First Page: Shaft by Ernest Tidyman, Bantam, 1971.

Posted by amy ullyott on

Shaft by Ernest Tidyman PB Paperback 1971 Vintage Crime Bantam Books – Monster Books and Items


Shaft has no prejudices. He'll kill anyone -- Black or White.

Who is John Shaft?

A Black Bogart who says the revolution is a new way to chase chicks...

The Mafia is a meatball...

And Life is going to screw you if you don't screw it.

John Shaft is a private eye. John Shaft is a Black man made of muscle and ice.

Shaft is big. Shaft is Black.

The cloistered daughter of Harlem's black crime-boss discovers the true nature of her father's work and runs off to be as bad as Dad. Sex, liquor, dope and a few other scenes -- she is into them all when she disappears. Big Daddy wants Big Shaft to get his baby back.

Shaft goes to work. And The Mafia, the Black Militants, the NYPD, and City Hall go to work on.. SHAFT

Page 1:

Shaft felt warm, loose, in step as he turned east at Thirty-ninth Street for the truncated block between Seventh Avenue and Broadway. It had been a long walk from her place in the far West Twenties. Long and good. The city was still fresh that early. Even the exhaust fans of the coffee shops along the way were blowing fresh smells, bacon, egg and toasted-bagel smells, into the fact of the gray spring morning. He had been digging it all the way. Digging it, walking fast and thinking mostly about the girl. She was crazy. Freaky beautiful. Crazy. They went out to dinner and she was wearing a tangerine wig and a long purple coat that looked like a blanket on a Central Park plug pulling one of those creaky carriages. It was the mood she was in and he had become a part of it. He never got back to his apartment. She wanted  a night like that. They had it and, then, about 7:30, she handed him a glass of cardboard-container orange juice and began pushing him out of the apartment. It was their night, but the maid's day. 

"Please, John. Hurry."

Sitting on the edge of the bed, tying his shoes.

"Hey, you think that cleaning lady gives a shit about your morals? All she has in ther head is twelve a day and tokens."

"Just hurry. Go."

He hurried, he went. It gave him time to kill. There was no point in turning back toward the village and his own place. His clothes were fresh. He had hardly worn them except for dinner. The subway or a cab would have been too quick for the trip to Times Square. So he walked. A big, black man in a gray lightweight wool suit moving quickly through the morning. The light at Thirty-ninth and Broadway caught him. He paused for a moment at the corner. The garment-district trucks wre beginning to roll into the area. Shaft watched them and glanced north toward Times Square.


To continue reading, you may purchase this book at:

Shaft by Ernest Tidyman PB Paperback 1971 Vintage Crime Bantam Books – Monster Books and Items

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