Short story: “The Runner”

by look i have opinions

“The Runner,” by Don DeLillo

First appeared in Harper’s in September 1988 (available to subscribers here); collected in The Angel Esmeralda; PDF here

Looks like 1,073 words—I overestimated by several hundred

For some reason I found this one a bit lackluster for DeLillo. A solid story, but the character’s realization and his gentle lie are a little predictable, a little pat. Of course it’s comforting to believe that the horrors of life can be explained and fit into a meaningful pattern, and DeLillo expresses that well. I just expected something sharper.