The Vulture

by Gil Scott-Heron

New edition of the first novel by the legendary poet, musician and Godfather of Rap.

  • Page Count 256
  • Publication Date December 17, 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2058-8
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $15.00

About The Book

The Vulture is the first novel by the leg­endary poet, musician, and so-called “godfather of rap,” Gil Scott-Heron, written while he was still a student at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania.

First published in 1970 and digging the rhythms of the street, where the biggest deal life has to offer is getting high, The Vulture is a hip and fast-moving thriller, set in lower Manhattan. It relates the strange story of the murder of a teenage boy called John Lee—told through the words of four men who knew him when he was just another kid working after school, hanging out, waiting for something to happen. Just who did kill John Lee and why?


“For more than two decades, [Gil Scott-Heron] has been committed to examining those facts of the human condition that most of us would rather forget . . . he is an artist who has crafted witty but crucial insights for Black America.” —Washington Post

“There’s plenty of tension and sex, but also a whole heap of politics. These are ace period pieces.” —Select

“The books are drenched with the dark overtones of America’s underworld, battered by the storms of politics and race. They are as sexy as they are psychotic.” —City Life

“A tense and intriguing murder mystery. Scott-Heron creates a fascinating portrait of late 60s New York.” —Mojo

“With the pace of cleanly constructed thrillers they wield the force of a highly focused political consciousness . . . the clash of voices gives them a potency, both political and literary, which has survived changes in fashion.” —Herald

“They are impressive and ambitious works that vigorously mix street savvy and intellectual flair.” —GQ