Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

Death Kit
Susan Sontag


First published in 1967, Death Kit blends realism and dream. Susan Sontag’s second novel offers a passionate exploration of the recesses of the American conscience. It is a narrative of the suffering of Dalton ‘Diddy’ Harron, told through his own observations. He works in advertising for a microscope manufacturer, is thirty-three and divorced and a month ago tried to commit suicide. The haphazard events of his life, including killing a railway worker and falling in love with a blind girl, are brought to us through the lens of Diddy’s own mind. We follow him through his journey to justify his actions and exorcise his inner demons, but we can see what is happening to Diddy only from inside his head, in the present, and the balance of his mind does not always bear close scrutiny.

Paperback, 320pp
Penguin Books, 2013 (1967)
ISBN 9780141393186