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The Front Runner (Harlan's Story #1)

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  3,511 ratings  ·  213 reviews
In 1975, coach Harlan Brown is hiding from his past at an obscure New York college, after he was fired from Penn State University on suspicion of being gay. A tough, lonely ex-Marine of 39, Harlan has never allowed himself to love another man.

Then Billy Sive, a brilliant young runner, shows up on his doorstep. He and his two comrades, Vince Matti and Jacques LaFont, were j
Paperback, 307 pages
Published 2001 by Quality Paperback Book Club (first published 1974)
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I enjoyed reading this book - it wasn't the best written story, but it depicted an honest and candid story involving two men in love when the gay liberation movement was just picking up steam. It was written by a woman, which I find intriguing, and involves a relationship between a college track coach and one of his students separated in age by a considerable gap.

The story has quite a few issues for me - mainly the development of a relationship between the two main characters - it is clear that
Jason Bradley
THIS was beautiful.

(view spoiler)
Letty Chihoro
I was simply gripped by this book. I have lived through the horrors of apartheid and know of the horrors of slavery and the slave trade in the United States. This book describes the discrimination and brutality suffered by gay people from the 1930s to the 1970s and in many ways it is like apartheid. I was simply riveted. Quite often I was brought to tears. The book describes the life of a gay athlete whose private life with his coach became the focus of attention for politicians, the media and t ...more
Katie M.
Sigh. What to say about this book? I do understand that it was brave and sensational and groundbreaking. I do understand that it changed the lives of many people who read it. I do understand that it was a product of its time and that times are different now. I do understand how it helped lay the foundation for other queer novels to follow. But seriously, it is just so. Extraordinarily. Bad. There, I've said it.
 ᴍɪᴄs * en proceso de recuperación....*
Estoy MUY enojada y sumamente decepcionada. ¿Por qué siempre me pasa esto a mi? leo un libro me encanta, estoy lista para decir que es de mi favoritos pero siempre pasa algo que me saca de mis casillas y eclipsa todo lo demás.

Yo a Harlan le perdonaba todo menos su relación con los hijos, no los nombra nunca y cuando lo hace es solo por la plata. Jamás se le pasa por la cabeza averiguar cómo están o tratar de tener una relación con ellos. Entiendo que hay personas que simplemente no tienen made
Wow, things have certainly come a long way since 1974.
Now, they actually publish gay novels that are good, instead of schmaltzy claptrap like this.
João Roque
Curioso ter lido quase de seguida dois livros sobre relações entre homossexuais, ambos de grande nível e ambos escritos por mulheres.
Depois de "Salto Mortal" de Marion Zimmer Bradley, ambientado no mundo do circo, li agora o livro mais conhecido de Patricia Nell Warren, "The Front Runner", em boa hora, traduzido para português pela INDEX ebooks,"O Corredor de Fundo" e desta vez ambientado no mundo do atletismo de alto nível americano.
Há um muito bom registo de toda uma época em que após Stonewel
Nathan Burgoine
A smarter man than I might have noticed the word "Tragic" on the back cover of this book. That's all I'll say about how it was that I ended up blubbering in the midst of the Atlanta airport last week on my way to New Orleans.

This book was phenomenal. That it has just had its 20th anniversary makes it all the more stunning to me for its ability to hold up over time, as so many books struggle to do. Set in the year leading up to the Montreal Olympics, we follow the life of an ex-marine Coach who b
Kaje Harper
This is a classic m/m romance, written back when that was a far more rare and risky thing. It is a wonderful book, and has lost nothing in the decades since it was written. The 1970's setting is a vivid backdrop, the main characters are wonderful and complex, and the ending still makes me cry after many readings. As we browse through the candy store of contemporary m/m romances, this is one to read and savor, and to remind us of the things that change, and the things that remain the same.
Kath Middleton

I was recommended this book by two people who had read it when it first came out. It’s set in the 1970s when I was a young mum with two toddlers, and in some ways the world has changed a great deal, but sadly, not enough. The narrator is Harlan Brown, the trainer of several Olympic hopeful runners at a small college near New York. One of them, Billy Sive, is a strong runner but on the wrong training regime. Harlan himself and three of his best runners are gay. So what, one might say these days?
Belíssima história de amor entre um jovem 'corredor de fundo' e o seu treinador, ambientada no início da década de 70 do século passado, quando se inicia a emancipação da comunidade gay e a sua visibilidade na America dispara, com todas as consequências positivas e negativas que isso tem para os seus membros. Publicado em 1974, o livro é interessantíssimo na forma como aborda as questões da militância, denunciando já na altura, em que o 'We're here, we're queer, get used to it' era gritado no se ...more
I've been wanting to give myself two weeks to read this trilogy for quite awhile, but I'll tell you I won't need it... This was an amazing book, smartly written, and such a page turner.

Written in first person, Harlan Brown, 39 (going on 40), is our main character. Within the first 20 pages we know his life story thus far and is presently the track coach for Prescott College. Enter Billy Sive, 20y/o, with Olympic potential as the country's premier long distance runner. Billy was cast-off his coll
Johnnie Terry
This book gets four stars because it made my adolescent, gay heart pound. I fell in love with Billy. It was tragic. It broke my heart. I read and reread it because it was about people like me who'd met other people like me and I wanted to run away and join those people. I kept this book hidden under my bed. I'm scared to reread it now that I'm in my forties because it could pop that romanticized bubble. It's better for me to remember this one. If you read this book because of my recommendation, ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
adorei. não fazia ideia de que fosse assim tão fantástico. concordo que a escrita é muito simples, mas é uma história tão bonita e trágica e relata de uma maneira tão bela o amor entre eles.
fica a pergunta: para quando a tradução dos restantes livros? :)
Aug 25, 2009 Kayez rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in gay rights and sports novels
Recommended to Kayez by: amazon
I sat down to read this because I had read reviews hailing it as a pivotal gay novel. Truthfully I didn't expect much from the novel in the way of man on man thrill, after all the book was written in the mid seventies.

I'm not going to sum up the book here, if I did I may start crying again and I'm finally calm enough to write this.

This book is wonderful.
The fact that it was written during the seventies has no bearing on how well written or marvelous it really is.

It is told in first person by H
Jonathan Treadway
I'd heard that this was another gay classic love story, like The Charioteer. Everyone's right! I can't believe I waited this long to read it, but I was absorbed immediately and caught up in the drama. Some of it seemed a little too good to be true, but all in all it was an excellent story. The romance between the two men is believable and heartwarming. Yes, I cried at the ending of this one too...but I bet everyone does! This is definitely a keeper, and one I will reread over and over.
Tengo tanto de lo que quejarme que no se ni siquiera por donde empezar. Comencé este libro por el reto de "un libro que te haga llorar" y yo soy una llorona, lloro con todos los libros, llore con bajo la misma estrella incluso si no soporto el libro,simplemente si algo triste sucede yo lloro.No lloré con este libro.

Harlan es una pequeña bolsa de excremento, no lo soporté en un principio,pero luego sentí que crecía como personaje y en especial junto a Billy se convirtió en un personaje que podia
I loved this beautiful and heartbreaking love story when I read it in my 20's. It is now time for a re-read to see if this book lives up to my fond memories.
Bruce Martin
So many problems with this book -- its misogyny, melodrama, high-tone preaching, etc.
I definitely understand why The Front Runner is considered a classic of gay literature. The plot and characters were compelling and the social issues felt real. Needless to say, I think every reader is (or should be, at least) a little bit in love with Billy Sive. The narrator, on the other hand, was less than admirable, but he did improve over the course of the book.

As a feminist, it bugged me to see how chauvinistic gay male culture of the 70s was. Although that is something I knew before from
I'm not very wordly and quite naive when it comes to racism, bigotry and other acts against humanity. I've never had that kind of hatred directed at me. I can't imagine what it must be like to be loathed, not for something you did, but just because of who you are.

Fiction or not, this is an important story. It takes place in the '70's during the beginning of the gay movement. Harlan, ex-marine, is a track coach at a progressive college. He falls in love with Billy, a runner. Billy is a star in h
Adam Hodgins
I picked this up because it’s supposed to be influential or whatever and I figured I should read it, big mistake. I groaned and rolled my eyes through this whole book. Where to start...outdated ideas about gender, masculinity, sexual orientation, annoying references to astrology every 5 seconds, complete mis-representation of Buddhism, ridiculous depiction of vegetarian nutrition.... all of which I could maybe, maybe overlook considering when it was published but on top of all that the writing i ...more
Rosa Petrea
Cien por cien recomendable.
Al principio no me lo quería leer porque suponía que iba a ser literatura dura sobre el drama de ser gay, con la típica decadencia y aura deprimente en cada palabra. Me equivocaba. Habla de un corredor que es gay, que se enamora de su entrenador, y de cómo ambos luchan para que la sociedad les deje en paz y permita que el corredor sea tratado como un corredor, como un ser humano, y no como alguien definido por sus gustos sexuales. Es una historia de superación personal
Alīna Rence
Jan 15, 2015 Alīna Rence rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alīna by: Edgars Rencis
Šī grāmata pie manis nonāca nejauši, kā jau tas bieži vien notiek. Bibliotēkā apjukumā mēģināju izšķirties, kuras grāmatas ņemt un kuras vēl šoreiz neņemt uz mājām, un kā vienu no pirmajām ieraudzīju šo grāmatu. Nebiju par tādu neko dzirdējusi. Nobrīnījos, ka grāmata par skriešanu, kas tulkota latviski, un es par to pat neko neesmo dzirdējusi ne pa ausu galam. Nolēmu, ka jāņem ciet un jānes mājās, kur to man sākotnēji atsavināja Edgars...

Pirms sāku lasīt šo grāmatu, man pat prātā neienāca, ka ma
It may have been ground breaking for its subject matter, but this book made me fairly uncomfortable. The love story was interesting, but the inclusion of all the track information made it, for the most part, boring. I appreciate what it did for gay literature, it just didn't affect me as it may have many others.
Touching and emotional. Patricia writes a gay love story very delicately and accurately. She captures the era beautifully and the story is amazing. On some level, the plot is pretty simple as it focuses more on the intensity of the new found love, but it manages to move very quickly and excitingly.
John Inman
A wonderful story, wonderfully told. Now I know why this book is a classic. I can't believe I had never read it before. Anyone who considers themself a true fan of gay fiction should read this book.
Nov 28, 2007 Matt rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: closeted jocks. CALL ME!
Totally dated, schmaltzy and predictable.

I appreciate the historical significance of this book but it still sucked.
I have been waiting for this to be released on Kindle ever since I got one. I first read this book back in the 90s when I was given a copy by a friend. I started to read it and pretty much couldn't put it down. I was at uni and was supposed to be going out with my housemates and was reading this when they went out. I told them I would catch them up. When they returned I was sat in the kitchen still reading, with tears rolling down my face.
It was the first book that really had an impact on me. It
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Patricia Nell Warren grew up on a historic ranch in Montana, spent many years working in the New York media, and has lived and traveled extensively in Europe. She now resides in Los Angeles County, where she writes both best-selling fiction and provocative political commentary. While her earlier works came out from establishment publishers like William Morrow and Random House/Ballantine, today Wil ...more
More about Patricia Nell Warren...

Other Books in the Series

Harlan's Story (3 books)
  • Harlan's Race (Harlan's Story, #2)
  • Billy's Boy (Harlan's Story, #3)
Harlan's Race (Harlan's Story, #2) The Fancy Dancer Billy's Boy (Harlan's Story, #3) One is the Sun The Wild Man

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“In my old age, I was at last being permitted to make the discovery that lovemaking gets better and better with time, if it's with someone you care for.” 8 likes
“Love is when you fry the other person's bacon even if you're a vegetarian.” 6 likes
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