in existence. In the world of U.K. hardboiled literature it's had the kind of impact that books by Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler had on the genre in the U.S."
"It arrived in the post, out of the blue, along with an offer to write and direct it as my first cinema film. Its literary style was as enigmatic as the manner of its arrival. Whilst set in England and written by an Englishman it was (aside from the rain) atypically English. More importantly it ripped off the rose-tinted glasses through which most people saw our mutual homeland. I suspect Ted never shared that Panglossian take on England."
--Mike Hodges, director of Get Carter, from the Foreword to this edition
"Lewis was one of the first British writers in the sixties to take Chandler literally--'The crime story tips violence out of its vase on the shelf and pours it back into the street where it belongs'--and [Get Carter] is a book that I and plenty of other people at the time considered to be a classic on these grounds."
--Derek Raymond, author of the Factory Novels
"Ted Lewis is one of the most influential crime novelists Britain has ever produced, and his shadow falls on all noir fiction, whether on page or screen, created on these isles since his passing. I wouldn't be the writer I am without Ted Lewis. It's time the world rediscovered him."
--Stuart Neville, author of The Ghosts of Belfast
"Lewis is major."
--Max Alan Collins, author of Road to Perdition
"The finest British crime novel ever written."
--John Williams, author of The Cardiff Trilogy
"Despite a taste for hard-boiled on wry, Lewis has the soul of a serious novelist, capturing the brothers' troubled relationship, the grimness of the surroundings, and, ultimately, the futility of being top dog."
--Booklist, STARRED Review
"[An] impressive novel... Evocative prose sets this above similarly themed crime stories... Ian Rankin fans who have not yet read Lewis will be pleased."
"Much like Hammett and Cain, Lewis used the hard boiled novel to make subtle social commentary on his country. Despite his many dark qualities, we follow Jack Carter because of his willingness to be his own man in both the criminal and British class system."
--Scott Montgomery, Mystery People Bookstore
"Too good to read slowly."
--Detectives Beyond Borders