Jack's Return Home

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Jack's Return Home
Jacks Return Home.jpg
First edition
Author Ted Lewis
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Thriller, Crime novel
Publisher Michael Joseph
Publication date
9 February 1970
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 224 pp
ISBN ISBN 0-7181-0730-6 (hardback edition) & ISBN 0-948164-06-9 (paperback edition)
OCLC 82810
823/.9/14
LC Class PZ4.L676 Jac PR6062.E955
Followed by Jack Carter's Law

Jack's 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 brought to life in the cult film Get Carter, starring Michael Caine as Jack Carter. The novel starkly portrays a subsection of society living on the dangerous 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 and was remade in 2000. The book was republished in paperback under the title Get Carter by Allison & Busby in 1993.

Plot summary[edit]

Jack's Return Home tells the story of an amoral, pitiless London mob enforcer named Jack Carter who returns to his home town after changing trains at Doncaster to investigate the mysterious death of his brother, with whom he had not spoken in many years. Jack's 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 Jack 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.

Film adaptations[edit]

The novel has so far been filmed three times, as Get Carter in 1971 and the 2000 remake, and as Hit Man in 1972.

Further Carter novels[edit]

Jack Carter was featured in two prequel novels, both written by Lewis.

Trivia[edit]

The first reprinting 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 O'Neill graphic novel League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 1969. The story takes place during 1969, shortly before Jack's visit 'up north' and the events of Jack's Return Home.