Extract from the limited edition script of Get Carter, two copies of which are in the possession of Ted Lewis Group and can be seen at Exhibitions and will be on show at the Ted Lewis Museum.
Jack’s Return Home
Get Carter was the film name given to Ted Lewis’s second novel, Jack’s Return Home, published in 1970. After the script was purchased by nightclub owner, Michael Klinger for £10,000. The original jacket was designed by Ted Lewis. It portrays the gangster, Jack Carter sitting on a kiln looking for another fugitive gangster. The scene was set in a quarry in Lewis’s home town of Barton upon Humber with which Ted was particularly familiar.
The next edition had graphics which were more in keeping with Ted’s style of graphics born from ‘horror comics’ which he read avidly in his youth.
After general release Pan secured paperback rights and the novel was renamed Carter. When Allison & Busby acquired the copyright, the produced the volume which is sold in the UK even today as Get Carter.
The novel’s story came to Ted Lewis as he was sitting on a train arriving at Scunthorpe Railway Station, Underworld enforce, Jack Carter returns to his home town to find out why his brother died in a suspicious car accident. Jack discovers a nest of pornography which the brother had stumbled upon and then the chase is on to stop Jack exacting revenge.
Jack’s Return Home was the beginning of Ted Lewis noir or hard-boiled writing which changed the face of British crime writing. Initially the manuscript was rejected by Ted’s literary agent. John Johnson (who had been Henry Treece’s agent) but Toby Eady Associates believed in the tough novel and it was accepted by Michael Joseph which published all the rest of Lewis’ novels.
Get Carter was quite different from Ted’s first novel, All the Way Home and All the Night Through published in 1965 which autobiographically recorded the life and loves of student, Victor Graves at Hull College of Art and Crafts. Whilst there, Ted/Victor played piano with Unity Jazz Band and descries friends of acquaintances from real life. Lewis recorded completion of his first novel in a 1964 diary on his birthday.