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Don DeLillo: Running Dog

A woman’s body is found in a deserted alley in Manhattan. It turns out to be a man in woman’s clothing. And it turns out that he had tried to sell the only copy of a pornographic film shot in the last days in Hitler’s bunker. The selling of the film revolves around a New York dealer called Lightborne, Glen Selvy, an agent for Radial Matrix and Moll Robbins, a reporter for Running Dog, one-time organ of discontent, as Lightborne describes it, who is writing an article on sex as business. A host of characters is interested in the film – the Mafia, Senator Lloyd Percival, a young porno king and the mysterious organisation called Radial Matrix. Given DeLillo’s interest in the Kennedy assassination, this complex conspiracy-within-a-conspiracy is not a surprise, as there are mysterious deaths, Senate investigations, larger-than-life mysterious former CIA agents and, of course, the famous film itself. DeLillo is always funny and he is one of the best at poking round in the underbelly of American society and revealing the scabby sores he finds there but this novel seems like a trial run for Libra.

Publishing history

First published 1978 by Knopf