Running Dog

Written by: Don DeLillo

Running Dog Book Cover
DeLillo's "Running Dog," originally published in 1978, follows Moll Robbins, a New York city journalist trailing the activities of an influential senator. In the process she is dragged into the black market world of erotica and shady, infatuated men, where a cat-and-mouse chase for an erotic film rumored to "star" Adolph Hitler leads to trickery, maneuvering, and bloodshed. With streamlined prose and a thriller's narrative pace, "Running Dog" is a bright star in the modern master's early career.
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Running Dog Reviews

Richard
My reaction to this book was much like my reaction to Libra. DeLillo is a fine, fine writer who has doubtless control over his subject. In this book, a journalist for a formerly radical newspaper starts to investigate a senator who seems to have a penchant for erotic art and gets herself immersed in the sordid world of erotic art and its Holy Grail: a reel of porn shot in Hitler's bunker during the last days if the Third Reich. DeLillo has a wonderful way with black ops - the intricate handling My reaction to this book was much like my reaction to Libra. DeLillo is a fine, fine writer who has doubtless control over his subject. In this book, a journalist for a formerly radical newspaper starts to investigate a senator who seems to have a penchant for erotic art and gets herself immersed in the sordid world of erotic art and its Holy Grail: a reel of porn shot in Hitler's bunker during the last days if the Third Reich. DeLillo has a wonderful way with black ops - the intricate handling of matters, the incestuous nature between operatives, but like the aforementioned book, I suffered a tad bit of ennui during the middle. The array of names doesn't get tough to follow, but the progression of the work gets a little slow. DeLillo doesn't disappoint at the end, though, which is spectacular and muses upon what great novelists muse upon - just who IS a human being, anyway? DeLillo has complicated answers, and maybe answers we don't even like.
Stephen
A rare home movie supposedly from Hitler's bunker is out on the black market, and everyone wants it. In fact, they will kill to get it. It's a classic thriller setup, and DeLillo brings all of his tricks to the table: the riddles, the absurd dialogue, the musings on death. The conspiracy at the book's center is so convoluted that the perpetrators don't even know which side is which. Shootouts are presented less as vehicles for excitement than as a force rippling through the environment.

None of t A rare home movie supposedly from Hitler's bunker is out on the black market, and everyone wants it. In fact, they will kill to get it. It's a classic thriller setup, and DeLillo brings all of his tricks to the table: the riddles, the absurd dialogue, the musings on death. The conspiracy at the book's center is so convoluted that the perpetrators don't even know which side is which. Shootouts are presented less as vehicles for excitement than as a force rippling through the environment.

None of the fury and noise really amounts to much (sorta the point with DeLillo); the whole thing just kind of ends in a series of sad, ruminative passages. But until DeLillo gets bored with his story, this is one of his most engaging early books. It's not as fully formed as, say, White Noise, but it's a fun ride while it lasts.
Richard
i feel like i timed this right. after finishing this right after 'players' (a better book, by the way), i could use a break from delillo. im glad this was the last book by him that i haven't read.

a lot of this book will be familiar for anyone who has read anything else by the author - morally ambiguous characters, sex without emotional attachment, discussions of the meaning of language (in this case a lot about the reassurance for the technical names of weaponry), and a mcguffin that a lot of p i feel like i timed this right. after finishing this right after 'players' (a better book, by the way), i could use a break from delillo. im glad this was the last book by him that i haven't read.

a lot of this book will be familiar for anyone who has read anything else by the author - morally ambiguous characters, sex without emotional attachment, discussions of the meaning of language (in this case a lot about the reassurance for the technical names of weaponry), and a mcguffin that a lot of people are after (kind of like the drugs in great jones st, the formula in raterns' etc).

this was really interesting to read as background for 'underworld' but would sit pretty comfortably in the middle section of 'best don delillo books.'
Eastern Standard Tribe :: Escape, Or Die: Authentic Stories Of The RAF Escaping Society :: Reach for the Sky :: Baby Be-Bop :: The Sweet Hereafter
Dave
so far, so excellent. short and an easy read. i've read enough of DeLillo to be confident that i'm going to like the rest (less than half to go). It includes all the trademark wordplay, perfect choice of names, and double, triple, and quadruple entres and questions without clear cut answers. It keeps the novel moving and interesting the whole time. * Having finished the book basically right after i wrote the first part of this review i can easily say i stand by my original impression. But what i so far, so excellent. short and an easy read. i've read enough of DeLillo to be confident that i'm going to like the rest (less than half to go). It includes all the trademark wordplay, perfect choice of names, and double, triple, and quadruple entres and questions without clear cut answers. It keeps the novel moving and interesting the whole time. * Having finished the book basically right after i wrote the first part of this review i can easily say i stand by my original impression. But what is the book actually about? This is a good enough novel that i can say it doesn't even matter. Just read it if you've heard quality things about DeLillo and are curious to try one of his books.
Chris Wharton
In the late 1970s, a porn film rumored to be made in Hitler’s bunker in the Reich’s final days is pursued by a US senator, a covert intelligence agency manned by ex-Vietnam commando types (both US and Vietnamese), an erotic art collector/auctioneer, a young empire-building porn entrepreneur, and organized crime. An intrepid female reporter for a young leftist magazine (think Rolling Stone?) follows the many trails. An early (1978) DeLillo mix of action, reflection, description, narrative suspens In the late 1970s, a porn film rumored to be made in Hitler’s bunker in the Reich’s final days is pursued by a US senator, a covert intelligence agency manned by ex-Vietnam commando types (both US and Vietnamese), an erotic art collector/auctioneer, a young empire-building porn entrepreneur, and organized crime. An intrepid female reporter for a young leftist magazine (think Rolling Stone?) follows the many trails. An early (1978) DeLillo mix of action, reflection, description, narrative suspense, amid general seventies-US looniness.
Esteban
This book is awful!!! One of the worst thing I read this year. I started because the topic seems interesting but... Nobody talks the way that the characters talked, nobody is so stupid or retarded (sorry for using this word). Its like: "Oh, someone tried to kill, well, we need to discuss the wheater","The weather is nice", "The weather is blu","Everything is blue" Is insane, it felt like every character is the same character. How can I like a book like this?

An interesting plot totally waist.... This book is awful!!! One of the worst thing I read this year. I started because the topic seems interesting but... Nobody talks the way that the characters talked, nobody is so stupid or retarded (sorry for using this word). Its like: "Oh, someone tried to kill, well, we need to discuss the wheater","The weather is nice", "The weather is blu","Everything is blue" Is insane, it felt like every character is the same character. How can I like a book like this?

An interesting plot totally waist.... eughhh.
Niall
Like a couple other early DeLillo novels Running Dog at times becomes overly obsessed with the mechanics of its conspiracy groups/plots but there are still great moments. Is there another novelist who can write so compellingly about the experience of film?
Harrison Phinney
The absolute mastery of language here is humbling; the imagery unparalleled; the dialogues and narrative-at-large pulsing with very human cadences. All that to pretentiously say: an incredible book, and one of my favorites I've read to date.
Kevin
Funny, cool, it seems like a murder thriller, but it's not really- it isn't plot driven. The plot is weird and serves the characters/vibe of the book. I think he's more interested in history/military/politics than I am, but I can't wait to read more of him.
David
It took me several times to get going in this novel. In the final day to the Third Reich, Hitler and his entourage make a porn film in the bunker were they are all held up in. This is the story of the search to find the film.
Jeffrey W.
Certainly not his best, but thrilling, nonetheless. And one helluva last 20 pages.

Three and a half stars.
Myles
Don always tricks me into finishing his convoluted word salads.
Marc Nash
Not one of his best. Didn't think the two themes gelled terribly well, mthough each one was interesting in itself
Andy Connell
Very entertaining and quick read. More Plot-y then White Noise which is good/bad. Warren Ellis stole from it a bit with Desolution Jones.
Erik Wyse
As technically beautiful as it is ambitious and thought-provoking. Another gem from the master.
Kate
Totally entertaining, and maybe a little silly.
John Miskec
Interesting plot about some porn dealers looking to buy a supposed film of an orgy in Hitler's Bunker near the end of the war and how peoples lives change who become involved in it.
incipit mania
Feels like the precursor to Libra to me. But maybe it's the "post-cursor" to something else. I've still got a lot of DeLillo to fill in.
Oryx
I think this may be his most accessible work...

Oh, and, WHAT A COVER.

3.8
Maarten Bresseleers
Don DeLillo writes so well it is completely unfair. That said, in his later works he gets down the interweaving of voices much better.
Phox
I read this book ten years ago or more but parts of it have stayed with me since.
James
Two and a half maybe, bit disappointing for a Don, but it is a Don, so I'll make it three.
Ron
This is one of DeLillo's more surreal efforts, and he comes on like a modern Kafka in this thrilling exploration damaged psyches.
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