Why oh why…

…aren’t Ted Lewis’ novels available in print?

With the exception of Jack’s Return Home (or Get Carter to the layman) pretty much the entire Lewis back catalogue is out of print.

Years after I last read it, and lent it to a friend who never returned it, I wanted to buy a new copy of GBH, so that I could re-read it – and remind myself just how bloody good it was first time around. I looked on Amazon (.co.uk and .com) and found the sum total of bugger all. Look at the uploaded pic – only Jack’s Return Home and Plender are in print (every other book is otherwise out-of-print and available only for some very silly money).

Ted Lewis – NOT available on Amazon, or anywhere else for that matter

Frankly, it’s a bloody disgrace that one of the finest writers of noir and crime fiction that Britain has ever produced seems to be a virtually unknown figure in his own country. In the US, a writer who produced work as good as The Rabbit, Billy Rags, Jack’s Return Home (and its sequels), Plender and GBH would not be out of print for long, and would be talked about in far more glowing terms than we Brits can manage for one of our greatest crime writers.

Since his death at the relatively young age of 42, Lewis seems to have slid into the kind of obscurity that affected Jim Thompson in the first few years after his death (known only to a cadre of devoted readers and fans who attempt to keep his reputation alive). The only difference between Thompson and Lewis is that Lewis has remained in obscurity. Surely it must be time for this situation to change?

Come on publishers, let’s get the entire back catalogue of Ted Lewis back in print (or at the very least make them available on Kindle). These books don’t deserve to languish in obscurity, or unloved in dusty second-hand book stores. Ted Lewis deserves better!