RARA-AVIS: Get Carter

Thu, 18 Mar 1999 00:58:41 EST Geir Glosvik writes:

<< I liked the book a lot until the end when Lewis changed from
past tense to present tense: then I knew what would happen. I think the
book would have lasted much longer in my head if he hadn't done that. If he
instead had let the book end with a questionmark (still telling it in the
past tense): what did actually happen out there on those 'mysterious'
premises on the coast? >>

I liked Get Carter quite a bit and didn't mind the tense shift at the end. I
wonder if there have been fewer comments about this book because it is hard to
find. I gave up, then found it accidently about a week ago. For some reason,
in my mind, this title was paired with the Matt Helm books. Just the
sequence? Get Carter is quite grim, gritty, and feels rather real--except for
Carter's quick work and luck. (I liked Helm, but the books seem
fantastic/comic-booky by comparison (not that I am not a sucker for a fantasy
or a comic book).) It had some affinities with Derek Raymond's writing
(though not as broodingly existential)--working-class, industrial England,
organized crime, corrupt police, etc. One key difference with Helm: a lot of
the Helm violence--his assassinations, his torturing occur offstage. Get
Carter graphically represents Carter's violence. I haven't seen the movie,
but I'll seek it out. I'm led to understand that it was also made into a film
called Hit Man, with Pam Grier in the female lead. Can someone provide some
more information on Ted Lewis. What else did he write? Are his other books
in the Get Carter vein?

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