ⓘ Jacks Return Home is a 1970 novel by British writer Ted Lewis. An uncompromising novel of a brutal half-world of pool halls, massage parlours and teenage pornog ..

Jacks Return Home

ⓘ Jacks Return Home

Jacks Return Home is a 1970 novel by British writer Ted Lewis. An uncompromising novel of a brutal half-world of pool halls, massage parlours and teenage pornography, it was memorably adapted into the cult film Get Carter, starring Michael Caine as Jack Carter. The novel starkly portrays a subsection of society living on the borderline between crime and respectability. The book was a major influence on the noir school of English crime fiction.

The novel went out of print for many years and slipped into obscurity, but there was a resurgence of interest in it in the 1990s after the 1971 film adaptation, Get Carter, gradually grew in reputation. The book was republished in paperback under the title Get Carter by Allison & Busby in 1993.

In 2016 the playwright Torben Betts adapted the novel for a critically acclaimed production by Newcastles Northern Stage.


1. Plot summary

Jacks Return Home tells the story of Jack Carter, an amoral, pitiless London mob enforcer who returns to his home town to investigate the mysterious death of his brother, with whom he had not spoken in many years. Jacks presence in the town causes unease among the local crime families, who fear that his snooping will interfere with their underworld operations. Everything from simple suggestion to brute force is employed to try to get him to leave, but he doggedly refuses, bullying his way through numerous attempts on his life to arrive at the truth, leading to a violent and ambiguous conclusion.


2. Trivia

The first printing of the paperback which tied in with the film version was published under the title Carter Pan Books 1971, ISBN 0-330-02620-8. All references on the cover of the book also refer to the film under this title.

The character of Jack Carter, though not fully named for copyright reasons, plays a key role in the Alan Moore and Kevin ONeill graphic novel League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 1969. The story takes place during 1969, shortly before Jacks visit up north and the events of Jacks Return Home.

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