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Running Dog

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  1,002 ratings  ·  66 reviews
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. ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 17th 1989 by Vintage (first published 1978)
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsWatership Down by Richard AdamsThe Stand by Stephen KingInterview with the Vampire by Anne RiceThe Princess Bride by William Goldman
Best Books of the Decade: 1970's
432nd out of 831 books — 805 voters
White Noise by Don DeLilloUnderworld by Don DeLilloLibra by Don DeLilloThe Names by Don DeLilloMao II by Don DeLillo
Don DeLillo ranked
14th out of 15 books — 9 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,993)
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Greg
Looking down at Krok's comment (comment number 1 and the only comment as I write these words), I have to agree. Maybe not with the ultimate ranking of DeLillo novels, but this is a remarkably under-appreciated work.

I doubt anyone has been paying attention, but I've been on a very slow and only periodically remembered task to read all of the DeLillo novels leading up to Underworld with the rough theory that Infinite Jest is a response or homage or a something to the pre-Underworld DeLillo. I mea
...more
Sentimental Surrealist
This strikes me as an important and often-overlooked book in the chain of early DeLillo's events, and indeed a necessary stop for anyone curious as to how he got from Americana to White Noise. DeLillo's early novels, particularly the trio of End Zone, Great Jones Street and Ratner's Star, feature these long stretches where DeLillo wanders away from his plots (never the tightest in the world even at his peak, not like it's a big deal (I almost typed "beak deal." I'm a silly person) or anything) a ...more
Alan Chen
The eponymous Running Dog is a newspaper that reports on the more out there news: conspiracies, unsubstantiated political rumors and such. Story starts with a mystery: a woman dressed to the nines (turns out to be a man) is killed in the wrong part of town. Turns out he was murdered because he had a a sex tape of Hitler. DeLillo has a fascination with Hitler because White Noise had a similar theme but similar to White Noise this novel isn't about Hitler but uses him as a central figure. Anyway, ...more
J Frederick
The closest DeLillo I've read to genre fiction (thriller? what do you call the genre where half a dozen groups are all hunting some maguffin and killing each other?), but very much in his style (the typical DeLillian themes were all present, the dialouge again switches from stilted and sharp to the language of intimacy demonstrated earlier in Players), simply stretched to fit a different frame. This reminded me of the two most recent William Gibson novels (Pattern Recognition, Spook Country), bu ...more
Adam
An early DeLillo novel I've never even heard anybody mention, and I get into every conversation I can about DeLillo, as I think DeLillo is one of the very finest writers in the English language. DeLillo explores many of his usual themes here, most prominently themes of image, the gaze, and power. Running Dog reads more like a thriller than anything else DeLillo's written, and the prose, while it feels like DeLillo's writing, only occasionally approaches the ineffable and peculiar rhythm of much ...more
Nate
I had no idea Don DeLillo wrote a novel meant to be turned into a Coen brothers movie. There's a good deal of snarky, dark and black humor. The plot revolves around a whole number of people trying to get a hold of an old film reel that is purported to be of a sex orgy in the bunker in the last days of the third Reich. Maybe even Hitler's in it.

Having read a number of DeLillo's work there's a lot of the same kind of stuff. There's the usual DeLillean talk that all seems to revolve around it's ow
...more
Andrew Pagano
I dig the hell out of this book. And why not? A strong female protagonist (with great legs!), espionage, erotic antiques, and a mystery centered around a sex tape made in the Führerbunker during the last days of WWII. DeLillo's dialogue is modern and snappy as always. His images are spot-on. His pacing is tight. Toward the end, the narrative shifts focus from character to character, giving only a few paragraphs to each. It's exciting and appropriately climactic. The reveal of the Führerbunker fi ...more
Eric T. Voigt Voigt
I've heard him acting like he made a stunning turn in his literary life after the 80s began, after The Names was released, but damn, DeLillo's good anytime he's writing. Everything he's written is my favorite. I was like "where do I stack this alongside or against his other work?" and then thought about it and put it right there, in the middle, with the rest.
Behnam Riahi
The following review has been copied from http://behnamriahi.tumblr.com

Running Dog, written by Don DeLillo and published by Alfred A. Knopf, is a third-person novel following several points-of-view, most notably journalist Moll Robbins and secret agent Glen Selvy. When an art dealer comes upon an erotic film made in Hitler’s bunker, everyone wants to get their hands on it—senators, pornographers, transvestites, and even one crazed Vietnam vet. Only no one has seen the film and it exists in rumor
...more
Jesse
The art-world/spy-thriller vibe reminded me uncannily of William Gibson's "Spook Country," minus Gibson's tech obsession. Even so, there was a nice timeless/futuristic feeling to DeLillo's spare paranoia.
Mark Sacha
Like Don, I believe in words. In other people's literature I've learned to realize the terror of the nameless, but in Don's, I appreciate the power of a name and the poetry most of all. Whether it's language/religion, technology/surveillance or business/violence, the links that are made in Running Dog and all of his books are powerful, sometimes straying close to crypto-babble but always bearing a semblance of a truth that permeates the easily comprehensible layers of the everyday, to see into t ...more
João Carlos
“Cão em Fuga” (1978) é o sexto romance do escritor norte-americano Don Delillo (n. 1936) – no original “Running Dog” não é mais do que o nome de uma revista.
Don Delillo inicia “Cão em Fuga” com uma frase emblemática - “Aqui não vais encontrar gente comum.” – e com um assassinato.
Na primeira parte – “Arte Erótica Cósmica” - encontramos Lightborne, um decadente negociante de arte nova-iorquino, com uma galeria denominada “Arte Erótica Cósmica”, obcecado por um suposto filme pornográfico filmado e
...more
Chris
"Running Dog" is the name of a magazine. It started out covering radical topics and genuine revolutionaries. Now, it's little more than a style rag, a TMZ for the '70s. It's probably supposed to be based on "Rolling Stone." It makes it first appearance in a Delillo book in "Great Jones Street," when a reporter comes out to interview Bucky Wunderlick, revolutionary rock icon in exile. Delillo clearly felt the idea was too good not to expand on, so the paper gets top billing in his six novel.

Moll
...more
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 ...more
Simona
Non è mai facile raccontare, spiegare le emozioni che suscita o non suscita un romanzo di Delillo.
"Running dog" non è altro che una ricerca che coinvolge tutti i protagonisti di questa faccenda. Una ricerca che ha come oggetto un filmato, un video con le immagini di Hitler. Un video che darà il via a una ricerca spietata, una ricerca di possesso.
"Running dog" tratta diverse tematiche: lo spionaggio, il thriller, l'arte erotica e che mostra attraverso la visione di un filmato che tutti vogliono
...more
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
...more
Ilmatte
credo che se qualcuno mi dicesse che ha un video delle orge di berlusconi, lo ascolterei con la stessa attenzione con cui ho letto questo libro.
però almeno hitler è morto.
ecco, questo è quanto di più positivo sono riuscito a pensare per duecentosessanta pagine.
non ne vale la pena.
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
...more
Jen
Aug 28, 2007 Jen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Delillo
Cross between dialogues in Delillo's White Noise alongside some of the kinds of language the author developed way back when he wrote Americana, with a twist of Denis Johnson's style such as one might have read in Angels. A strange exploration of obsession and collection with this kink of suspected underlying government or splinter off-giveernment spy societies. At points you may feel this will never come together or ask yourself "What are all these characters doing here?" But in the end, the boo ...more
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 ...more
John
Perhaps not among his greatest work, but still a great read. He's ramping up to White Noise and The Names.
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 ...more
Aaron (Typographical Era)
Don DeLillo novels are usually great in spite of their lack of plot, not necessarily because of it. Here though, surprisingly, we're presented with a murder mystery of sorts revolving around paranoia, porn, cross-dressing, government officials, Hitler, and a reporter for a magazine not named Millennium.

I didn't dislike this one, but it did feel a tad forced in places and a bit unresolved at the conclusion. Otherwise though, this one is standard DeLillo fair, including his trademark conversationa
...more
Lucian McMahon
I agree with previous reviews that the book could easily have been longer; the characters are so haunting, the intrigues so riveting, that I wish DeLillo would have elaborated more. Though, perhaps the characters and the intrigues are the way they are precisely because they're so vague. Who knows. An enjoyable read nonetheless.

I wonder if DFW took inspiration from the novel: Maytag, Wild Turkey, The Ecstasy of St. Theresa, the nature of Entertainment.
Spiros
Feb 07, 2010 Spiros rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone seeking to understand late twentieth century America
Recommended to Spiros by: George Albon
Shelves: new, niew-amsterdam
A dizzying, headlong mash-up, involving a bent Senator, smut peddlers (ahem, I should say, dealers in erotica), paramilitary cadres, journalists, ex-ARVN rangers, Mafia figures, shadowy government agents, all more or less in pursuit of a rumored print of an orgy in Hitler's reichsbunker. In the event, the film when it is recovered reveals something much stranger than what had been purported.
Dylan Moench
This is a tough one. It's got elements of a murder mystery, a spy novel, and a political thriller yet it is really none of those things. It never goes where you think it's going, but finds some very interesting destinations nonetheless. It's written well enough that you won't want to put it down, but the lack of any real character development or resolution left me wanting more.
Marco


My first Don Delillo reading, it has some very interesting none sense dialogues that kept me reading. Although the history of this book quite doesn't exist, is mixes different scenes and characters that in the end don't go anywhere and makes you think "ok..."
2 out of 5 stars for me.
Jeff
Some very good sections of dialogue but I think the whole thriller/caper thing is not really my genre. So, maybe I should not have read this. I liked White Noise more.
James
You ever notice that Delillo's dialogue is the same in every novel? No matter the characters or the situation the dialogue flows similarly. Sometimes I love that, sometimes I don't. The end is necessarily disappointing and I guess that's okay.
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Don DeLillo is an American author best known for his novels, which paint detailed portraits of American life in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. He currently lives outside of New York City.

Among the most influential American writers of the past decades, DeLillo has received, among author awards, a National Book Award (White Noise, 1985), a PEN/Faulkner Award (Mao II, 1991), and an American
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“Before pop art, there was such a thing as bad taste. Now there's kitsch, schlock, camp, and porn.” 47 likes
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