Writing 101: Day 1

Finishing university for the summer = FREEDOM!

However, boredom has the tendency to creep up on you now and again- so I thought I would accept the ‘Writing 101’ challenge. Admittedly, I am a few days behind, so I am playing catch up! Day One’s challenge was titled ‘Unlock your mind’. Whenever I get the chance, I love to read and get really involved in a novel. Being at university I never get the opportunity, so over summer I plan to read 4 books that have graced my bookshelf for months/ years.

photo (1)Little Women, A Week in December, The Grapes of Wrath and The Vulture. 

For the past week I have been engrossed in ‘The Vulture’ by Gil Scott-Heron. The novel is a murder mystery that is separated into seven phases (each providing a different perspective) that centers on the killing of John Lee. The most captivating aspect of the novel, is that Heron captures the raw and realistic lifestyle within a black community during the 1960’s. As the seperate interweaving narratives unfold there is much more depth to the prose than a simple crime story.

The majority of the characters are involved in gangs, drug dealing and poverty. But Heron encapsulates that their actions and choices in life, derive from their desire for survival on the brutal streets of New York. This reveals a humane and relatable dimension to the characters, which in no way condones their behaviour but allows us to reflect on our own lives and the path/s we choose to pursue.

Without giving too much away, the ending was a little disappointing for me. Heron’s ability to create tension and momentum is flawless, however, in the final phase the tension is lost and the ‘murder mystery’ element is compromised. Nevertheless, the intimate connection between Heron and the young characters introduced is undeniable, which makes the book a must read,

Favourite quote (said by Spade- a central character): ‘Time… The word comes through the turnstiles of your mind, ringing that bell that attracts your attention like the warning bell near the end of a line on a typewriter. Time is here, then it is gone.’

By Natalie



One thought on “Writing 101: Day 1

  1. Nice writing Natalie, a good account of the book. It’s a coincidence that I named a Gil Scott-Heron song as one of my favorites in the day 3 writing 101 assignment (Whitey on the moon). I’ve almost never seen a reference to him. You must be a very aware and well-read person.

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