Tag Archives: John Williams

Get Carter, again

Ted 71 on set of GC

British author Ted Lewis on the set of the 1971 film, Get Carter

It is impossible to discuss British author Ted Lewis’s 1970 novel, Jacks Return Home, without mentioning its better-known 1971 film adaptation,Get Carter. Rarely has such an influential crime novel dwelt so deeply in the shadow of its cinematic adaptation. In the wake of the movie’s success, the book was quickly retitled Get Carter (which is how I’ll refer to it) and the main character forever associated with British actor Michael Caine, then at the height of his preternaturally long acting career, in a snappy suit and tie, grimly looking over the barrel of a shotgun.

Not that anything else Lewis wrote was particularly successful. As British crime writer Ray Banks observed in a piece on the site The Rap Sheet: “As far as forgotten books go, you could make a claim for pretty much anything Ted Lewis wrote.” But what Lewis lacked in sales, his books, particularly Get Carter, made up for in the glowing praise of crime writers, nearly all of it posthumous.

Get Carter and its subsequent prequels, Jack Carters Law (1974) and Jack Carter and the Mafia Pigeon (1977), have recently been rereleased by Syndicate Books, which marks the first time they have been available in North America for 40 years.… Read more

My year in books: Eva Dolan

Long Way HomeNext up in my year books is UK crime writer and reviewer, Eva Dolan.

Eva is someone who I expect to be appearing in best of lists this time next year, not writing them. Her debut novel, Long Way Home, is just out via Harvill Secker. The start of a new crime series, it’s already generating buzz. You can check out more details about it here. Long Way Home is at the very top of my to-be-read pile over Christmas. 

Eva is also a great book reviewer in her own right. You can sample her wares at her website, Loitering With Intent.

Anyway, she’s taking a slightly different tack to most of the other writers and reviewers who have featured so far in my year in books, but I’ll let her explain that.

Since I’ve reviewed so many crime books already this year I’ve decided to do a crime-free list. These are books which I’ve loved but didn’t feel quite equal to reviewing, the ones which are best left to more perceptive critics, but I still want to press them on anyone who’ll listen. Which is you lot.

Stoner,  John Williams

Generally I avoid heavily hyped books but this long overlooked mid-20th century American classic lives up to the praise which has been lavished on.… Read more