Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Running Dog - Don DeLillo

Running Dog (1978) is a relatively early DeLillo novel.  It is redolent with post-Watergate paranoia in which mysterious corporations war with alternative entrepreneurs but both, fundamentally, seek the same thing, control of assets.  The nature of the assets matter little.  Everyone and everything is corruptible, which DeLillo demonstrates by anchoring his story on an asset which, in itself, could not be more corrupt or corrupting: a film believed to feature footage of Hitler and his entourage having orgies in the Berlin bunker as the Russians close in.

DeLillo deploys a number of principal characters, all of whom pay a price for their involvement in the quest.  The second rank characters, corruptors all, pay no price whatsoever.  This is their world and in it they flourish.  Albeit Running Dog sounds like a polemic, the characterisation is so accomplished that the message never supplants the medium.

I've had a long but sporadic relationship with the novels of Don DeLillo.  I always enjoy them but never seem to seek them out.  This was the same.  I picked it up by chance and enjoyed it on every level.  I commend it to you.

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